Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Iconic Mother

I was born in 1981, which makes me 37 years old.  I have never been one that has felt the need to hide that ever-increasing number, but instead, I choose to celebrate it as the number of years that I have been blessed with life.  Not one season or year would I take away from this life, even the ones that have hurt the deepest because they have been the markers along the way where I have learned the most. With every tear shed, God has used it to shape me.  With every wrinkle formed, He has reminded me how quickly it all passes, and with every sunrise, He is teaching me to cherish the little heads that rest soundly underneath our roof, still fully dependent on our care, yet only for a bit longer.  

Time.  It has a way of leaving you before you ever realize it was there.  Something tells me that the mothers before me understood this a little better than I. 

Scrolling through Instagram the other day, something struck me that I had not noticed before.  I know, right? Leave it to Instagram to provide my thought-provoking moment of the day.  Did I just say, “I know, right?” Anyway, as I was scrolling through all of the adorable “Momma Bloggers” that I follow, I noticed a theme.  Many of their photos could have been mistaken easily for an old ad in the familiar Southern Living or Parenting Magazine from the late 70s to early 90s.  Everything from the clothes they were wearing, to the set decor, to the hairstyles, it was like stepping back in time, and I loved it.  I loved it so much that I found myself reminiscing back to my childhood and remembering specific styles which mimicked those that are now clearly attempting to take their places back into our closets.  As I was wishing that I had saved more clothes from my childhood, this profound thought came to me.  

“We, as a culture, are longing for a simpler time. We are longing to be the kind of mothers that our mothers were, to take pride in the kinds of things they did, and for our lives to mirror the love and way of life that we, for so many years, have deemed as outdated.  We want to get back to the Iconic Mother.”

So, to every Iconic Mother out there, and in particular to you, Mom, here are a few things we have to say.

Your life was what we can only hope to capture in an image of a moment created for a photo.  Mom, you never had any “followers,” and rarely, did anyone from the outside world know or see your efforts.  You never received a “like” or felt the warmth of a “heart” popping up on a screen as applause for your excellent work, yet somehow, it genuinely seemed to me as though you loved what you did.    

Mom, we want to be like you.  We want to wake up earlier, cook our children a hot breakfast, and remind them before they leave to “remember who they are,” not because we have to, but because we want to.  We want to teach them that manners are still important and that the length of their hemline is as well.  Also, to take food to the sick and visit the widows is equally vital because investing in people face-to-face is essential. 

We want to purchase a large batch of fresh green beans just to give us an excuse to have our kids sit down beside us and snap through conversations.  We want to forget our phones at home and not have a panic attack because we remember that centuries of the women before us managed just fine without one.        

We want to go back to a time when felt boards were our favorite way to learn about the loaf and two fishes, when we learned the books of the Bible, and we practiced our memory verses at the dinner table.  Back when “dinner on-the-ground” was our favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and moms were less concerned about the ingredients used to prepare every dish, but they were more interested that their kids were not the first in line because that was a time when the older and wiser, not the youth, were held in high places of honor.

We want to go back to chores and allowances and not to be afraid that the word “no” was going to scar our children for life, but instead, realize that this simple word often can become one of our greatest acts of love.  We want to remember that instant gratification rarely gratifies, but hard work and piggy banks still remain the most effective way to instill confidence in our children.  Confidence that says, “I am capable, I can do it, I am not owed it, but I can earn it.”

Mom, we want to be you.  We want to go back to a time when “participation trophies” did not exist, and you taught us the importance of winning or losing with grace.  When yes was yes, and no was no, and sometimes, life just didn’t seem fair, but that was okay because it did not have to be.  You taught us that disappointments were inevitable, but they were also a tool for many valuable life lessons.    

Mom, you were and still are a rock star.  You are the Iconic Mother.  You have made such a mark on our society that we are now longing to get back to the simple truths that you laid out for us to follow - to love the way you love and to carry ourselves with dignity.  We confess that we have allowed time to fly by right before our eyes, that we have often captured a photo of the life we long to live, but then, we have failed to live it.  

So, if there is one last thing that I could ask of you, it would be for your prayers.  I do know that you pray because I caught you many times; even when you did not think I was looking, I saw.  See, it has always been your faith that I have admired the most.  Your faith has been the one thing that gave you the strength to love me the way that you did.  I realize now that you never needed the accolades that we crave so much today through the means of “likes” and “hearts” because you drew your strength from a much sturdier source.  A source that we so often place on the back burner.  A source that many times becomes a check mark on our to-do list or the relationship that we will get to when we have a little more time.  But you understood that His source was ALL that you ever needed. He was enough.  I want to understand and believe this more and more with every passing year. Won’t you pray that I will?  I want to spend my days at His feet, touching the hem of His garment, and pouring over His words because I know for certain that they will provide everything I need to fulfill one of the most significant roles that has been bestowed upon me - A Mother.   

Thanks, Mom, you will forever be Iconic.

P.S.  Moms, today we have TIME, we may not have it tomorrow, so do not let it fly by, but grab hold of it like the true blessing it is, and make it into something beautiful.

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