2015 A to Z Challenge

Elements of Existence

Why are we here? What is the meaning to life? Hard questions that I don't know that I can adequately answer. However for the 2015 A to Z Challenge I'll be looking at some concept each day to see if we can get any closer to the answers to life's biggest and most puzzling questions.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tell Your Mother You Love Her--and Mean It

Mothers' Day Cake crop
Mothers' Day Cake crop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Proverbs 23:22

English Standard Version (ESV)

       Mother's Day is one of the days of the year when the most long distance calls are made, the most flowers are delivered, the most greeting cards are sent, and the most people go out to restaurants.  Treating Mom special is almost an obligatory rite for many on this day.   But shouldn't we make every day like Mother's Day.   And more than this shouldn't we let go of any bad feelings we may have about our mothers?

       Even if we think we've had the worst parents in the world, we might be looking at them with an obscured vision. Perhaps we need to try to look at them through God's eyes.   Most of us have had parents who nurtured us to some extent at least and saw us into our adult lives.  Especially those of us who made it to adult life and still have one or both parents still living, maybe we need to step into our own adult shoes and view our parents from a grown up perspective.

         I'm sure it's difficult for some of you.   I was lucky.  I had parents who obviously cared deeply for me, but they made their mistakes as well.  Would I gain anything dwelling on those mistakes?   We all have bad things that happen to us in life no matter how good our parents have been to us.    The point I'm trying to stress is to avoid dwelling on the bad things and enjoy the happy parts of the past.   And even more importantly, find the happiness in the present and strive toward the best future you can possibly make.

          We cannot change the past and the present is the time to stop holding people accountable for past mistakes.   Hopefully if apologies are due they will be offered and forgiveness can come in return.   Don't harp on things you can't do anything about and avoid bitterness and hatred.  

           What do you want to add to the world--positivity or negativity?   When people get older, their habits and attitudes become more ingrained.   People can be difficult to change and the more you fight them, the more entrenched they become in what they believe.  

         If you are dealing with an older parent, love them as best you can.  Sure, they might be an inconvenience to your life at times and they might even stir your negative emotions.   Remember that one day you too might reach their age.  What will you be afraid of?    What will you worry about?   What pains or difficulties will you have to deal with?   Put yourself in your parents' shoes.   How will you want to be treated when your day comes?


Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.   “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—  “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Ephesians 6:1-3

New International Version (NIV)

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17 comments:

  1. Good advice...it is so easy to forget the good times and concentrate on the painful memories.

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  2. Arlee, such wonderful advice.They are gone too quickly from out lives.

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  3. I had a love/hate relationship with my mother right up to the end. 27 years after her demise I think the love part has gained precedence.

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  4. I'm close with both my mother and my mother-in-law. I'm blessed to have my Mom less than 2 miles away, and The Engineer's mom just 1/2 hour away.
    Of course there are conflicts! We do work hard to resolve them. We also make it a priority to spend time with them whenever possible. Life is too short~!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

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  5. Getting older is no fun, but we can make it better by treating our elders with respect and dignity. I saw many at the care home where my MIL stayed until early April who never seemed to have visitors. We were always saying hello and talking to some who would look up to see if it was anyone they knew. When we attended the small memorial the care home held for four who had recently passed including hubs' mom, they said, please keep coming and say hello to our seniors if you can. It helps for those who don't have visitors.
    Care homes are not dumping grounds. Don't put the seniors away and forget about them. Thoughtful post, Lee.

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    1. the saddest place in the world is an Alzheimers unit. No one should have to go there. Like you said, one day, you're going to be old too. It would behoove us to treat our youngsters well cuz they will decide where we go when we're old.

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  6. You have written wise words. So many people have issues with their parents and, unless they were physically abusive (& I don't mean a simple spanking) or mentally abusive or other horror stories most moms and dads did try to do their best. They are not perfect and can mess up but love should be the major player. I have seen in one family, most of the kids are wonderful to their parents but one felt they were mistreated blah blah blah. My mom is in long term care. She has dementia. She knows who I am and can still have a pretty good conversation but her memory is slowly going. She was there for me through thick and thin. Provided all she could for me and then some. She would have died for me. The least I can do is always visit her and offer what I can. It is a shame that some have no visitors and that when they pass, the kids are looking at the bank account and stuff they feel is worth money-for shame. I love what you wrote and agree

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  7. Lovely post Arlee. You're right on with putting yourself in your parents shoes. Now that I'm a mom, I get some of the things my mom said or did. Nobody is perfect, but that's the great thing about love...it doesn't matter how many rights or wrongs a person does...you can still love them anyway, accepting all their imperfections.
    ~Katie

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  8. I think you have to walk a few miles in the shoes of a parent before you can really appreciate all yours did for you. They may not of been perfect, but Lord only knows what else they may have been dealing with. Every parent who "tries" deserves love, respect and support.

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  9. Agree with everything you said. I had a fantastic mom that I came to appreciate more and more the older I got and miss her now 7 days her passing. It is so true that God has a special place in his heart for widows and the fatherless, my mom having raised us thee kids alone on her own after my dad died six years into their marriage, but each and everyone of our needs was always met by God.

    betty

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    1. Betty, I'm sorry to hear about your mom. May you feel God's peace and comfort during this time of grieving.
      Mary

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  10. A lovely post, Lee!
    Thanks for the reminder...

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  11. well said. thank you.

    AND CAKE!!!

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  12. Good, bad or indifferent, we only have 1 Mom, and God chose her for a reason. He didn't get it wrong, and we didn't get the short end of the stick. As difficult as it might be to love our parents at times, I believe it might just be a little bit difficult for them to love their kids at times too. When it's all said and done, we need to know we gave it our best shot, and it was enough, even if it wasn't perfect. Perfection doesn't come until we get to heaven anyway, and I'm sure my Mom made it, because it sure couldn't have been easy raising the crew of 8 kids she had!

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  13. Good posting. We often don't realize what we have or don't completely appreciate it until it is gone. My mother was not perfect but she did the best she could with what she knew. I definitely had more appreciation and gratitude for the parenting she did after I became a mother myself. She left this world when my kids were small and I have missed having her wise counsel as I was raising them. I honor her and will always miss her.
    Mary @ The View from my World

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  14. Thank you all for your comments and sharing on this post.

    Lee

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  15. I made it over here, late as usual, Arlee. I am so sorry for that. The comments of all and your wonderful post bring me closer to my own mother, who passed away two days before Mother's Day, in 2002. Much has happened since, and most of it was negative, but not in any way scarring or damaging in the normal sense of the word, because I have the strength of my mother; she imbued me with the courage to look forward, to speak honestly and to treat others honorably. I could ask for no greater gifts than these. The thing I find even more breath-taking about her is she taught me these things under tremendous pressure and during a life that for her, did not start out well at all. Moms are like that however; no matter the circumstances, she made sure I knew I was loved and that I was a worthwhile person. Thank you, Arlee, for a beautiful post! Mary

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