I can recall a lot of really good conversations with my mom growing up. She taught me so much, but honestly, a lot of what she taught me came just as much through how she lived even more than by what she said. People were drawn to my mom.
I was reminded of this recently because my daughter has a lot of my mom's characteristics, and she portrayed one the other day. Sometimes she teaches me just as much as I think I should be teaching her!
There are always tough people in life to love-maybe they are not nice to anyone; maybe they are just not nice to you; maybe they look different or believe differently; maybe they just don't fit in "your circle". My mom exemplified Christ's love. Even when I know there were adults around her who were tough to love, she welcomed them with open arms and allowed them to have a place in her life. I watched it happen many times over. She taught me to love. She taught me to be Jesus to those who needed it. I am not always successful at this, and that was evident the other day (where my daughter's young wisdom comes into the picture).
There is a person in my life who is tough to love, mostly because "they" create friction. I have a mild anxiety disorder, but there are certain things which trigger it. My anxiety level rises when I am around certain people, and often times I find it difficult to communicate clearly what I'd really like to say, because I am trying to watch my words. Also, when my anxiety level rises, I do my best not to communicate, because I know it's not the right timing. Anyway, I had a really challenging and frustrating scenario recently with this person. In the end, I walked away, but I felt so frustrated. Why was it so hard to love them? I'm not totally sure, but in sharing these things with my husband, who has heard it many times, my daughter piped up and says, "Mommy...just show them love. Like Jesus did."
Ouch. Right where it hurts. My own 10 year old daughter giving me a life lesson. She was saying to me words I've said to her when she's come home having had a difficult interaction with a kid at school. she's saying to me what my mom taught me and lived by.
It seems as though when there is a struggle going on in life in any fashion-or something on the heart, like my dreams-God brings it up again and again, in conversations, or in church, or in a book I'm reading. Loving the tough was no exception. This came up more than once over the weekend...perhaps God was trying to speak to me. He knows when I'd most like to talk to my mom-and moments when I have a struggle, I always wish she were here with her wisdom. But He brings it along in other ways- A Bible study lesson, a song....my 10 year old daughter!
This year, on her own accord, my daughter asked me if we could read through the entire Bible together. I have only done that once in my life, and it was a really hard thing to accomplish. I love how my daughter has such maturity and desire, but yet she still has her childlikeness-she's not totally ready to grow up. She collects teddy bears, but she has her 4 favorites, which sit on her bed, and she's always talking about them-Teddy, Grandpa, Polar (the mother), and Snowball (the father). She has an imagination that gives this bear family total personality and it makes me laugh every time and gives me joy to hear her vivid imagination. But her maturity shines through when she sits with me at night as we read through the Bible in a year program. She is soaking in the words and asking a lot of questions and learning a lot right now. It was by no mistake that on Sunday, one of the passages we were reading was talking about praying for our enemies and loving those hard to love. She will often times interrupt my reading to ask about the meaning or to share a thought. Sunday she interjected to share a story about a girl in her class who is very hard to love. We both agreed that we needed to be praying for the ones who are tough to love in our lives.When we finished reading, she did just that. What a precious moment. She is so much like my mom. My mom shines through my daughter. I love that.
I miss my mom, that goes without saying. But she's still there in her wisdom. Sometimes it's words I remember her saying or a story that comes to mind in my memory about her, and our times together. Sometimes it is through times with my daughter. Mom and I used to love to have coffee together. Recently, me and Elizabeth got to go to a play together on a mommy/daughter day. We had such a wonderful time together, and we even sat down for coffee/hot chocolate before the play . I missed my mom in that moment, knowing that 1-she would've been with us probably had she been alive still. 2-she would've loved the entire day of what we were able to enjoy. and 3-I won't have those moments anymore with her. However, it was a very special day for me and Elizabeth. One she and I will always remember. I look forward to many more. Like mother, like granddaughter, I say.