Here's a riddle: What can be the most difficult task a man and/or a woman can ever take on, the task never ends, you don't get a manual or a set of instructions, and it can be the most important and rewarding thing you ever do? Answer: Being a parent.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mom. Remember when you were younger and people would ask you what do you want to be when you grow up? I always wanted to be a mommy, not the President of the United States, not a secretary or a stewardess, not a princess or a ballerina, but a mommy. I remember as I grew older and that goal didn't change, I wondered what kind of parent would I be like? What kind of parent did I want to be? There was only one person that could be a role model for me and that was my own father.
I have three wonderful siblings. Two amazing sisters and one fabulous brother. My sister Dawn is the eldest, I came in second, my younger sister Jodi came third and my brother Les is the "baby" of the family. And the four of us couldn't be more different from each other. We each have very different personalities and talents and aside from our spouses, we are each other's best friends. Sometimes I think how amazing it is that we are as close to each other as we are because we are so very different. But again, we owe it all to our dad. He had the most amazing way of "meeting" each one of us right where we were. He never treated us like "cookie cutter" kids and he loved us unconditionally, no matter what. God called our dad Home 9 years ago this month and there isn't a day that goes by when we don't miss him and wish he were still here with us.
Dad taught us so many things and I believe we would be hard pressed to list them all, but for me, one of the best things he ever did was give me the best example of what a parent could and should be.
I've discovered as a mom, that there are many "faces" I have to wear. I have to be strict and laid back. I have to impart morals and values without hardening their hearts to God by a judgemental attitude. I have to be a listening ear even when my eyes fly wide open by what I'm hearing without scaring them from ever talking to me again. (And oh boy, there's been a lot of that!)I have to hold them back while helping them "spread their wings". Do I allow them to become so involved in so many different areas that I never see them and when do I step aside and let them make those choices on their own? And above all, I must love them unconditionally, no matter what's going on in my life or theirs.
For several years before Mike & I were married, I was the only parent in their lives on a day to day basis. Did I have the option of leaving them too? Not even once. Have I always made the best decisions for my daughters? Not even close.
We will all stand before the Lord one day and answer for the life He's given us. Will I answer to Him for how I raised His daughters? I believe I will but I pray that He finds me worthy, in spite of all the mistakes I know I've made. I pray I don't stand before Him and blame any one else for the job I did as a mom and with all my heart, I will thank Him for allowing me the "position" in spite of my mistakes.
And so I continue on in spite of knowing I have some fairly tough roads ahead because I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be.
Until next time,