May 7, 2013

Tuesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Deuteronomy 26

Happy Tuesday, SHINE girls! As promised, I have an incredible Mother's Day post from your fellow friend and SHINE sister, Samantha Schlund.

The Lord kept laying Samantha on my heart regarding this post. I never, ever know what people will say when I ask them to post. I just kind of boldly ask, hoping that they will feel the Lord leading them. :)

Thankfully, Samantha agreed, and you will be so blessed that she did.

I love this post because it is real and honest and true. Just like Samantha.

My Mother:
by: Samantha Schlund

HI sweet SHINE sisters!!

Mothers Day is upon us and Jill asked that I share with you guys today. Being that I am both a mother and a daughter (as many of us are) I at first felt I could come up with something.....OK, that is not true. My first thought was "Honor your father and mother" and then a little panic....see about a week ago I committed to the Lord that if He opens a door for me to be bold, that I would walk thru it trusting His plan and His purpose no matter if I was uncomfortable/uneasy in the situation. If He led me to speak up, to reveal something He lays on my heart that I would do it. And ladies, in a week He opened many doors and I have witnessed some amazing things! It has been an amazing week and I am feeling so blessed to be used by God. So when I received Jill's sweet non pressuring email asking if I would consider a mothers day post to brag on my mom...I thought, "Oh no that is really personal. God, do you really want me to do this??"

After a long day of "spring cleaning" I jumped in the shower  (not only did I need to shower - but the shower is the only place I can be alone with God sometimes without my 3 year old interrupting) and I talked it over with God. I was assured that He would give me the grace, love and mercy to write something that would speak into the life of someone reading this blog. I of course reminded him that I am not your rainbows, unicorns and rose colored glasses kind of girl....that I would have to tell the truth and meant exposing some ugly that has been in my heart. And He reminded me to "trust His plan."

Exposing the ugliness and speaking the truth didn't scare me - but I don't want to hurt my mom, that is the last thing I would ever want to do. So I prayed, "Father, please guide me, help me to honor mom with my words and speak the truth. Help me to share what You want me to share"

Recently I read in my Human Development class that the mother/daughter relationship is the hardest/most difficult relationship yet it is also one of strongest. Most of my life I feel like I have taken care of my mom. She has had a lot of heart ache in her be honest she has suffered a broken heart as long as I can remember. As a result she has suffered from depression from time to time, though she has never been officially diagnosed. My entire life I have tried to take care of her, be her confident/friend, be her defender, etc. you get the idea. Things in our relationship have been off balance, I have been relied on a lot, too much at times - I was my moms best friend and co-parent to my younger siblings and with that came a lot of responsibility. Those feelings of my needing to take care of, protect and fix things for her carried over into adult life. I have always been very close to my mom and it has only been in the past few years - as I became a mother myself, that I started to see areas of my heart that I held deep resentment and anger towards her. The oddest thing about this is that my mom said to me over 10 years ago that one day I would realize that I had this resentment/anger toward her....she knew it was there even when I did not. But in the past few years I have realized more and more that I was angry. I have wrestled with that anger and the guilt that came with those very real feelings a lot over the past two years. In June 2011, I moved myself and my daughter into my moms home. The original arrangement was that I would live there for a being there would help my mom financially since I would pay rent to her, and it would help me financially because my living expenses would be less. After being in moms home 6 months the Lord revealed His plan that I would be going back to a result my staying at moms home was extended for another year. My being a mother myself, raising my daughter the way I see fit under the same roof as my mother...well, as you might imagine has not been easy all the time. But we have made the best of it. It has certainly been a bigger blessing than burden. And I think I realize now that my being in her home as an adult, gave me an opportunity to face the anger I had buried and have held onto for years.

I am not sure that my mom has ever looked in the mirror and seen the person that God sees when He looks upon her. And as I sit here tonight typing this blog...that realization makes me very sad. Because my mom is beautiful, caring, loving, giving, smart, strong, cherished and loved. There are many many things I love and admire about my mom. My mom raised 3 children....basically alone. She worked hard (sometimes more than one job) to provide for us. She volunteered as room mom, coached soccer teams, baked cookies, she would turn up the music on cleaning day and we would laugh/dance in the living room, she helped with homework, she ran each of us here and there constantly - you get it she was your typical "super" single mom. She did everything she could to make certain we were taken care of and above all else made sure we knew that we were loved. She slighted herself always putting everything and everyone above her own needs. My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader, always believed in my abilities and supported me. And as you might imagine she is an amazing Grandma....Ryan Olivia loves her probably as much as she loves anyone else on this planet. Without her I would not be the person I am today. Without her I would be lost. She has taught me so very much about everything really - some of what I learned I do not want to repeat, some of what I learned I have put my own twist on, and some of it I will do just the way she does forever. She was as strong as she could be, she did the best she could....she made mistakes, she is not perfect....neither am I.

Samantha and her beautiful Mother

Mother/daughter relationships are wonderful and maddening all at the same time :) Writing this post and by sharing without putting on the rose colored glasses for you guys - the Lord has cleaned out and exposed that ugliness that had taken root in my heart...I can actually feel the last bit of resentment that was holding on melting away.

So as Mother's Day approaches let's truly honor our mother's. Let us hold a mirror for our mother's and reflect back to them the image God sees when he looks upon them. If we desire to please God....and well, I know that is my goal :) - we should honor our parents. Honoring is not always easy, it is not always fun, and many times it is not possible in our own strength. Truly honoring your parents might mean facing the ugly & the hurts, tackling the resentments, letting go of the judgements and forgiving the mistakes - looking for and cherishing the good, and respecting the hard choices that were made.

Our heavenly Father does not make mistakes - I was truly blessed that God chose my mom for me....and I am blessed today that she is still here so I can remind her and tell her how much I love and appreciate her. I encourage you guys to do the same with your moms (or mother figure in your life).  Maybe it starts with honest prayer about the relationship, maybe you write a heart felt letter or have a heart felt chat rather than sending/giving a standard Hallmark card, or maybe you just simply forgive completely.....Truly honoring them is approaching them as we approach our heavenly Father with love, respect, and thankfulness. No matter if your mom is still on this planet or awaiting your arrival in heaven....being a mom is the hardest job in this world....let's honor them for all they have done and still do every day in our hearts and lives!

Much Love!

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