Wisdom lingers like blood through my veins, pools of restful reasoning.
My waiting, my trusting, my pulling back rather than pushing for quick resolve.
Less control, more confidence.
My reactions, my bravery, my lack of filtering dislike over phony or for show.
Honest expression of observation, less impressing, more insight.
The wisdom of my mama occupies my frame.
She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26
There are others too, I’ll call them my “motherlys”. The ones who turn me back to me or towards the good or better they see in me.
My daughter, straight shooter and spot on is quick to lift me up or bring me back down to the place of just enough me rather than “too much Lisa”.
I consider her gauge, I consider her critique as she considers my being of me and we are quite good with the compromise. A beautiful bride, overjoyed to be wed.
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
One believing the other wise.
Wisdom of mothers and daughters, an exchange I’d not expected so pleasantly friendlike.
Then there’s my aunt, my mama’s only sibling.
“Prayer and patience, Lisa…prayer and patience.” Aunt Boo, we call her.
She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing.
A newfound motherly, my “Peacock”cousin, told me yesterday as we talked of answered prayers, that she understands me.
Understands the seeking of attention that had long been sought, yet rarely given. Told me it’s hard to know the play between seeking praise and embracing, celebrating a gift.
She corrected me when I told her I’m working hard not to seek the spotlight, I’m working hard on not seeking the glory, working hard to not expect to be noticed.
She opens her mouth with wisdom.
She said, “Lisa, it’s acceptance of being affirmed by God. He is affirming your gift, don’t deny his affirmation.”
And I said an audible,”Ahh.” because I’d never considered that hiding away, of not stepping into the light God arranged to illuminate my gift from Him was something bad or invaluable.
I confuse humility with hiding, praise with pride.
When something God made come true, not something I forced, finagled, pushed my way to and through, begging to be noticed.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works be praised at the gates.
So, on this day moving closer towards my motherless day, I’m sharing an excerpt from the chapter in this book called “I Heart Mom”.
My chapter, titled “Leaving Loved” was God-planted, cultivated and harvested into print almost smack dab in the middle of this Anthology of stories. There are stories for moms across the ages and stages. I encourage you to purchase a copy and I am thanking God, yet again for his glorious affirmation of my love of putting words together to form stories of good.
I wore red that day, attempting to inspire myself. My mama wore red. She wore it well. She got stronger one day, and from then on, she was confident and known in her management circles. So, I wore red on that day, anxious to appear in control, assertive and take charge. I met with people, several that day. One, rather outspoken and sure of herself in a way making me, twenty years her senior, feel uncertain. She avoided my eyes, kept glancing towards my neckline. At first, I thought, this necklace is cool, trendy, I guess she wonders maybe where I got it. But, her fixation continued, becoming a question. I figured it out, I decided, “It’s my turkey neck, lines like tissue paper crumbled up then folded back to be used again, the lines in my neck, that’s what she’s obsessing. Later, with many encounters between, I stood in my bathroom and there it was, all day long I’d worn my sweater backward, the stitching of the tag, a rectangle at the base of my neck, the little hollow place. Surely, someone thought to tell me; but, decided against, not wanting to ruin my day. Still, I wondered why friends let me carry on all day, afraid to reveal the truth. Something not nearly as earth shatteringly true as truth kept quiet for years, revelations hard to hear, the ones my children finally revealed; the things nobody along the way had been brave enough to say…
I thought of being a mother last night, as I do in some way or another every day, praying they sense God near, hoping they remember my “don’t forget I love you notes.” My son had gone back to college from Christmas break, and I’d forgotten somehow, so I thought for a second, I wonder what he’s doing at the house. My daughter, a newlywed at home with husband, I thought of texting her; but, didn’t’, I’ll wait ‘til tomorrow. I’m almost certain that if you asked someone who knows me they’d say it was good, the way I raised them up, the way they knew my love. I’d like to know if there’d been one attentive observer who thought about telling me the truth I know now. Being the parent of grown up children is laborious and good, its redemption in my self-examination, in their courage to confront my mistakes and manipulative behaviors from a distance. It’s a circling back around, learning lessons from them, their decisions and words, finally speaking hard things they’d never been bold enough to say before. So, if you asked that circle of friends, family or from a distant, maybe social media observer if I’d been a pushy mama, a controlling mama or a mama who sought glory through her son, her daughter; they’d maybe say, “No way” or “Not, Lisa.” The answer comes gradually, a harsh reality when your children get just far enough away to tell you so, far enough from the fear of their mama’s reaction. Brave enough to know the value of honest expression despite causing their mama’s shoulders to drop and her eyes turning away as they become warm with tears. Neither of them would hurt their mama; our journey had been rocky, single mama for a bit, just us three. My daughter, my son, their mama’s vulnerable heart and driven desires. They became children who pleased me…
I see it know, thank you for showing me easy, my daughter, my son. In my arranging your futures, in what I thought was right, was love, I could have worn you out. I now see it made you strong, strong enough to let me know, courageous enough to move past it all to become who you are.
To read the rest of the story about my children and Jacob and Esau, of letting God lead and allowing them to leave me loved, purchase the book on Amazon here:
It’s filled with stories of other moms navigating life, love, and leaving.
Of babies and boys and girls, softly lined cradles and newly emptied nests.
I am thanking God daily for opportunity.
For reminding me not to give up…to take steps towards doors he decides to open or not.
I’m learning to be affirmed by God, that it’s okay to be happy in good things my way.
I’m linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee and the story of the “15 Things”.