The Chance to Love and Be Loved Exists No Matter Where You Are

Posts tagged ‘love’

When Holy Spirit Moves

I have blogged about my experiences lately with watching other’s worship and how much it has moved me and inspired me to step further out of my comfort zone and into my free praise of our amazing Father. I have been at conventions and other churches that are doing worship the way I feel is the right way for me. They go up front during the music and they sway or jump or dance around. I’ve witnessed worship like I never had before, at these conventions and churches I’ve visited. After I became comfortable with it and began to understand it, I started to crave that freedom myself! I’ve heard others say that when they aren’t finding what they needed in their own church, they left, seeking it somewhere else. I couldn’t imagine leaving my church! These people are more than just bodies standing next to or around me as I worship and learn more about God. These people are more than just friends that I enjoy seeing! They are my family! Not family that I chose for myself, but family that my Father, Abba chose for me! So, I couldn’t just leave and tell them that they are not enough for me! Besides, in loving them, I want what is best for them, too. I want them to experience the freedom that I have found, the love that I have come to know. I want them to be totally consumed with Holy Spirit, to the point that they are not afraid to become “fools for Christ!” (1 Corinthians 4:10)

I had a vision about 6 months ago where I met Jesus, and in our conversation, He told me that I am never to be ashamed of how I worship. EVER! He also told me that there is absolutely NO WRONG WAY to worship, and that no way of worshiping is valued more than any other. If you are worshiping from the heart, and being obedient to how you are being told to worship by Abba, then you are doing everything correctly! If you’re way of worshiping is to just sit there and bask in His presence, or to kneel on the ground, face down, or, like me, to dance and jump with joy, you are doing it right! No one has the right to tell you that if you are still, you aren’t worshiping! Your worship is between you and Abba ONLY! And once you are actually worshiping in earnest, the devil will definitely attack you with your own thoughts. Since my way of worship is so out loud and boisterous, I am constantly afraid that people will think that I am seeking attention for myself, that I am looking for the spotlight. The only spotlight I am seeking is one that comes from my Father. I worship for an audience of One! If you see me and it inspires you to step out of your comfort zone and worship with me, that’s awesome! But my worship isn’t for you. I welcome any and everyone to worship with me, and, in fact, it makes my worship even more enjoyable!

So, with all of that being said, I have been praying for the change in my church that I need so badly. I have been trying to be obedient to God and have been walking down front to dance when I feel He is calling me to. Sometimes a few of my friends will join me, and sometimes, I’m all lone, worrying if others think I’m dancing there, screaming for them to look at me! (That’s the devil talking to me!)

Last week, I was all alone again. I enjoyed my time with Abba, but felt defeated. I felt like it really wasn’t going to ever happen and that I would continue to worship alone up front. I was asking God, do I stop? Do I give up? What would You have me to do? It isn’t working! Could I possibly be the only one who is moved to dance during worship?! I mean, I have my girlfriends, and they dance with me at our seats, and every once in a while they go up front with me, and I love all of that! But I need more! Then, at a class this week, I was inspired through a prophetic word from a friend to try once more. And another friend and I spoke at a lady’s gathering we had at church. Both of us spoke about worshiping down front and how we wished others would join us. Then came Sunday. The music was intoxicating and I was so moved, that I don’t think I could have stayed in my seat if I had wanted to! I walked down front and when I got to my place, I turned around and there were 7 ladies who had joined me! 7!!!! My lucky number and one of God’s favorite numbers! I felt blessed beyond measure! I felt like God had heard my cries and had answered them by inspiring others! I began to cry and I couldn’t contain myself! I wanted to celebrate the love that my Father had shown me! I wanted to scream with joy! As each song played, I could feel Holy Spirit wrap Himself around me closer and tighter, and I just gave myself to Him! I was so overjoyed! Then, the last song came on, and part of the words were, “Yes, Lord, Yes, Lord, Yes, Yes, Lord!” I changed the words to, “More, Lord! More, Lord! More, More Lord!!!” I became overcome with His presence. I was told to get on my knees to worship, so I did. I cried even more and my joy overflowed, and I began to laugh uncontrollably, to the point that I couldn’t stop. It felt so good in that moment (even if it was a little awkward that I was the only one laughing). Then, a friend came to pray for me, and as she touched my shoulder, she fell into fits of laughter, too. What an amazing moment that was! I’d witnessed what they call “Laughing in Spirit,” but I hadn’t really experienced it to that extent. It was overwhelming and uncontrollable. It was a beautiful moment!

Now, I know that my dream of worshiping up front with my brothers and sisters in Christ WILL come true! The flood gates have opened! I just pray that the devil doesn’t stop anyone from joining me. He can be pretty tricky and very powerful, but my God is BIGGER and even more POWERFUL! Thank you, Abba, for loving me the way that you do! And to everyone else, never stop worshiping, in whatever way that is for you!

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I Love the Skin You’re In!

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A friend of mine raises chickens at her house out in the country. She has a beautiful home with lots of room for kids to run and play, and for chickens to lay eggs. I had recently started a diet and was trying to eat healthier foods, so I asked if I could buy some of her home grown eggs. She brought them to church and I took them home. That afternoon, I opened my carton of eggs to see what they looked like when they came from a “farm”. I was used to the beautiful, pure-looking, solid white, same shape, same size eggs that I get from the grocery store. These were definitely NOT those eggs! These were all different shapes and sizes, not to mention the colors! They all had a different shade of brown. Some were very light tan, while others were very dark brown. As I gazed upon them, God spoke to me. He pointed out their differences and how, from just looking at the shells, I would say they were not the same. But if I were to crack them open, they would all have the same contents on the inside. Sure, some might also have a little more yolk, but they would still pretty much all taste the same. You might look at one egg and think that the color or the shape would make it taste different, but if you were to brake them open and cook them, not knowing which egg it came from, you would never be able to tell me which egg came from which shell.

I suppose that, this being February, the month we celebrate Black History, this topic might have been on my mind a bit already, but I feel like the Lord has been speaking to me more this year about this than He had previously. I have never thought of myself as prejudice, and still do not. I love all people, regardless of race, background, or any other defining characteristic. It really bothers me that this is even an issue, but I know that it is still felt deeply by people that I care a lot about. And their pain has caused me to look around a bit more this year. I have realized that I live in a “privileged” world, where things might be directed more towards my comfort, and this makes me sad. What I’m referring to are ads and TV programs, and probably more, if I really stopped to consider it. At first, I thought this wasn’t true, but then, I started to notice that some of the black children in my Sunday School class colored their papers with people in them the peach tones that we refer to as white. They didn’t add the brown skin tones that I thought that they should. I asked one little girl why she had colored them white. She said “because they WERE white!” I looked at them, and I could see why she would say that. I thought they would still have looked just as nice with a little color to their skin, but what made me sad was that she didn’t even hesitate in making them white. The following Sunday, she did the same thing. Did this mean that she was programmed to always think that, when looking at a blank black and white picture, the people were always white?! How sad!

As little girls, we are given dolls that reflect who we are, so that we can relate to them better. Shouldn’t that be the way we color pictures, too? Not that a child of one race couldn’t color a picture of people of a different race. There is nothing wrong with that at all! In fact, I find that beautiful and healthy! But when that child only colors people a specific race, other than the one they are, what message does that say she is getting? This particular girl is absolutely beautiful! It’s not just about her skin color, it’s about her beautiful, cheerful eyes that light up wherever she goes! It’s about that breath-taking smile that makes my heart happy when I see her. It’s about that beautiful, happy-go-lucky personality that I see in her every single time I am with her! I want her to be proud of who she is and where she comes from and to know, she was made perfectly, by loving hands that were excited about her existence, that she is cared for by a King that loved her enough to die just for HER! And it didn’t matter to Him what her skin color was! I never want the word “prejudice” to enter her naive ears or to stain her pure heart, or any other child’s for that matter! I want her to look at a white child or an Asian child or any other child and see their color differences, but for it not to matter any more than having different colored hair or eyes. It’s just a part of who that child is, but doesn’t change their value or their worth!

As I was driving home today, I was thinking about this blog, and trying to figure out how to write it, and to convey the love that I have for all of God’s people. I didn’t want to come off wrong or offend anyone. This was just what was on my heart. Then, a thought occurred to me. I thought about how white people have a white Jesus, while black people have a black Jesus. I remembered a sermon my pastor had given me that really changed how I viewed Jesus. The topic was the truths about who Jesus really was. He said, after studying the Bible, he’d come to the conclusion that Jesus was probably not attractive at all! In fact, He was probably very homely looking. This was because the Bible is always quick to refer to someone as attractive, if they were. But that description was never given for Jesus. Well, there went any and every picture I’d ever seen of Jesus!

He went on to say that Jesus DEFINITELY was NOT white! This didn’t really surprise me much, since it wouldn’t make much sense that He’d be white, anyway. But my pastor also said that He likely wasn’t black either. He was probably middle eastern, or a similar race.

As I was reflecting on this sermon today, I asked Jesus, “What color were You? Am I allowed to know that? Is that something I can even ask you?! If we were made in Your image, who’s image was made first? A black man or a white man, or someone else?” His reply to me was, “Why does it matter?! Call me a patchwork quilt, because all men were made in My image. No color is wrong or right. I reflect all colors, just like a patchwork quilt.”

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This was a beautiful thought to me. How perfect an answer! Why does it really matter?! It doesn’t! Jesus died for ALL of us, and He didn’t care the color of our skin! He knew that, just like my eggs, our shells mean nothing. It’s what’s on the inside that matters! It’s how we treat each other that matters. It’s how we LOVE each other that matters! Jesus didn’t say, “Love the people who look like you or act like you.” No, He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 

So, no matter who or where you are, what you look like, how tall you are, what shape you are in, what color hair, eyes or skin you have, I love you! And so does our Maker!!! He made YOU perfectly, with loving hands that were excited about YOUR existence! YOU are cared for by a King that loved you enough to die just for YOU! How exciting is that?! Oh, how I love our Abba, who first loved us! I truly am a blessed child of God, and so are you!

I Believe…

I know that I am still working on part 2 of day 2 of my mission, but something happened to me last week that I feel begs to be told.

I was cleaning out some old junk from my mother’s basement and somewhere along the line, I sprained my ankle. It wasn’t one of those sprains where you KNOW when you did it. It was more like I must have twisted my ankle the wrong way at some point and didn’t feel it until I had slowed down after I was close to finishing. I was taking some things out to the trash can when it suddenly started to throb to the point that I couldn’t even put weight on it. I hobbled back inside and told my mom I was finished for the night. I prayed over it and asked God to please, PLEASE heal my ankle! I had a long walk from the parking garage to the chair in my office every morning. I couldn’t imagine that walk while having to limp like this.

When I woke in the morning, the pain was still there. I hobbled around the house getting my daughter and myself ready and out the door, praying again for healing for my ankle. I dropped her off at school, then drove the 5 minutes to my work, parked, and made the long trek (which isn’t really that long on a healthy ankle) into my office. It did take me longer, and it really sucked.

As I sat down at my desk, I felt defeated. My ankle was really hurting by that time and I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t healing it. I’d seen videos and heard about friends who had been healed. I had gone to a prayer night at a local church and even had someone pray over my knees, which had been hurting, and they were healed then. That same night, I had been told that I was destined to be a healer one day. I had felt unworthy, but was willing. But as I sat there, I wondered if that really was something I’d ever be able to do, especially if I couldn’t even heal myself! I was doubting not only myself, but the message I had been given. I asked God, “What am I doing wrong? Why aren’t you healing me!”

Then, I heard him. “Walk expectantly.”

What? So, that was what I was missing?

Just then, my boss asked me if I would create a list of our items in stock in another room. It would take me a bit of time and I would need to be on my feet the whole time, walking around the whole while.

So, here goes, I thought. I gave myself a pep talk. I know for a fact that God loves me, and I know that He wants to heal me. I just had to believe it. Then, the story of the woman who was sick and simply touched Jesus’ cloak flashed across my mind.

43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”  

Luke 8:43-48

And I heard the verse:

29 ….“According to your faith be it done to you.” 

Matthew 9:29

Oh, so, I now I understood! Jesus wanted to heal me, and was probably trying to, but I needed to believe He would and that He was able to. This wasn’t just a “maybe He will, maybe He won’t” kind of thing. After all, the Bible says that if we ask for things, God will give them to us.

“WALK EXPECTANTLY!”

I heard again. So, I got up, and walked into the storage room. NO PAIN! It was absolutely pain free! I’m not making this up! It really happened! Not only did I walk into the stock room, but I put on my earbuds and I danced around as I scanned all of our items!

Later that night, as I relaxed at home, the pain returned just a bit. I thought, Now, why is it returning? Was it only temporary or do I have to do this whole thing over again?

“WALK EXPECTANTLY,” I heard again. What I realized was that I had been sitting there, thinking about how much it had hurt that morning, and how it felt so much better now. Was it real? Had that really happened, or was it just one of those weird pains that is there and then somehow just goes away. and had coincidentally gone as I had prayed. Was I making this all up in my head?

Then, God reminded me of the story of Peter, as he walked on the water towards Jesus. He had no problems until he looked away. The moment he stopped focusing on Jesus and started to worry that he would sink into the water, he did just that! He started to sink! So, what God was trying to tell me was that I needed to remember to focus on Him! To remember that He had healed me. And every time that pain or any other issue would rise up, I simply needed to focus on Jesus and I would make it through and everything would turn out fine! It was an amazing awakening. Since then, my ankle has not hurt again. I began praying and believing in healing for my knees and my feet and everything has been fine! I feel so much better!

To be clear, I no longer believe in coincidence. I don’t believe things “just happen at the exact right time.” I believe those are God moments. But every once in a while, I have a moment where the thought “what if” creeps into my mind. I just have to remember to squash that thought! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS COINCIDENCE! I have no doubt that Jesus healed my ankle that day, and I have no doubt that He is preparing me for something more, something bigger! When I step up and make the full commitment, that’s when He will start setting things into motion. One day, I WILL be a healer! One day, I WILL be out on the streets healing God’ children! Just like Jesus did. Just like Todd White does now, and many others as well.

Adventure Awaits

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So, it’s been a long time since I blogged, and with good reason! My family has recently picked up and moved to another country… as in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands! If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you’ll know that I was having a pretty tough time letting go of all of my belongings and trying to decide what to take and what to leave behind. It got even harder when my Hubbs called one night and said, “Instead of shipping a bunch of boxes over here, why don’t you just see what you can fit into your suitcases and we’ll replace what we really need.” At first I thought that was a great idea! Then, I realized I had to go back through all of my things that I had set aside under the “SHIP” sign. It didn’t look like a mountain before, but looking back at it again, it gave Mt. Kilimanjaro a run for her money! In the end, with the help of my wonderful mother, I was able to get the essentials into 4 suitcases and 4 carry-ons, with the promise that a few extra items would be shipped down for me in a week or two. And then, after a few parties and well wishes from loved one,we were on our way to our new adventure!

Three planes and one water ferry later (and more than a few hours late), we arrived in our new home! It was dark when we landed, so we couldn’t see much, except the stars! There were billions of them! There were so many stars that it was impossible to find the familiar constellations that I always looked for back home! It was as if God had been sprinkling the skies with stars that He had in a jar and He must have tripped and got them everywhere!!! They were exceptional!

My Hubbs awaited us just beyond the customs booth. We tiredly fell into his waiting arms and he asked if we were hungry and if we wanted to go to his restaurant and eat. We were both exhausted and famished. We’d had no time to get anything to eat during our travels, as we ran (literally) from plane to plane. Luckily, the restaurant was just across the street, so we didn’t have far to go. We loaded our luggage into a closet and headed for our table. The staff was very friendly and they all came up to introduce themselves. My Hubb’s bosses (a lovely married couple) came and chatted with us a bit. The more I spoke to them, the more I saw what my husband had seen on his first trip. They were very kind and hospitable. They were warm and welcoming and seemed honestly interested in my daughter and me. I saw that my husband was definitely in good hands there.

After a delicious meal of grouper and fries, followed by chocolate gelato, we sat on a nearby couch to wait for the Hubbs to finish his shift. Our daughter ended up falling asleep in my lap and I patiently waited, as I listened to my fellow patrons enjoying their meals and fought with Mr. Sandman to keep myself awake. It was a good thing our daughter had taken a nap, because her daddy had gotten her a Christmas gift that would not wait until morning!

We took a taxi up a mountain to our house, and as we approached the driveway, my Hubbs turns to me and says, “You’re gonna love this!” I look out the front window and it was as if the world just fell away, and the driver was still moving ahead! Our driveway was literally so steep that I couldn’t even see it before us for a few moments. It was actually terrifying, and my wonderful Hubbs thought it was the funniest thing in the world. If you ever need a good work out, come trek up and down my drive way a few times. That will work you out!

Once in the house, my Hubbs asks our daughter if she’s ready for her first gift. She tiredly rubs her eyes and nods her sleepy head. He opens the bathroom door and out bounds this tiny, adorable dog! Marley is her name. Our daughter squeals and, of course, is instantly wide awake! It took an hour or more to get her to sleep after that.

The next morning, I woke before anyone else in the house, which is typical. Can’t I ever just sleep in?! I guess it’s just not in the cards for me. I’m a doer, not a sleeper, I suppose. I went out onto the porch and got the first views of our new surroundings. We’re up so high on the mountain, you can see forever! The water is a brilliant turquoise blue, and there are all kinds of ships out on the water: cruise ships, pirate ships, catamarans, and smaller, personal boats. We’d traded in parking lots for boat docks. The air was fresh and the breeze was wonderful! The lush green foliage blended so beautifully to make a picture perfect scene. It looked like something out of a travel magazine.

My husband took us to a beach that day and we washed away the chill of the 11 degree weather we’d run from. We swam in the clear, blue waters and basked in the sun as we hunted for shells on the beach. I had left the house that morning with snow white skin, and returned that afternoon with red lobster skin. It was a small price to pay for the wonderful memories we had made that day.

I still have my worries and it’s still all so new and different. I’m still missing my life back in Cincinnati, but this new life is so promising! There are so many new things to explore, people to meet, places to go, wildlife that we haven’t seen. It’s an adventure for sure, and one that I am finally ready to take on! I have so much more that I want to tell you, but for now, I think I’ve made you jealous enough. Until next time….

 

Life is Hard Sometimes

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Having a rough day today. Having to go through everything in your house and decide if it is important or not is hard. It’s like being forced to take a look back at your life and being asked if this memory is important enough to hold on to. The sentimental side of me keeps saying, “YES! YES! Hang on to that!” But the practical side says, “Come on, how many times in the past year have you actually picked that up or even thought about it?” It’s so hard to categorize everything in this house and let go of things. I keep getting choked up over pictures that my Youngling has made for us or a card from a friend or even my Hubbs. I spend minutes with that card in my hand hanging over the garbage can, and then the KEEP pile, and then back to the garbage. I throw it away only to come back for it minutes later, deciding that I can’t let it go. And then laughing at my silliness, I let it go, only to wonder if that was the right decision. This is probably the toughest move I have ever made, and my partner in crime isn’t even here to help me through it. That’s even harder.

For the most part, I’m ok with that. I don’t like it, but I don’t let it get me down. Most days I can smile and laugh and go about my day just fine. But days like today, on this windy, rainy,  gray day, all I want to do is cuddle up next to him and have him hold me and tell me it will all be ok, even though I already know that. I know that my life in the Caribbean is going to be amazing! I know that I have a fabulous adventure ahead of me, that, if given the chance, I wouldn’t pass up. I know that we are going to experience some pretty spectacular things that some people only dream about. I know how lucky I am. But in this moment, that doesn’t make it any easier.

I feel like there is so much left to do here in Cincinnati. There are so many things that I wanted to do. I wanted my baby girl to grow up in the same school until she graduated. Have the same friends all through school that she kept in contact with for her whole life, like mine and my Hubb’s friends. I wanted to grow old in this house. I wanted to grow old with my girlfriends and have those silly memories of when “Sally” got locked out of her house and I had to come rescue her, or whatever. Join knitting clubs, and sewing clubs, or reading clubs with my girlfriends. I wanted to be in the lives of my nieces and nephews, so I wasn’t just a sometimes Aunt. I wanted to be the favorite. There is so much that I wanted.

And I am fully aware that I can still have these things in the next place I go to. It’s just that I thought I was living in that place now. I have come to terms with the fact that, being married to a talented, ambitious chef, I am pretty much signing my life over to him to do with as he pleases… in a manner of speaking. It’s like being an Army wife. He goes where the duty calls. We could choose to stay here in Cincinnati, but then his career might become stagnant. And his happiness might dwindle, and then what kind of life is that for us?!

Anyway, my point is, I’m just having one of those sentimental, emotional, cry-baby kind of bad days. Can’t wait to get past it so I can be happy again. But then again, there might be more of these in my future! Oh brother!

Aside

Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day is quickly approaching, and as it is, all of us, sons and daughters both, are running around trying to think of the perfect gift for that one man who has done so much in our lives. I had a friend ask me the other day if I thought dads really did enjoy getting ties for Father’s Day. I said that maybe some do, maybe if they are professional business men. Other than that, I don’t suppose they do. But yet, we give them these ties every year. So, we went through a list of gift ideas and tried to think of something that our dads didn’t already have.

You know what the problem is with getting a grown man a gift? Like most adults with jobs, if they want something, they go out and get it. They usually have everything they need! Sure, you can buy them another car wash gift certificate packet. They could always use more of those. But, is it going to mean anything?! Are they going to look back at that car wash years from now and think, “Wow, my kid really loves me?” Probably not. So, the question still stands, what is the best gift to give your father?

Reflecting back to memories shared with my own father sometimes helps me to come up with the perfect gift idea! I think my favorite memory is of the day that I was playing in my room with my dolls. He called me to come into the living room quickly! So, I ran into the room and he was sitting on one of the chairs with the radio on. He said, “Do you hear this song? They made up a song about you!” It was the Rolling Stones playing “Angie”. He patted his knee and I crawled up into his lap. He sang the whole song to me while I looked up into his eyes with awe. I don’t remember if he sang it well, or if he said all the right words. But I do remember feeling loved. My daddy was singing a song that was written about me and was playing on the radio! I was thrilled! Best memory ever!

I also remember a vacation where we stayed at a hotel on the beach. Early one morning, before the sun even came up, my dad woke my brother and me up, whispering to tell us to hurry up and get dressed, but be quiet so we didn’t wake anyone else up. I slipped out of my pj’s and put on my shirt and shorts and we quietly tip toed out the door. We walked on the peaceful beach until we found a good spot and sat down and watched the sun come up. It was the first sunrise I think I’d ever seen. It was beautiful, and I shared it with my brother and my dad!

Thinking back on these beloved memories, I wonder what I could do to show my father that I love him and am thankful for the memories that he has created for our family. And the answer comes to me! Create more memories! Father’s Day isn’t about buying your father something. It’s about celebrating the memories and the love he has shared with you! It’s about thanking him for being a great dad to you. Thanking him for everything he has taught you, for every time he has worried about you, or been proud of you. Thanking him for a lifetime of love. So, the only real way to honor that is by sharing with him the one thing money can’t buy, your time!

So, whatever that means to you, be it taking your father on a picnic, or going to a ball game, your valuable time is the most precious gift you can give to your father! One that I am sure you both will cherish for years to come.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there. I hope you have a wonderful, fun filled day packed with beautiful memories!

I Think I Swallowed My Mother!!!

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When I was younger, my mother would dole out advice as easily as the wind blows through an open window. And, of course, like any other good daughter, I’d roll my eyes, and say, “Sure, whatever, Mom.” And then absolutely ignore her! I didn’t want to hear it, because she didn’t know what she was talking about! In one ear and out the other. It didn’t even have time to make a mark on my brain. Didn’t even register… Or so I thought!

I sometimes think that we all have an old Bata computer locked away somewhere in the back of our brains. It picks up all that useless advice and information that we think we leave behind and forget about. Then, it spits it out just when we need it. I know, because this happens to me all the time! Sometimes without me even realizing it until much later.

My mother’s words fly out of my mouth so fast, sometimes I wonder if I could have possibly swallowed her and now she is yelling to people for help from the pit of my stomach, all the while giving out much needed advice to help better everyone’s life! Now, this may sound like I am complaining. Let me assure you that I am not! My mother is and always has been an amazingly intelligent woman! She knows things that you can only find on Google! She’s like my own personal Google, MapQuest, and Nature Guide all rolled into one. So, if anyone is more intelligent, it’s her, not me! I try to be just like her, all the while hating myself for turning into my mother… Believe me, it’s a very strange place to be in! But this amazing woman is one of my very best and closest friends. So, having her words fly out of my mouth is an honor. But, it’s funny how many times we, as teenagers, and maybe even still today, think that we know better than our mothers and then get upset when our children threat us the same way. I try to remind myself every now and then how intelligent my mother is, and I try, when I feel like I am not listening again and maybe thinking that I am smarter or that I know better, to take a deep breath and listen, just listen. I try to remember that no matter who is right, she or I, that she gives me the advice with love and for the purpose of helping me out, and that she usually knows something that I don’t… well, Google almost ALWAYS knows something we don’t, right?!

I look at my daughter and wonder if she will ever feel the same about me. I hope that she does. I realize that some day, all too soon, she will be a teenager and she will be the one thinking that I know nothing. That I am the one who is clueless. I relish the fact that right now, I am the smartest woman she knows (her words, not mine). I wish that she would feel that way forever, but we all know that nothing stays the same, especially when hormones get involved! But I know that we will make it through, just as my mother and I did.

When I was a teenager, we rarely got into fights. She would usually step back and let me have my fit. Then, once I saw how silly I was being, she would help me to see the truth, to see where I was wrong… And then, she would tell me my punishment for misbehaving! lol Her favorite story to tell all my friends is of the day that we (mostly me) got into a screaming match and she asked me to go to my room to cool off. I did, but slammed my bedroom door as hard as I could! My punishment for that? She confiscated my door until I could learn how to shut it properly! That made changing my clothes hard! 😉 But once I earned it back, I didn’t slam it again. Well, once, but I promptly opened it again and apologized. Lesson learned!

While in basic training for the Army, many of the girls were having a hard time. Their parents or boyfriends weren’t writing to them or weren’t writing often enough. They were struggling with the Army’s difficult routines and lifestyle. Somewhere from my Bata computer came the words they needed to comfort them. They were amazed  and impressed. They said I was so smart, and asked how I knew just what to say. I told them it just came naturally, but really, it was my mother speaking from the pit of my stomach. It was all those years of her repeated advice, the words I thought that I had ignored. During one of our very rare phone calls from basic, I told her how amazed I was. That I thought that I had been ignoring her, but somehow had captured all those invaluable words she had so easily doled out on my brother and me. I had brought her with me to basic, one of the most difficult times of my life, when I had needed my mother so much. I also told her about the struggles my friends were going through. And do you know what my amazing mother did?! She sent THEM letters and notes and mail, but most importantly, she sent them a mother’s love. And they felt it. They told me what I already knew, that I was one of the luckiest daughters in the world. I had a mother whose love was so big, she shared it even with complete strangers that she had never met. She made a rough time in our lives a little more bearable. I will never forget that.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is, if I do turn out like my mother, I couldn’t imagine a better person to be. If I did swallow her words, her advice, I couldn’t imagine a sweeter flavor to consume. My mother truly is a one of a kind person, and I should be so lucky to turn out just like her… even if I do fight it sometimes. 😉

Oh, and Mom, I forbid you to use this knowledge against me in any future disagreements! Ha! Love you, Mom! You’re the best!!!!