Church events. Soccer games. Band practice. School plays. Basketball games.
I was always an active girl. Maybe not athletically inclined, but I was always involved in something. When I was younger, I played soccer for 8 years. I was terrible at it! Literally terrible. When i was in junior high, I wanted to be involved, so I played basketball-I was terrible at that, too! Really and truly. In high school, I found my niche a bit better with drama and band. The point is, I was active. And you know what? My mom was at all of those things, cheering on my every endeavor.
Dad worked hard and he worked a lot of hours. He was a farmer. I can remember a little radio, quite old fashioned, which sat on the kitchen counter, in the corner, which was a CB radio of sorts. Dad had one in his truck, and he could call on that to say he was coming home, or that he needed mom, or that he needed something. (Before the day of cell phones, of course!) Mom was always responsive. I never heard her complain when dad said he'd be another hour in the field....she just kept dinner warm in the oven, and we'd all wait til he got home to eat. I never heard her moan when he called her out in the middle of something else she was doing. She always put family first.
This isn't to say that mom didn't have her own life or her own activities. She really did have those. Mom went to the women's retreats at church. She had lunch with her friends. She played games with her friends.
Most importantly, I can remember waking up to finding my mom at her desk with her Bible open. God was always her first, I should say. Then dad. Then us.
There was good balance established and displayed in my mom's life, I feel. Mom had good balance as to cleaning and house chores v. time with us. She'd tell me the dishes could wait so she could play a game with me. Then, when I'd go to bed, I could hear the clinking of dishes in the sink. I always felt supported by my mom. In every endeavor.
When I started running, mom was my biggest fan. The first to call after a race. The first to ask me on a phone call if I'd run that day. The first to come watch the kids so I could go for a longer run while Michael was working. The first to see all my pictures. When I endeavored into my first charity event, Relay for Life, mom was there. It was extremely emotional, but she was there for hours, even though she was exhausted. When I had a bad day at work, mom always listened.
I'll be the first to say there are times I struggle to put my family first. Finding that balance for me is really tough. I get up at 4 to have a few minutes of me time. I grab my coffee and pull out my Bible and have time with God....the only way to make it through the day. The way I saw my mom always start her day. Then I often times dress and head out for my runs. Some days I write. Regardless of the morning activity, that is my time. Then the day begins. Work. Homework. Chores. Life. I don't say this to complain at all. I am grateful for my job and I am grateful for being a mom and a wife and having "duties" to perform for my family. I just share this to say I struggle to always put the family first.
I remember many conversations with my mom about how I felt I would never be as good of a mom as she was. It is hard for me to want to sit down and play at night because I am tired. I sometimes get short with the kids and/or Michael over something so silly and unnecessary. Or whatever the case might be....mom used to always respond by telling me that I was just as good of a mom, life was just different for me than it was for her as a mom. I cling to those words some days. I struggle to put family first some days. But I am working on that on a daily basis.
This week, as I said before these posts began, it is natural to be thinking of mom. I miss her still with an ache. However, it has been so wonderful to remember these things in depth this week. I don't sit here to put my mom on a pedestal. She wasn't perfect. That being said, she really did teach me many lessons. Most times through her life just as much if not more than through her words. And many days, those lessons are tucked too far away. So it is good for me to pull them out and remember. And not only to remember, but to apply them. I had a wonderful mom. I was extremely blessed. Mother's day is not the same without her. But I can still celebrate her and all that she taught me. And I can strive to be the best mom possible myself. It is one of my greatest joys (and some days greatest stretching experience!) in life to be a mom.
so, one day at a time, I am working on putting the family first in what I do. But more importantly, putting God first in ALL I do.