What’ll It Be – Sentimental or Spiritual?

Sundays have been reserved for writing about my spiritual journey for several months now.  Today is Mother’s Day, so I was faced with a choice:  spiritual or sentimental.

Read on and see if you were correct…

I searched my new Quest Bible for scriptures about children and parenting.  As soon as I read Ephesians 6:1-3, I knew I’d found my post:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.

Of course, the first line caught my attention.  I need to print this scripture on decorative paper, frame it and prominently display it in my children’s view.  If I were craftier, I could embroider the scripture on blankets for them, needlepoint it on their pillowcases, and cross-stitch decorative scrolls to hang opposite their beds to ensure that they see it.

I kept reading Ephesians 6:4:

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

And the study text that went with it:

“Paul warns fathers not to create resentment in their children.  This usually occurs when parents impose unreasonable demands without concern for the feelings of the children.”

This made me chuckle.  Just last night, we asked the kids to unload the dishwasher.  They were quite exasperated because they were watching TV.  We didn’t particularly care that they were in the middle of iCarly because they have already seen the episode four times.  To our kids, the request was seen as unreasonable (how dare they have to work.)  I pray that their resentment will fade.

I’m obviously a parent, so now I’m going to share why I love Mother’s Day:  the kids make thoughtful gifts (even though I know their teachers forced encouraged them to) and they shower me with extra hugs and kisses.

Younger son’s gift – I’m the Queen of Hot Dogs

Any other day of the year, getting a hug is like being in a WWF wrestling match…and I can forget about a kiss.

 The exception?  When they are sick and germy – they get real snuggly then.  I uphold my motherly role and wrap my arms around them, sans face mask and hazmat suit.  Yes, when they are sick, I risk my life for them and Mother’s Day is my day of thanks.  You think I’m being melodramatic?  I don’t exaggerate.  Let me tell you about how I walked five miles to school each day in 140-degree heat…(remember, I live in the desert; there is no snow and very few hills.)

I digress.  Today, I will give and receive hugs until my arm muscles feel like they can’t flex again.  I will soak up their appreciation and allow it to blot out the cumulative frustration of their near-constant bickering.  (Because I know that tomorrow, their adoration will not be freely displayed.)

Today, as I am most days, I will be grateful for the beautiful, imperfect gifts that God has given to an equally flawed me:  those blessings that are my children.

So, there you have it – my spiritual and sentimental Mother’s Day post.  That means everyone was correct (or wrong, for any pessimists out there.)  Oh, if you chose “C.,” why are you still reading?  Just curious 🙂

What is it that makes you happy today?

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20 thoughts on “What’ll It Be – Sentimental or Spiritual?

  1. Patty May 8, 2011 / 6:14 AM

    I love the baby gorilla. I’ll never forget how my children saw me when they were children. At a Pre-Kinderkarten even my daughter said that “mommy drove me places” and “daddy plays games with me”. That summed it up right there. I was a chauffeur and my husband was Mr. Fun.

    My children are both college age. My son graduates in less than a week. My role now in their lives is to continue to give and support them as they learn how to fly from the nest. In about a month we will offically be empty nesters as both will have jobs away from home. I am accompanying my daughter to her summer job in another state immediately after the graduation party next week. Then we will be driving my son and eventually moving his belongings to his new job as an engineer next month. I am still the chauffeur.

    As a child I saw my mother as Mrs Happy Go Lucky. I thought she was funny and happy. I am here with my mother today on Mother’s Day. She suffered a heart attack several weeks ago. Her physical heart may be healed but her emotional heart is hurting because she can’t believe that this has happened to her. I wish I had a little of Mrs Happy Go Lucky today.

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2011 / 1:36 PM

      I’m sorry for your mom’s emotional pain. Aging, and the illnesses that go with it, is so hard to watch because there’s really nothing we can do (except be there, of course.) I hope she gets moments of ‘happy go lucky’ back.

      You’re going through your own changes right now in your role as mother. I imagine it would be a difficult transition. I don’t like to think about my boys moving away, even though it very well could happen. They are at the age right now, where they talk about buying a house when they grow up and wanting me to come live them – I’m not going to ruin it by being realistic. I do chuckle because I know their wives wouldn’t be too keen on the idea 🙂

      I hope you enjoy your time with your mom today and have the emotional strength to make it through the next few weeks as your kids move away.

  2. Debbie May 8, 2011 / 7:52 AM

    Enjoy those hugs, germs and all — you’ll miss those little arms around your neck when they’re off to college! I know, long time off, but it rolls around sooner than you think! And I’m sure you’re prettier than that baby gorilla!

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2011 / 1:39 PM

      I have an inkling about how time slips by. Too bad we can’t slow it down a bit!

      I’d like to think I was prettier than a newborn gorilla. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not…but I’m sure I have less hair than a gorilla 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your wise words, Debbie. I will make sure I savor every last germ!

  3. crumbl May 8, 2011 / 9:14 AM

    Happy Mother’s Day, JT. What makes me happy today? For the first time in my experience, both LRHG’s boys remembered (with a little prompting) their mother today. One’s working, but sent an e-card, and the other is coming to dinner, but sent a poem and a link to a song … Tito Puente no less! How many 20 year olds do you know who can spell Tito Puente, much less know who he is? Mom and I both love latin music (we dance on the balcony and the neighbours think we’re nuts … they may be right, but I don’t care), so that was very cool of him to do for mom.

    That they acknowledged her today for the first time in my experience gives me hope and makes me happy. Mom was thrilled. I hope your day is equally special.

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2011 / 1:45 PM

      Oh, that is so nice. I’m happy LRHG was blessed with recognition. And I’m also glad that her happiness brings you such joy. I bet the kids don’t know how much it hurts to not be remembered on Mother’s Day. They have shown that the day isn’t about buying ‘stuff’ for mom and being done with it…they have shown thought (which, in my opinion, is the best gift in the world.) I hope she enjoys the dinner this evening.

      My kids treated me to a ‘show’ this morning. There was some singing and dancing and a raffle where I won the prize of chore coupons. I also got breakfast in bed, which was a sweet gesture. I still haven’t looked in the microwave, because I don’t even want to know what dried-on mess awaits. Later, I say….later.

  4. 1959duke May 8, 2011 / 9:18 AM

    That obey stuff can cause some conflict to say the least! To all of you mothers out there love your children and the love will be returned many times over.

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2011 / 1:48 PM

      When things get tough, I try to remember that they may just look back on their childhood and be grateful that I didn’t let them grow without manners, respect or empathy. Then again, they could look back and decide I was just mean 🙂 Either way, we’re doing our best to get through!

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts, Duke!

  5. Carol Ann Hoel May 8, 2011 / 3:10 PM

    Great post, Janna. Enjoy your children as much as possible. I know you will and you are. They won’t be children for long. They will appreciate you more than ever after having their own children. Your true value will be honored later down the road, when they understand by experience that you sacrificed for them. Blessings to you…

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2011 / 7:41 PM

      I hope so, Carol. I know I make mistakes daily, but I hope they look back and understand that I did my best.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective, from someone who has been here!

  6. Aligaeta May 8, 2011 / 3:56 PM

    Well, reading your post has increased my happiness today. My children are not as mushy now that they’re grown, and understand cuddling without breathing, sneezing, wiping snot, or coughing on me. Yes they out grow that. They comfort and care for me when I am sick which is thankfully rare.

    But it is so nice that they go out of their way one day a year to show their appreciation. I’m glad they don’t get too old for that.

    Enjoy these years my friend, they go too fast!

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2011 / 7:43 PM

      Thank you, Aligaeta – my post making you happy has made my day even better 🙂

      I’m glad your children still show you appreciation as they get older. That is comforting to me. A mother is always a mother and that should be celebrated forever.

      I hope you had a happy Mother’s Day!

  7. Good post Janna. Did you think about your mother much? Both of my boys callled and I talked for four ;hours straight till my phone ear was falling off. They both live in different states. One a n hour away , the other across the continent. The flowers I got were from church. My step children didn’t call. No surprise there. All I can say is enjoy your children now while they are young. they grow up all to fast.

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2011 / 7:50 PM

      Thanks for asking, Clar – I talk to my mom on the phone at least once a week and usually spend Saturday afternoons at my parents’ house. We celebrated Mother’s Day on Saturday because I celebrated my hubby’s birthday today. Yesterday, my parents went to my younger son’s tee-ball game, and then we went out to lunch. Then, we visited at their house for a few hours and ate ice cream. Yum!

      I chose to write about Mother’s Day from a mother’s perspective because my kids’ interactions with me are a bit more entertaining than my interactions with my mom.

      I’m glad your boys called and you had long conversations. It’s too bad your step-children didn’t think to call, though. I do hope you had a nice Mother’s Day overall 🙂

  8. pattisj May 8, 2011 / 8:38 PM

    It makes me happy that I’ve never been compared to a newborn gorilla. 🙂 Thanks for sharing these wonderful things that only young minds can bring forth. You keep doing your best, and God will take care of the rest.

    • jannatwrites May 8, 2011 / 9:11 PM

      Thanks for kind words, Patti. I need all the help God can give me!

      I guess there are worse things than being as pretty as a gorilla…I can’t think of any at the moment, though 😉 It made me laugh because he thought it was a great compliment.

  9. Tori Nelson May 9, 2011 / 7:58 AM

    Haha! New Born Gorilla is the most oddly sweet thing I’ve ever read! Happy Day After Mother’s Day!

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2011 / 8:10 PM

      Yeah, at first I was thinking, “is he trying to tell me I have facial hair and I need to bleach it?” but then I asked him a few questions and realized he just thinks gorillas are cute. Boy, was I relieved!

      I was going to say that I hoped you had a happy Mother’s Day, Tori…but I read your post. Thank goodness for Lysol and Pepto…

  10. Blossom Dreams May 9, 2011 / 9:23 AM

    Thanks for a lovely post 😀 By the way, I love the pics of your gorgeous pets to the right of your blog. Simply adorable xx

    • jannatwrites May 9, 2011 / 8:16 PM

      I’m glad you liked the post, Blossom. Yes, we have a domestic zoo – I’m glad you think our pets are cute. They all have their own personalities, but it does keep things interesting around here!

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