Allow me to begin this article with an excerpt from “From Fear to Love: Lenten Reflections on the Parable of the Prodigal Son,” by Henri Nouwen, one of the great spiritual writers of the twentieth century.
“Your life is a beautiful and mysterious story and without any doubt your story reveals that you have been wounded along the way. You’ve been wounded because you received God’s first love through the brokenness of those who reflected that love to you – your father, your mother, your brother, your sister. They are people who loved you to a greater or lesser degree, but who were limited because of the wounds of their own lives. Sometimes they loved you in ways that were painful for you. They wounded you – not because they wanted to, but because they are broken people.
Within each of us is a kind of deep breakage that is often called original sin. Our parents inherited it. So did you and I. We were each born to love but we cannot love unconditionally. This is wonderful and it is terrible. We grow because of it and we suffer because of it.
What is important is that we try to integrate this wondrous and incredible mystery: we have been touched with God’s first love through channels that were broken. Through our woundedness we are ushered into the true experience of that “first love.” “Blessed are the poor” begins to make sense in this context.
I thank my mom for…
1.Being instrumental to my journey towards spiritual wholeness. Whatever brokenness I carried with me growing up, however ugly they may have been, ultimately brought me back to my first love. 🙂
Nouwen’s words speak volumes to me, especially to my heart as my mother’s daughter. It was only recently that I realized how deeply wounded I was by my own mother. Now, before you come concluding that this is mother-bashing rather than a tribute, allow me to say that it was through that wound that God has brought healing to my life. It became an avenue for me as I tap into those wounded places in my heart and allowed the Lord to minister to them. It was through those wounds that I have experienced afresh how unlimited God’s grace is. How in those places that I was not “mothered,” the Lord is able to fill and cover. I love my Mama deeply and to this day, even as the Lord isn’t done yet with the healing that He began in my heart, my desire is to have a relationship with my mother. My heart longs to know her intimately behind all the pain that manifests through her actions. Like me, she was parented by equally broken people that made her mother me the way she did.
While ours may not be a very ideal mother-daughter relationship, there are valuable things I learned from her.
Especially in the area of finances. Now this is something I truly deeply admire about my mother. Although there are a whole lot of times that I find that she tends to overkill it, I have witnessed for myself how her prudence has resulted to tangible rewards. I’m confident about my own integrity on finances because although I might not be as good as my mother is in this area, I have been “educated” by the way she was wise in how she handled money. That tells a lot about a person and I thank God that I’ve embraced that through her example. She worked as a regular employee before she retired but she managed to finance us our home, which we continue to pay as if we loaned from Pag-ibig. Which is only right, since that’s her retirement money. Not a lot of regular employee retirees are able to finance a house.
3. I learned to be a good mother.
As soon as my husband and I learned that I was pregnant, my resolve was to be the best mother that I could be. There are a few things that I was passionate about and doing my best as a mother was one of them. It then resulted to my agreeing with the hubby almost instantly when he spelled out the prospect of us homeschooling. He didn’t have to do a lot of convincing before I said yes. There was zero confidence in me that I can pull it off, but because I knew nothing is impossible when one’s heart is in it – I just lay my treasure where my heart is and so far, so good. Homeschooling for 6 years now and counting!
If I was brought up differently, I’m not so sure I’d be as gung-ho about parenting. In a lot of areas in my life Romans 8:28 rings ever so true. 🙂
My desire is for my admiration and love for my mom to go beyond like that of a spectator, which I think I was for the most part. But as I thoroughly enjoy the healing God has been doing in the broken places of my heart, He is allowing me to see hope. A hope that nothing is impossible with Him. That He is able to breathe in life to dry bones. He is able to redeem the years that the locusts has eaten. I pray that in my own journey of God restoring my heart, I will be able to minister to my loved ones and show them love unconditionally, not because I’m good. But only because I’ve experienced for myself the transforming power of God’s grace in my life.
I’m actually thrilled to be going on a date with my mom soon. I’ve booked her to a hotel lunch date. Something we haven’t done before. A mother-daughter date. And because it’s not so practical to go “bongga” and hotel-date her every time. We’re prudent girls, remember? We are going to take advantage of Jollibee’s big savings on our favorite langhap-sarap pair. Just because everyday can be our special day.
From P117, our favorite 1-piece Chicken Joy with Jolly spaghetti Solo is now P99. Giving us P18 in savings. And savings, that’s a big word with my mom. You can bet on it that she’ll gleefully flash her senior citizen card whenever she can. 1-piece Chicken Joy with Jolly Spaghetti Value Meal is only P109 from P122. That’s 13 savings!
I’m sure this won’t stop at our Mother-Daughter date. My son goes out on a date with his Lola once in a while. My son, in fact, is a huge fan fan of Big Burger steak, which he just ordered over their Lola-Apo weekend date. But this coming Mother’s Day, this Jollibee price roll-back will be so perfect to just spend quality time with mom. I know I will. But my heart longs to go beyond just this Mother’s Day. My prayer is that this date will be part of our regular Mother-Daughter routine. 🙂