To Mama on Mother's Day

To Mama on Mother's Day

Voice of Reason. Advice Giver. Hand Holder. Shoulder to Cry on. Problem Solver. Secret Keeper. Super Hero. Mom.
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As cliche as it sounds, I really do have the best mom in the entire world. Now not to minimize anyone else's relationships or ruffle anyones tail feathers, but my mom is the toughest, most patient, loving, and selfless person. I know because I have witnessed her convey all of these qualities in the most extreme, difficult settings. I have seen my mom be put through the ringer--usually by me--and still continue to exemplify Christ in her actions. My mother has never let her situation or circumstance define her, her family, or her character.

My mother grew up in a rough home, riddled with addiction. Often times, her home was absent of the love that my mother made sure to continuously display as me and my sister were growing up. My mom grew up fast, not immune or unaware of the hardships that life so often times brings. Despite her childhood and not having the cookie cutter childhood we all want to have, my mother got an education, worked, married, and started a family. She deliberately raised my sister and I with the love and kindness that she had not received a lot as a child. Despite the odds, my mother found happiness and love. This is how I know my mother is tough.

My mother is also the most patient person in the world. Not only has she worked with children with disabilities and kindergarteners(who seem to NEVER run out of energy), but my mom has had to put up with me. While I have always had a loud, sassy, and outgoing personality, my attitude seemed to settle after my prime teenage years. However, this past year, during my sophomore year of college, I hit rock bottom. Actually that is not true. I SMACKED rock bottom. Hard. In a combination of health problems, social issues, and my stubborness, I found myself in a postion where I did not like me. I was mad at my parents, the world, and myself. I put my parents through hell, gave them every reason to leave me alone in my pity party. However, both my parents never left. Though they had to display TOUGH love, they so patiently waited and supported me through the hand that life so abruptly had dealt me. When I made it hard, gave them every reason to leave me high and dry, still my mom was there. Through her actions and words, my mother gave me patience that I could never have earned, nor did I deserve. This is how I know my mother is the most patient person in the world.

Lastly, my mother is truly the most selfless and loving person I will ever meet.

I know this, because I am still here. See I can testify to her patience and perseverance now when I look back. But what truly got me through and has made me the person I am today was the love that my mom showed me. This is not exclusive to a mother's love. My mother taught me anyone can love another person, but we have to be willing. She willingly loved me even when I made it incredibly hard to love. She puts me, along with everyone else, first. She worries about others, whether its making sure my medicine has not worn off at night, or making sure my grandpa gets to his doctors appointments, my mother has so selflessly placed others before her. In this way, she has shown me Christ like qualities that I want to employ, but she has also demonstrated the benefit and the result of a life lived full of love and with unwavering faith in Jesus Christ.

They say the greatest compliment a person can receive are those concerning their children. For example, saying someone's child is smart or sweet is satisfying to parents because it serves as proof that they have succeeded as parents. It is a confirmation that they have raised a good citizen and person.

Now having worked with children for four years now, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life, I understand how awesome and meaningful it is to tell parents about how awesome their children are. I have also seen how significant a parents role is in the life of their child. Because of this, I try to employ the qualities my mother has into my actions and life.

Just the other day, I had a parent come to pick up their child from after-school and the mom looked at me and said, "She (her daughter) just loves you!" Caught off guard by this statement that her daughter, who never causes any problems, would say such a statement. Immediate guilt came over me because honestly I often overlook her daughter because I get busy with children with behavioral problems. I shrugged and played it off, hoping the she would just changed the topic to weekend plans. She continued and said, "Yeah she just always talks about you and how kind you are to ALL the kids." Overjoyed, I found myself speechless. I have been pouring into these kids all year and for the most unlikely girl to acknowledge my efforts in loving these kids gave me the same feeling parents experience when their children are complimented.

In these ways, I find that all the credit goes God and my mother. Not only have I been blessed to grow up in a loving, Christ-centered home, but God blessed me with a mother who constantly pours into me and my sister. She loves regardless of the situation she is in, the hand she's been dealt, or the attitude I have towards her. She demonstrates the relentless, unending love that Christ first showed us through her actions and words. I am not entitled to this. I have not, nor could ever, earn the love that my mother shows me, and unfortunately not all people grow up with this privilege, as seen from my mother's childhood.

My mother is my hero. She is who I hope to continue to become. I say continue, because I have already started mirroring her in her words of wisdom that I often found annoying, but am now myself saying to children. She is the mother I hope to be to my kids one day, the wife I hope to be to my husband, the loyal daughter, and the dependable sister I hope to become.

If you had asked me last year how I felt on this day, I would have said I loved my mom. However, after the trials that I have faced throughout this year, I have realized the importance and what a huge blessing my mom is to me. She has seen me at my worst and loved me the same. She has seen the not so sweet parts of my heart and still treated me like I was good as gold. She has seen me when I felt worthless and looked at me as though I was a queen.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says:

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace."

Today and everyday, thank you mama for seeing and loving me through every season, from the harsh and unforgiving winters, to the life filled springtime. You are seen. You are appreciated. You are loved.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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You Don't Have To See Your Friends Every Day

We all have lives that we're trying to balance.

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For as long as I can remember, whenever I would have no plans and go on Snapchat to see all my friends having fun without me, I would get FOMO. I'd get really sad and think that they didn't care about me because they didn't invite me. It would get me in such a bad mood that it would ruin any chance of going out with someone else who wanted to hang out.

I don't know if it was just my anxiety of people hating me or if it was a fear of missing out (FOMO). Even recently, it has gotten me down. However, over the past month or so, I finally realized something: you don't have to hang out every day to still consider each other friends.

Everyone has a life that they're trying to balance, especially after high school. People work (maybe even more than one job) and go to school. Some have to take care of family members or do things for their family. Some people are focusing on themselves. Some have relationships to maintain. Whatever it is, we all have lives that we're trying to balance.

We all want to have fun, but school, work, and our families are the priorities.

Even if they're out hanging with other people, it doesn't mean that they don't want to hang out with you. Free time is served on a "first come, first serve" basis. It's hard to balance hanging out with multiple people.

I also learned that it doesn't matter the number of friends you have. What truly matters is the quality. Ask yourself, "Who's there for me when I really need someone?" The people who are there for you when you really need someone to talk to are your TRUE friends.

It's not easy to be there for someone and make them feel better. If they offer to listen or give advice, they care!

I know that it may feel like you have no friends sometimes, but that's not true. Life after high school is hard at times. You're an adult. You have to do adult things and take care of yourself first.

You have to realize that everyone has a busy schedule and not all your friends' schedules will align with yours, but that's okay! You don't need to hang out with friends every day to consider them your friends. What truly matters is if they are there for you when you need them.

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