Updated: Jun 4
The first part of this blog post was added 5/4/2020. I spent too many years expecting others to make my Mother's Day great for me, only to be disappointed because commercials had turned it into this big ideal in my mind of how Mother's Day should look. Well, this week, for Mother's Day week, how bout YOU and I get some well-deserved pampering no matter what anyone else does or doesn't do for us. Self-care isn't selfish. I spent too many years pouring all of me into others and neglecting my body. Now I'm working hard to back-track on my health. Let me encourage you to take time for bringing you replenishing and refreshing moments EVERY SINGLE DAY. What restores you? What fills you? Here's my list, but I would love to hear your list! I hope you'll share some ideas with us.
What restores your soul and body and emotions and mind?
Here's my list:
💞Warm drinks in my favorite mug 💞Future-dreaming with my favorite guy 💞Sitting on my porchswing, feeling the breeze, and looking at my flowers 💞Listening to music by any of my kids 💞Soul conversations with anyone, but especially my family 💞Putting on makeup and primping just a bit (not too much) 💞Window shopping at a small town main street 💞 A play date for my child that includes me getting to visit with another mom 💞I'm learning to deep breath for 10 min before meals and at bedtime and am starting to really like this. It's also a great time to pray - breathing in as I pray for more of God's wisdom, peace, direction, love, self-control. Breath out my worries, fears, bad attitudes, sslefishness. 💞Devotional Time with God (I hope you'll listen to my podcast episodes on Learning to Live a Lifestyle of Feasting with the Father)
Please enjoy my message to mothers from Mother’s Day 5/2018 ...
"The Triple-Decker View of Mother's Day from the Weary Years to the Years of Big Harvest"
When I was a younger mother I remember feeling (secretly) frustrated about the dilemma of sharing Mother’s Day with the generation before me- that I would feel obligated to make a nice meal for my mother or mother-in-law and miss out on the day of pampering that I so craved. It’s not that I didn’t love and appreciate both of them. I did, very much. I couldn’t have asked for a better mother or mother-in-law and they definitely deserved the attention and special treatment. It’s just that I was weary. I mean, after all, as a young mother you’re very sleep deprived, over-worked, and under appreciated. So it makes sense that young moms should get the day off, right? It was my “Weary Blissful Years of Newness.”
Then the kids got old enough that they, with my husband’s help, could make a meal for me and for my mother or mother-in-law. In those years I experienced some sweet cards from my kiddos. I remember one year getting a little video slideshow from my son on Mother’s Day. Those years were the years of small harvest – not too much reaping of appreciation – you know, some handmade cards, maybe a dandelion bouquet. Those cards and small gifts were precious to me and I cherished each one, but I was also keenly aware of all of my mistakes and failures as a mom. Some years I found Mother’s Day to be difficult because I didn’t feel like I was a good enough mom to deserve the attention and recognition. I was in the “Years of Small Harvest” and “Mistaking Years.”
Next came the “Flying from the Nest Years.” These years were characterized by kids who were growing up, moving out, getting married – for a mama, these are years of tears because adjustments are difficult for mamas, but also years of exciting new beginnings! We love seeing our kids grow up and pursue their passions but since they were our passion, we feel a little lost without them to nurture and to guide.
Now I’m the mom in the middle of a triple decker. My mother and mother-in-law are still living and I have a daughter who is a mother. In fact, I was recently thinking that I’m not a part of the “Sandwich Generation” (as some refer to those who are taking care of parents and children). I’m the Triple-Decker Generation (young child of my own at home, grown children and grandchildren that I get to see on visits, and my parents are still living and will need increasing assistance as age begins to master them). The great thing about the triple-decker years is that they don’t just contain lots of generations in my life, they really contain a BIG HARVEST.
It’s the Years of Plenty for this Triple-Decker Generation Mama! My older children are doing great, loving Jesus, and seeing their passions unfold; I’m becoming close friends with my grown kids which is a sublime experience; I’m old enough to not fret about the little things that come up with my not-yet-grown kids because God has proven Himself faithful time after time; I’ve gotten to experience grandmotherhood (sheer delight). Yes, the years of the Triple-Decker Generation are the Years of Great Harvest!
This year, for the first time since I’ve been a mother for 25 years, I’m not going to be with most of my children. This time in my “Triple-Decker Years”, it just wasn’t working out to be with most of the family – our grown children live in another state and had to work; my husband and the younger children traveled to spend this Mother’s Day with my mother-in-law (sadly, she is in the later stages of dementia, is now non-verbal, and we don’t know how many more Mother’s Days she has with us on this side of Heaven.); and I’m home with one of the middles that requires chauffeuring to work. I’m sad for my mom that she won’t be spending Mother’s Day with any children or grandchildren. I’m sympathetic for my daughter that I’m not there to lighten her load on Mother’s Day in the “weary years”, and I’m feeling a little nostalgic about this holiday.
It’s an interesting thing, the combination of Years and Holidays. While holidays are a time for resting, enjoying a change of pace, visiting with those we don’t get to see often enough, holidays are also a time for reflection and gaining of perspective. So what is my perspective, as one speaking from the triple-decker-generation? My perspective is that I didn’t cherish each year of Mother’s Day enough. It was like I would only be satisfied with a dream Mother’s Day. That’s the thing about dreams, they’re not real. So, I was discontent with my Mother’s Days right up to the day I experienced a lonely triple-decker year.
It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally learned that dandelion bouquets are the best…
The reality is that I wasted too much of my Mother’s Days on expectations of how Mother’s Day should be for ME. But now that I’m in the triple-decker years of life, I finally see that it wasn’t supposed to be about my high expectations, not about the dream pampering day that never came.
It was supposed to be about celebrating the title of Mother, celebrating the miracle of life that each child is in our family, and celebrating the bond we have with each of these precious souls that we’ve been entrusted by our Creator to possess for only a short time. I was so focused on me that I missed the celebration! I can be grateful for all of those things no matter who can join me for the day. I’m learning, in these Triple-Decker Years, that I don’t want to waste the best years. The best years are the years that we’ve got right now, just the way they are – with all of their uniqueness, craziness, unexpectedness, accomplishments, weariness, failures, small harvest, large harvest, multi-generational life. Don’t miss your best years lamenting about what isn’t! Savor today.
Take heart-snapshots of these moments and let them shape your perspective on what really matters, what’s worth fretting over, arguing over, or lamenting over, and what we should commemorate on each day that God graciously gives to us.
Happy Mother’s Day, my mom friend.
Gratefully walking this parenting journey right along with you,
Listen to this week's podcast about this blog post topic & also about making the most of evaluating the pace of our family's life. Is it time to learn a slower-pace? Click here to listen to "The Year World Paused. Plus Mothers Day Thoughts from Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM"
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