Monday, September 8, 2014

My Story :: Mama's Ever-Widening Wings & Giveaway #SuprisedbyMotherhood

I wrote this post as a part of the on-going sharing of my story. Especially, today, I share about the way my mama speaks to me from Heaven as I mother. In the memories, as I am present with them, I see them in a whole new way this side of motherhood.

Today I wrote with a special heart towards Lisa-Jo and her book which also includes her journey through her mother's life as she continues to grieve her loss and find her way. I can relate to her in many ways. Not the least of which is mothering without a mom while also living far from your own home. I am holding a giveaway of her book, Surprised by Motherhood. There is a book club that Lisa-Jo is hosting that starts today. I will run the giveaway through Friday, so come! join in! Whether you are a mother or not, you will love Lisa-Jo's relational style and beautiful writing...
It's a regular afternoon on the farm. Whatever that means. Today finds me inside. I am surrounded by the mustard yellow 70s wallpaper with its matching linoleum counters and floors, My twin and I mirror our mother.

She is with a mom who is new to our church, Donna, as she brings her under her ever-widening wing. So my twin and I do the same thing with her girls. Mom shares recipes and her no-nonsense grit in love, life and mothering amidst the whipping up of dinner. We paint fingernails and toenails and cook up meals with our yellow metal play kitchen.

Donna and her family have moved to Pennsylvania from the Midwest and my mom is doing what she does best. With a heart for the outsider and a soul-deep understanding of the struggle to belong, she reaches out with arms wide, warm and full of come-as-you-are welcome.

Mama holds no title at our church. She has negative time with five kids, their schooling sports, music, etc. duties as chief farm hand and there is always, always the laundry.

Yet she finds time for Donna. Not to check off a box or climb the ladder of self-importance, but because she wants her to know she is loved and seen. 

She pours out the salt that is quintessentially her. No doubt making sure Donna knows she is stronger than she could ever know and 'don't you dare let those kids or your husband push you around!' She has a calling to light the fire in any woman who is in mortal danger of forgetting who she is and what her God has brought her through her whole life through.

I have no idea how rare this is as with little girl eyes I take in the scene.

But I have come to know in places as raw and tender as the child I was then. 

I have born children in three places thousands of miles apart as a strong wind tosses me about this big wide world. 

And in each home, seven in as many years, (though some for mere weeks or months) I have wandered this mommy wilderness. New to places full of moms with kids loaded in and out of mini-vans and the frantic race to do it all. Looking around for someone who will slow long enough to come alongside this mama the distance from earth to heaven from her own.

Where is the Sue to my Donna who will mount up on eagles' wings with her negative time and invite me into the mess and the beauty?

It's a tragedy that compounds my grief at her loss. And its a gift...for the searing has taught me to bleed rather than harden. 

Yet, what I wouldn't give for that pouring forth of gold. To know all that mama said to Donna on that day and many others

As the mystery of the veil would have it, Donna is with mama in Heaven. Now seven daughters roam the earth reaching across thousands of miles and chock-full lives to re-capture what cannot be. To remind one another of the mothers who met in sacred space and forged the way to make it through and a bit stronger each day.

And this daughter is learning that the salty river of her aching memory can preserve the real in a world that has forgotten. Where negative time can be changed into things unseen...things eternal.

 sharing with Jen, Laura, Kelli and Jennifer

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