Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day Gift

Being a single mom isn't always the easiest job. However, I have never found it as hard as what some people may think. The ups and downs seem to be the normal ups and downs that any parent has. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not saying there aren't times when I would LOVE to have someone else make a decision, take care of the bills, or take over the disciplining for awhile, but...all in all......I don't feel that single parenting is any more tough than parenting with a partner. Let's face it, raising children is a tough job period! Maybe I feel that way because I have been a single parent for the majority of my child rearing years. Truthfully, I don't know what it's like to have someone else to depend on. In the home, that is. God has generously blessed me with awesome 'support staff' :) I have very faithful, dedicated friends and family who definitely lighten my load. They are always there with encouragement and love. I couldn't do it without them. Then, there is the 'God factor'. Jesus, who is truly the leader of our household. He strengthens me in ways I couldn't begin to explain.

With all of that being said, I don't know what it is about Mother's Day that makes me soooo blue. As a single woman, you would think that Valentine's Day would be the day that would make me squirm. It doesn't. I'm indifferent about Valentine's Day. I can take it or leave it. It just doesn't affect me. I'm fine with Christmas, New Years, Thankgiving, and Easter. However, as Mother's Day approaches I begin to feel it slowly creeping up on me. I begin to dread the day. I don't know why. This is a day dedicated to MOMS. I am a mom. It's not as if my children have gone off to college and I am all alone. My kiddo's are here and they greet me in the morning with the usual "Happy Mother's Day, mom. Sorry we couldn't get you anything." I respond back with the usual "It's OK....I have you and that's all I could ever want." I mean those words. I am so thankful for my children. So....why is it I tend to have an emotional breakdown every Mother's Day?

I have searched for the answer to that question and I have yet to find one. Maybe it's because Mother's Day is a holiday that is focused on family. Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving are truly, for me anyway, centered on God. To me, wife and mother seem to go hand in hand and one of those hands are missing. I used to believe that my family was incomplete because I did not have a husband. I have come to realize, to a certain extent, that is not true. However, to a certain extent, that is true. God created man and woman to be together. To be partners, lovers, friends, and companions. While the Bible clearly states that to some, God gives the gift of marriage and to some, God gives the gift of singleness (1 Corinthians), I guess, yesterday, I was longing for the gift I don't have.

Mother's Day has come and gone with the wind, taking with it my longing for more than what the Lord has already given. Today, I am joyful and appreciative of my life and the gift of singleness that God has allowed me to have. It's a gift I appreciate most days of the year. It's a gift that has challenged me and forced me to truly rely on God for everything. I wouldn't exchange this gift for anything in the world. Well, at least not for the next 364 days!! :)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Like Sands Through The Hour Glass

I was on the phone with one of my best friends yesterday. We have known each other since high school, so as you can imagine, we have been through A LOT together. She is one of those people that seems to always have something going on in her life. Sometimes they are good things and sometimes they are bad things, but there is always something. We live 2000 miles apart now and so there are times when we won't be able to talk for a few weeks. Typically, if we go without speaking for a few weeks, she will have lots to fill me in on. Things with her family, her dog, a crisis here and there.....just the stuff that life is made of. However, when it comes to my turn to fill her in.......I'm blank. Our conversation goes a little like this:

K-"So how are things with you? Anything new and exciting?"
me-"No. Just the same old things. No news is good news."

I try to rack my brain to see if there something that I could share with her that she would find even the least bit interesting, but............nothing. I have been at the same job for 6 years. I have been at the same church for about 6 years. I haven't moved (lately:), the kids are doing well, my folks are doing well, yep....nothing. Oh, I guess there are the usual 'drama' episodes with my teenage girls, but she doesn't have children yet and I really don't want to scare her into NEVER having children!

After we got off the phone, it began to bother me a little that I couldn't seem to share anything with her. My life has become very routine. Well, as routine as it can be for having a house full of teenagers. That began to bother me, too.

Today I realized something. My life is routine, but I am OK with that. As a matter of fact....I LOVE it! Granted, it doesn't leave me a lot to share with my friends, but when it comes to 'sharing', I have always been a better listener anyway.

Our days are not filled with excitement. God doesn't have us moving anywhere (physically, that is:). We aren't financially able to travel, so we spend a lot of time at home and a lot of time with each other. There are daily things that happen that bring me great joy; like seeing my youngest daughter sitting in our sunroom reading her 'Nature Reader' as she desperately tries to find out which kind of wasp is dwelling outside of our home or watching my 3 daughters jumping into leaf piles and giggling. Talking to my son on the phone and hearing his voice change from a little boy into a young man.

Those moments are not anything I could put into words. Those moments are the days of our lives and I wouldn't change them or trade them for anything.