Tuesday, May 13, 2008

From Mom To Me To Meg (Oh, Please, Oh, Please, Lord!)

Sunday we enjoyed a great Mother's Day celebration. What a wonderfully encouraging message our senior pastor preached, primarily for the benefit of moms, but applicable to anyone, everyone! And what a lovely meal and fellowship we enjoyed with my family after church. Thanks for making the food, Lean-Bean. Mmmm, salmon! Delish!

We spent some time during lunch honoring my mother for the effect of her life on the lives of her daughters. I don't think I could possibly underestimate her impact on my own path. The fact that I always, always wanted to be a wife and a mom more than anything else (even a ballet dancer! even an actor!) is something I can only attribute to her example.

My mom stayed at home with us through all of our growing up years. She packed our lunches, drove us to endless dance practices and play rehearsals, and stayed up late listening to us unburden our teenaged souls. Through it all, I never, ever had the sense that there was anything else she would rather be doing. She never communicated that her life was boring, or unfulfilling, or dull, or stifling, or beneath her, or repetitious, or thankless, or full of drudgery, or any of those things that certain feminists claim about the lives of traditional housewives. Quite the contrary! Watching Mom, I decided at a tender age that being a stay-at-home mother must be the best profession in the world. And now I am discovering--day by day, diaper by diaper, desperate-for-God's-help moment by moment--that I was absolutely right.

Yesterday--Monday--was Dave's day off, and he christened it "Extended Mother's Day". He let me sleep in, forbade me to make his lunch, and took the family out to dinner at our fave kid-friendly spot, Red Robin. Over our burgers, he gave me two cards (one from him, one from "the kids") and attempted to lead Meg in honoring Mama.

"Meg," he said, "what's your favorite thing about your mommy?" Brief pause, as Meg stared at her food. He tried again. "What do you like most about Mommy?" Meg looked up from her plate and said in a deeply serious tone, "Woman."

We cracked up, affirmed our daughter for her correct assessment of Mommy's gender, and moved on. Obviously, Meg's not yet quite old enough for that question. Maybe next year.

But as I thought about it a little more, I decided that "Woman" might be a pretty profound answer to Dave's question after all. Now, I'm not saying that Meg even fully understood the word she used, much less that she meant anything by it. What I'm saying is that, if my daughter thoughtfully answered the same question in the same way fifteen or twenty years from now, I think I might be very grateful.

Because, really, when someone asks me, "What do you admire about your mom?" my answer is just a more mature and developed version of "Woman." What I love and respect about my mom is that she has painted a portrait of biblical womanhood for me. She has showed me the beauty, the greatness of serving others with joy and grace. She has loved her husband faithfully, raised her daughters devotedly, worked in her home tirelessly, served her church passionately, cared for others genuinely. And thought of herself infrequently.

That's what I wanna do with my life. That's who I want to be when I grow up. That's what I want my daughters and sons to say about me someday. When I look at my mom, I see Jesus Christ reflected. Could I hope for better results from my own life? Could I pass on something better to my little girl?

Oh, my Meggy... how I pray that you would someday see in your Mommy, as you will no doubt see in your Nana, the glory of true womanhood. It's the glory of a life lived in humble, loving service to others; the glory of a life that could only be because Jesus died on the cross; the glory of a life that points others to Him! That's the best definition I know of that word you used yesterday, Sweetheart. That's what it means to be a woman.

Nana & Meg


Anonymous said...

What a great picture and I truly enjoyed reading this! Jan

Sena said...

What an encouragement, Cara! I'm crying reading this =)
Thank you for reminding me of what it is to be a woman - and the amazing privilege we share in passing this on to our daughters.
So grateful for you!