Friday, September 14, 2012

I was at a ladies seminar recently and attended a workshop about mother/daughter relationships. The speaker, Linda Bergey, titled her talk: Conflict, Companionship or Cruising. Linda spoke with lots of heart, out of deep pain and with complete humility. I was surprised by how deeply her words touched my heart. My eyes brimming with totally unexpected tears made me realize how deeply I desire good things in my relationship with my mom and with my daughter. My hope, my expectations are high. My fear of failure runs almost as high as my hope. Linda said,
    "The mother daughter relationship is one of deep longing because we long to be perfectly loved. By nature of God's design {in a perfect world} we would be perfectly loved by our mothers. Because of that longing to be perfectly loved, the relationship between mother and daughter is the most intense in the family system."
Wow. That was a brand spanking new thought for me, but it made a lot of sense.

Here are a few more of Linda's thoughts that challenged me, encouraged me and half scared me to death all at the same time.
Your daughter is not an extension of you! She was created and designed by God with a totally different personality, different giftings and for a different purpose. Embrace those differences and encourage her in God's purposes for her! (she was not created to fulfill the dreams that you never were able fulfill in your life. -this is my own personal application)
How I view myself will play a huge role the development of my daughter's view of herself. ( example: I am convinced that I'm ugly, people tell her that she looks like me, therefore she concludes that she is not beautiful either) It is important that I develop a godly view of myself MORE for the sake of those I love than for my own personal completeness. (ouch!)
Our sweet little girls grow up to become women. The way they "turn out" feels like a reflection on us or a measure of our success. God  measures our success by how we let our difficulties make us more like him. (difficulties may include conflict with our daughters or disappointment in decisions that our grown daughters have made)
Flight is not an option when conflicts arise with your daughter. The relationship is worth fighting for. It's worth giving all of yourself  (being extremely vulnerable) in moving towards resolution.
Excellence in relationships is something to strive for.  Perfection is God's business. Accepting grace, admitting failure, asking forgiveness, a willingness to make new beginnings...that's my tall order as the mother.
  IMG_2923 IMG_2930
*celebrating the end of 2nd grade with a mother/daughter slumber party!!!
See why I'm crazily hopeful and scared silly about raising  this daughter of mine??? It feels a little tricky being a daughter and a mother at the same time to two totally different ladies. I'm speaking to myself primarily as a mother here today. That does not mean that I do not have questions about my role as a daughter or that I do not feel the need to grow in grace even as a grown daughter.

Older and younger

Yesterday I got to share my day with two of the finest ladies in the world!!!
First, our family celebrated Sister Eva's 87th birthday with her over her favorite dinner menu: Spaghetti and meatballs. Sister Eva is fully alive and in love with life and Jesus. She is a constant encouragement and blessing to me. When Amos asked her if she has any big plans for the year ahead she responded with enthusiasm: " Why, yes!!!! I want to learn to know Him better!!!!" She loves Jesus with all her heart and there are rivers of life flowing out of her. I receive deeply from His life and love flowing through her. I love her.
The sugar sprinkled on the whipped cream of the evening was meeting up with my friend Rosanne about 9:00 pm. Since we both love walking in the city, we opted for a walk downtown which included a quick stop by Walgreens to buy something that they didn't carry and then a nice long sit on a bench in the Diamond by the Shippen fountain talking, of course, the entire time. I love being with Rosanne. She is almost 10 years younger than me but as sisters in Christ the gap seems nonexistent. I love the hope and energy and passion that she brings to life. Her love for Jesus and for all people (especially children!) inspires and challenges me. She is one of those people that would give away her cloak and coat to a person in need. Sometimes I feel like I am walking with a modern day Mother Teresa when I am with Rosanne. She has enriched my life and I love her.
She is moving to Baltimore later this week to live and work at a daycare/school. She is perfectly suited for the job. She will be missed here in Meadville. I made this collage in appreciation for all her time, energy, passion, love she poured into the lives of the children here in our town. I loved working along side her this past year at kid's club.
The older lady and the younger lady, as we measure life here on earth... I love them both. I can't imagine my life without either of them. God has been so good and perfect in the way He has brought women of all ages, stages, maturity, race, grace into my life.