Back to school shopping always brings back bittersweet memories. Watching frazzled mothers taking their children school shopping reminds me of the times that I took my own two children through this ritual of growing up. The excitement of buying new clothes and attempting to negotiate with the kids to get items that are within budget but will still pass the peer inspection can cause major meltdowns for parents and children.
I remember the scenes with my children–especially my daughter. When she reached her teen years, shopping became a nightmare for both of us. “But Mom, you just don’t understand.” Nobody wears that style anymore!” These words echo through my mind when I see moms and kids going through what must be the universal conflict parents and children have every year at this time of the year.
The other day at a local department store I observed a very interesting exchange between a pre-teen and her mother. The girl was trying to convince her mother to buy a very expensive pair of shoes. The mother was clearly torn between staying within budget and wanting to please her daughter. Just when I thought she was about to cave in to her daughter’s pleadings, the daughter’s attention was diverted to more sensiblwe and less expensive pair. A smile crossed both their faces and peace was restored once again. As the mother paide for the purchase and they walked out the door arm in arm, I smiled and thought of the many times I had gone through the same scenario with my own daughter.
My mind was suddenly jolted back to the present when I heard a familiar voice, “Nanny, why can’t I have these shoes?” I turned my attention back to my own pre-teen granddaughter. She was holding the only shoes in the entire store that would make her truly happy with life and with me.
You see, although my children are now grown I have four grandchildren to care for and three of them will be in school this year. Although years have passed since my own children were in school, school shopping is a yearly ritual that has changed little over the years.
No matter how many tempers flare and disagreements arise, all is forgiven on that all important first day of school when the most beautiful and most intelligent children in world step out of the house and on the bus to embark on a fresh new adventure known as the “first day of school.”
I found this on the internet. I think it goes pretty well with my previous entry. I hope you enjoy it.
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen. He could live anywhere in the universe and He chose your heart. What about the Christmas gift He sent you, not to mention that Friday at Calvary. Face it, He’s crazy about you.
Add a comment October 3, 2009
I recently participated in the bible study, The Power of a Praying Wife. This bible study taught me how to pray for my husband in the major areas of his life. During this class I was reminded of a practice I had developed when we first married. I would write my husband little “love” notes and put them in his lunch box or somewhere around the house where I knew he would find them. Unfortunately, when the children came into our lives and our time was wrapped up in caring for them and making a living to support our little family, this practice was pushed to the side.
However, when I really began to read the book for the study, I knew the man I fell in love with and married is the one I still love all these years of marriage. I knew that over the years we both had, at times, felt that we had lost something in our relationship. I realized that even though we each now have major responsibilites in the day to day scheme of things, we need to let each other know that our love is still alive and has grown more with the passing years. So I again picked up the practice of leaving little notes around the house for him. Although he has not acknowledged that he reads the notes he has made reference to them from time to time and I can tell he is pleased and flattered by this gesture on my part.
One morning not too long ago, I was having my morning visit with God and asking for his His help with some major problems with our children. As I cried in my coffee cup and bemoaned the loneliness and discouragement I was feeling, God spoke to me ande said. “Do you remember the love notes you wrote for Billy? Well, have you read my love notes to you?” Love notes from God? Was I hearing Him right or has my imagination run away with me again? “Lord, what do you mean ‘Love notes from you’?” As I listened to His answer the tears began falling down my face as I realized that I have been so caught up in my problems and trying to come up with my own solutions to them, I had not noticed the signs God had been sending me. He is always available with His arms stretched out wide for me to fall into. All I have to do is go to Him and tell Him my problems.
“Well,” He went on to say, “Do you remember the ‘cute’ little note you wrote to Billy that said, “You deserve the best–and when you married me that is just what you got.’?” “Sure I remeber that one,” I said. “I left that one for him because I know he does appreciate my sense of humor–sometimes, anyway.” “Well,” God replied. “You deserve the best–and when you became my child–that is what you got. I gave my son to die on the cross for you and pay for all your sins.”
“How about the one with the kiss inside?” God asked. “Do you remember that one?” Of course I remembered that one with a smile. This one had a picture of a man who, with sagging shoulders, looked as though he were carrying the weight of the world. On the inside I had taped two candy kisses with the words–’This looks like a two kiss day to me.’ “Well, how many kisses from me have you missed? I have seen you tired and burdened down with the stresses of life and that is when I send a gently breeze to touch your face or a gentle spring rain to let you know that I am here and thinking of you. When your precious little grandkids stop in the middle of a game and runs to you throw arms around your neck and give you a ‘I love you, Nanny’ that is a message from me to count the blessings that I have given you.”
“The note that asks your husband to ‘wake you with a kiss’ should remind you that each morning I give you a kiss of sunshine to greet you and help you start another day. I am also there to hold you up when thibngs go wrong for you. Do you renmember when you had surgery years ago anbd had just gotten home from the hospital? You were feeling so depressed and even feeling a little useless because you had to have a hysterectomy. When you saw the rose in full bloom with the snow outlining the petals on that cold November day do you know what message I was sending you? I was telling you that no matter how depressed and lonely you may get and how cold the world is I will always be with you to help you see the beauty in whatever is happening in your life.”
When God had finished speaking, I was totally overwhelmed. For I had forgotten so many times to look for the beauty and love that He is always sending me. From that day forward, I vowed to always look for God’s love notes and I have truly been blessed each time I see a message that God is sending me. God is so awesome and His messages are so beautiful. Just this week I have seen a rainbow in the sky for three consecutive days and know that God is not only in Heaven smiling down but is also with me each day.
God even sends humorous love notes. When I come home after a long hard day at work my dog jumps on my lap and puts his paw up in a “high five” I can inagine God smiling in Heaven as He looks down and says, “everything is going to be OK.”
I challenge each and every one you you reading this to begin to look for love notes from God. I am sure you will be able to see more clearly than ever that God does truly love us and His love will see us through anything we go through in our lives.
Remember that He loves us and is always sending us reminders of that love. Take a few minutes today and think about the love notes He sends to you. You will always find a special note from Him. I challenge you to find a love note from God today and really read it with your heart and soul mindful of the love He is sending to you with that special note from.
Father God, I know you love me with an unconditional love. Help me to stop and read your love notes to me. Often in the midst of daily life I miss them but help me to sit under your sheltering wings and bask in your love for me. Amen.
I want to write a note to you that says, “I love you and thank you for allowing me to be your mother.” I realize there were times that you probably wished you could trade me in for one of your friends’ mother but you were “stuck” with me. To be honest there were times when I wished you behaved as well as another mother’s child. But that wish was only for a fleeting moment in a lifetime of joy and pain, laughter and tears. That mother with the “well-behaved” children would confide in me that she wished her children were as well-behaved as mine.
I would sneak in and look at you when you were asleep at night and just stare at you. You were such beautiful children and my heart would leterally ache with all the love I felt for you. This is the only time I could lovingly look at you because during the day you were never silent or still long enough. I was kept busy with girl scouts, boy scouts, soccer, baseball and softball, not to mention the numerous school plays and classroom parties. But you know I would not trade all the practices and games for a trip to a spa where I would be pampered and treated like a queen.
You brought your friends over and the house was constantly in disarray from toys and sporting equipment but I always found time to dust and straighten the house after you went to bed. The dust would always be there but you grew so fast I did not want to miss a day of your life. As you grew your toys became more expensive and complicated. Baseball bats gave way to stereos and bikes and scooters were replaced by cars. During all this time I enjoyed being your mother.
There were times when I waite3d up nights for you to return home from dates and paced the floor until I heard the car pull into the driveway. I would then hurry to bed so you wouldn’t know that I was waiting for you. There was the time I received the news no parent wants to hear. You had an accident in the car but thankfully, you were not hurt. I always told you that you have a guardian angel and you were being protected by your angel.
Yes, I am your mother and did my best to instill values in you that would make you a person you could be proud to be. I loved you enough to risk your anger when I asked where you were going, with whom, and instructed to be home by your curfew. Yes, you thought the curfew was ridiculous and unfair but you knew why it was necessary. I loved you enough to let you learn that the friend you thought so much of was nothing more than a manipulator who only wanted to use you. I wanted you to see that moms are humans and make mistakes too. I want you to understand that “I’m sorry” is not admitting weakness but rather showing great courage. I wanted to show you that we all must face the consequences and assume responsibility for our actions no matter how old we are.
I watched you stumble ande fall many times, but was always there to help you get back up. I hurt when you hurt but did not want to diminish the life lessons by stepping in and taking away all your pain, rather, I shared the pain with you. I hope the hard times we experienced helped to shape you into a person that is able to empathize with someone else’s pain and will offer to help those people who need help without thinking about the glory and rewards you might receive.
I want you to know that I have loved you unconditionally even when you hated me forsaying NO when you thought I was only being mean to you. I want you to know that was the hardest part of being your mom. I want to remember that I will always be with you. The most important lesson I want you to learn from me is that God is there for you and will pick you up when you fall. He will be with you even when your mother can’t.
Just as we love our children God has given to us for a short time, God loves us, His children. He wants what is best for us even though at times we think He has forgotten about us. He is always there waiting for us to ask Him for help when we need it. He does not rescue us from every situation because He knows our struggles will bring us closer to Him. Just like the mother who will sacrifice anything for her children, He has made the ultimate sacrifice for us. He gave His only son to die for us so might live. Just as earthly parents need to chastise their children our Father in heave chastises His children bedcause He loves us so much. Take a few minutes today to focus on how loving God is to you and how He shows that love to you.
Father God, thank you so much for your son who died for us so we might live. May we never forget the importance of that love. Keep us in your sheltering arms and pick us up when we fall. Help us to remember that you are there for us when we need you and all we need to do is ask for your help.
This is a sample of the book I am currently working on. I hope you enjoy.
1 comment September 27, 2009