by Amanda Cleary Eastep
I’m sitting on my patio watching the first drops hit my just-planted hydrangea and clematis, gifts for Mother’s Day from my children. (Well, one picked them out, the other will contribute when she gets paid, and one is working and may have an Indie band mix CD waiting for me in his car.)
The day has been idyllic. Coffee in the morning with my husband, a trip to the nursery where my youngest was offered a summer job (yay!), and the rain politely holding off long enough for a cookout at my parents’.
But not every Mother’s Day has been so kind.
Holidays like this can multiply the present pain of things like loss or divorce or strained relationships. I’ve had those Mother’s Days, too.
I’ll relish this day…a day that looks like a photo taken with a Chrome filter…everything vivid and brilliant and beautiful.
I have a friend going through the most difficult time of her life. There will be a Chrome filter over her day, too. But things may stick out like briars. Like hurt in 3D.
She messaged a group of friends this morning to tell us Happy Mother’s Day and to thank us for helping mend her broken heart. I’m not sure if it was intentional or auto-correct, but her words about us were:
“They ‘life’ me up.”
How beautiful. Isn’t that what we should do for others? Isn’t that especially what we want to do for our children?
More than raise them up. More than train them up. LIFE THEM UP.
As my daughter helped me gently guide the vines of the clematis around the trellis this afternoon, I shared that verse from Proverbs with her.
“Train up a child in the way she should go, and when she is old she will not depart from it.”
Training encompasses many aspects of teaching and mentoring and loving. This verse speaks to that and more:
1. The direction she is set upon better be the right one. That’s my responsibility.
2. She will not depart from it. That involves her choices, but it’s also God’s gig. He does his work throughout both our lives–to help me parent despite my worst failures and to help her to keep her feet on the path.
Even though this day is supposed to be about moms, it is also about our children…or those we’ve mothered. And whether in days full of shadows or paled by circumstances or full of vibrant color, my children LIFE ME UP, too.