The Truth Mothers Know

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone, once again reminding me of how quickly time passes.

Hello, Thursday Morning friends! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed Mother’s Day weekend.

There is a truth that mothers know—one among many, of course. We learn wisdom over the years as we rear our children and help tend our grandchildren.

While going through the early years, time seems to move at a snail’s pace. These were the years when I felt as though the long days would never end. Mothers often get up early and stay up late, up all hours, trying to be the best possible mother.

In the natural passage of time, we graduate into moms of school-age children. While the nights settle a little, with the exception of nocturnal illnesses, we’ve now become shuttle-drivers. If we work full-time, we have to keep to a tight schedule to incorporate after-school activities, church activities, and sports. This level of mothering can be almost as rigorous as the early years.

Then one day, it ends.

We’re standing in a large room watching that child we raised graduate from high school. We’ve spent long hours agonizing over finances, helping our college-bound child decide on the best venue. Others of us will send that child off to boot camp for the next level of training. Either way, we say goodbye.

The truth is, those years that seemed so long as we were passing through them…aren’t. They’re very short in the long view. When we’re on the other side looking back, we can see that. I’m reminded of a poignant scene in one of my favorite stories, the British mini-series, “North and South.”

The scene is desolate. Everything is gray, and snow is falling. John Thornton is watching as the woman he desperately loves prepares to leave him. As she climbs into the coach, he mutters, “Look back. Look back at me.” But she doesn’t look. Her eyes are on the road ahead.

This is a difficult time for some of us, as parents of children who are joyfully moving on to the next level. They’re excited about what the future holds. We see empty rooms and quiet houses. Which can be a wondrous thing, depending on your perspective.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/labsafeharbor-5668409/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2418176">labsafeharbor</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2418176">Pixabay</a>Whether it’s a road well traveled or not, is entirely up to us. Until it’s not. When we’ve reached our child’s late teen years, or maybe their early twenties, we realize just how much it’s not. At a point unrealized by me, the child I birthed and loved and raised, has taken over the reins.

I suppose that’s one of the deepest truths I’ve learned along the way. No matter how much I might want to help them avoid the potholes, they really want to do their own thing, even if it means making their own mistakes.

I’m standing on the stoop, watching as they pull away. “Look back,” I whisper, “look back at me.”

And they do, with waves and smiles. Then they turn toward their destination while I return to a quiet house. I’ve come to love and cherish the silence, but oh, how I’ve loved the chaos.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. —Proverbs 22: ESV

Click to Tweet: There is a truth that mothers know—one among many, of course. In the aftermath of Mother’s Day. #ThursdayThoughts via @batowens

Thursday Thoughts

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! Here I go, thinking again!

Sometimes those moments come out of nowhere—blank ones with actual time to think. Oh, our brains are in constant motion, even when we sleep. But actual thinking is a process that takes time.

In my mind, I see this cute photo of Pooh Bear thumping his head with a stuffed paw and saying, “Think, think, think.” Yeah, my brain works that well, too.

I’m forever amazed at the capacity we have for thought and engagement. I am constantly bombarded by…well, stuff for lack of a better word. Yesterday, I completely forgot what week it is and set out on a shopping adventure. Big mistake!

Why? Well, it’s Derby Week in Louisville, Kentucky. There are a gazillion cars on the road and the sky is filled with private jets arriving hourly. Noise.

So, the actual shopping was a pleasure because it was still early enough that the stores were empty, but getting there and back again. Super stressful!

On another note, it’s May and the locust trees are blooming in my backyard. The air is filled with their sweet aroma. Locust trees are common in Kentucky. They’re actually invasive, tend to be quite tall and skinny. Not really all that attractive, except when they’re covered in Wisteria-like blooms.

And then the white rain begins as the bloom petals fall. It’s really enchanting.

Last night, I was privileged to sit in a Bible study being taught this week by a missionary from Spain. I’ve known Tom Cook and his wife, Beth, for many years. His words last night were simple, but profound as he taught us how to pray the will of God. When you pray, and you have total confidence that what you’re asking is God’s will, you can expect an answer.

I am blessed to have such a fine couple as dear friends. Thank you, Tom and Beth, for your continued service.

So, that’s what I’m thinking about this morning. Very low-key and keeping it simple. May your day be blessed with joy and peace!

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15 ESV

Valentine’s Day Thoughts

Hello, and happy Valentine’s Day, Thursday Morning friends!

Valentine’s Day began as a Christian holiday – the feast of St. Valentine (an early Roman martyr). Unfortunately, it’s not a “lovely” history, since it involves martyrdom.

It’s association with romantic love is said to have begun with Geoffrey Chaucer (14th century poet). Some of you may remember him as a character in the movie A Knight’s Tale—my first experience with steam punk—but that’s another subject.

My first experience with Valentine’s Day began in first grade, when I garnered an amazing number of cards. It didn’t matter that everyone in class received the same amount.

Do you have a favorite Valentine memory?

These days, I usually only receive one card but it’s worth more than a bushel-basket full. Thanks for taking a moment out of your busy day to visit with me. And have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Here’s my valentine for you, from me:

Happy Valentine’s  Day!

The Year I Said I Do

coffee, cup, laptop, memeAnother Thursday Hello! This is the time of year when the days fly past so quickly, I struggle to keep up. Know what I mean?

We are just days away from Christmas, and many of you are rushed and harried, worried you won’t finish in time. Let go of some of the little things. The unimportant things no one will even notice aren’t done. Make room for the big things, like time with family. Hugs, kisses, and “I love you’s”.

Today is important to me for another reason. It’s my mother’s birthday. She’s barely twenty years older than me, so we kind of grew up together. When I was a kid in school, everyone thought she was my sister. So, happy birthday, Mom.

Another reason today is important, and probably the biggest reason–forty three years ago today, I said, “I do”. Or, maybe it was, “I will.” It’s been so long now, I can’t remember.

We definitely grew up together. I was so excited on that (long ago) day, as I anticipated what the future held for us. Two kids in love. We had a lot of fun over the years, and troubles, too. But add it all up, and the sum is still on the positive side. It still adds up to love.

When we left the church that day, my brand new husband told me he needed to stop by home to pick up something he’d forgotten. He’d forgotten underwear. I sat in the car, wondering how you could forget to pack underwear? He came back out to the car and said it was a good thing he stopped by, he’d also forgotten to pack his spare jeans.

I frowned, wondering–what had he packed in his suitcase, if he’d left out such important items? Turns out, he’d forgotten to pack. Anything. This was the first time, but definitely not the last. I would always help him pack for a trip. He tended to forget important things, like a toothbrush, or a razor.

December 21, 1974

And how many times, over the years, would we leave the house, only to return minutes later for important things like his wallet? And, just in case you’re thinking he only forgets material things–a short time after we married, he went to introduce me to someone, and forgot my name. He introduced me as, “my wife.”

We finally made it Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and spent a few pre-Christmas days in the mountains. The pass was closed because of snow, but we drove up there anyway, and joined in a huge snowball fight with other sightseers. I’m sure most of them were also on their honeymoon.

I’ve no doubt, many of you have similar funny stories you could share, and I hope you will! Leave me a comment, and join the conversation!

Now, since I won’t see you until after, I’d love to wish you a very Merry Christmas.

I hope all the rushing around and last-minute preparations add up to a wonderful, memorable event. Don’t forget to take lots of photos!