My mother is full of life. A fiery, vocal, flitting-about woman with as many ideas and talents as there are days on the calendar. Indefatigable is how my sweetheart describes this quality. But, when he uses that word, he's describing me, unknowingly nodding to the woman who gave me life. In this, I am my mother's daughter, through and through.
Every day of her retirement has been filled with friend-making, others-serving, hospitality-offering, and grand-baby watching. She lives for others. She always has. For years, she tirelessly served as my childhood church home's director of outreach, figuring out best how to connect servants with needs. She has a big heart, a seemingly bottomless pit of selfless love.
I guess that's what motherhood produces. For years, she put my sister and I's needs above her own, generously providing for us at cost to her self. Back-to-school shopping sprees when it meant no new clothes for her. Saturdays at cheerleading competitions (and nights before sponge rolling every hair on our heads) every weekend of the fall when it meant giving up her own relaxing weekends. She threw birthday parties for the books and legendary Christmas tea parties. She's a giver, a do-er, and a gold-hearted woman. It is my heart and my hope that I can grow to be as kind and gracious, more loving towards my neighbors than I am to myself.
And when my mom's not doing, she's processing. She's always had a gift for collecting thoughts and wisdom gleaned on paper. She's a gifted writer, however infrequently she gets the chance to do it and share her bits of wisdom with the world. But, today, I had the somewhat-suprisingly profound realization that she has never tried to make much of herself. She has never tried to wrangle her abilities into a money-making scheme, or turn her gifts into a quest for fame.
She is quite simply...her. And the enjoyment she gets out of her hobbies, the rewards she gains from her endeavors, are for her satisfaction and the pleasure of others. Oh, I pray the Lord produce that in me. That my artistic, creative bents aren't twisted by selfish, narcissistic attempts to gain notoriety and success. I pray to simply know that my efforts, my days, my words, and my works can and will be used by the Lord to glorify Him and serve others if I offer them up as gifts and not givens.
I have struggled with the saints to find my identity in Christ, and Christ alone. I have put my purpose in the work of my hands, on the beau on my arm, on the amount in my bank account. But, I am changing. Lord, am I changing, thanks to the Spirit's hold on my life, and the Eunices, the Loises (and Louy's) that he's put in my path. Thank God for His indefatigable attempts to turn me into His faithful child.