Life Lesson # 62: Raising strong –willed daughters to fly.
There’s no doubt “I am my mother’s daughter. I am her only novel” so beautifully said by Marge Piercy. Thinking about my mom’s birthday this coming week, it’s like a rush of beautiful memories flowing out from a volt that’s been locked away. I am my mother’s reflection, her mini me. Growing up, looking up to my mom as little girls do I wasn’t aware of how much I mirrored her. My mother’s beauty and grace always took my breath away. She was and still is my inspiration and I her baby girl.
If you asked her today what I was like as a little girl, she’d tell you without a second thought, I was strong-willed. I kept her busy running around singing, jumping off the couch, building forts and dragging her off into faraway lands inside my imagination. I remember sitting in awe when the hope chest was opened. Standing there dancing in front of the mirror like a fairy princess. I’d brush my hair, place her old prom tiara on top of my head and practically swallow myself up whole inside my mom’s wedding dress and jacket. Excitement doesn’t even begin to explain it that is until I got caught anyway. Just before bed, as she’d tuck me in, saying a prayer and telling me how much she and Jesus loved me I’d take her face in my hands and kiss my mom goodnight.
I clearly remember singing praise music with my mom daily. She would strum her guitar always encouraging me to sing along even if I wasn’t on key. As I grew into a teenager we would harmonize together, and that quite frankly was magic. My musical gift and that of my son Joshua, comes directly from my mom. She has given me so much, and realized early on “a strong willed little girl will grow into a strong independent woman.” It was my mom, never realizing her own beauty, who told me I was beautiful daily. Mom believed in me, never believing I was ordinary. She told me my mind, my complete nerdy self and all was perfect. It was mom who made sure I knew the way I saw the world was the most beautiful part of who I am. My mom knew it was important to praise me, to encourage me but she also knew it was equally important I understood that while the world didn’t revolve around me, I was absolutely her entire world.
I am thankful for my mom, for her unconditional love and constant encouragement. Because of my mother I am the heroine of my own story, never the victim. I believe life is short, so yes buy the dress. My mom freed me to soar, to live life and never back down. Yes because of my mother “I choose to be kind. It simply makes me happy. From my mother’s love I have learned to defend my boundaries and my loved ones without hesitation. And make no mistake; this strong-willed girl is fierce.”(Paraphrased quote from Pintrest) My mother worked way too hard for me not to become the woman she knew I could be. She spoke love into my life, and scripture. I still keep Proverbs 4:23 in my heart, “Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” I hope with all my heart I'm a mirror image of her grace, letting kindness flow from my heart in everything I do. I’m so very thankful for the life lessons my mom’s taught me. Now as my mom turns 68, I want to honor her, give her credit where credit’s due. I am a strong, independent, loving, giving and happy woman today because of her and the way she raised me.
Yes, I am my mother’s daughter, her one and only novel. Her hands guided me, shaped me completely, she's really the co-author of my life. In the process of shaping my life she shaped her own. Because of my mom I am secure in the unique way my Father made me. By loving her strong-willed daughter so completely, my mom taught me to fly. And I pray with all my heart my life is a testament of my mother’s humility and grace. Truly “Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face. (George Eliot)
I love you mom, forever and always.