Learning how to balance the multi-tasking roles God put inside us challenges me. I learn a lot through my failings, my gracelessness, my inability to do it all. That feather’d creature Shakespeare talks about could be my dreams, my dinner menu, needing to attend to child one’s needs whether it is class work, heart work, discipline-work while another’s need may need to wait 20 more minutes. Being a mother is often graceless like goose chasing.
Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent
To follow that which flies before her face,
Not prizing her poor infant’s discontent;
My littlest guy, he’s hit the blues. He’s accused me of “not prizing” his discontent, leaving him feeling unloved. Saying no for the right reasons is a tough act to play to a tween to teen audience.There is no more critical reviewer of a mother’s job. I don’t think they’ll ever realize how I made it my goal from day one to know the condition of their hearts, to provide security, to keep away the night terrors, to listen to every word, to never let them feel unloved or unwanted, to help them believe they can achieve whatever they want, to introduce them to the most important relationship they will ever have, the Father.
So runn’st thou after that which flies from thee,
Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind;
If something flies from me, doesn’t that mean it isn’t mine? Maybe it is not the right time to be goose chasing. Or maybe, just maybe, it is all part of the balancing act of the responsibilities of our different roles – and this is a lesson of the compassion we need to exhibit when others let us down. I cannot make everybody happy at the same time. During Shakespeare’s time, that goose leading her a frustrating chase could have been a weeks worth of food during the winter season that helped keep her family’s tummies filled. Maybe, just maybe it is crucially important that we exhibit compassion and forgiveness because goose chasing is sometimes as graceless as it is necessary.
But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me,
And play the mother’s part, kiss me, be kind;
So will I pray that thou mayst have thy ‘Will,’
If thou turn back and my loud crying still.”
(Sonnet 143, Shakespeare)
Children are a forgiving lot. I remember feeling that way with my dad, who never met my children. I remember despite the hurt, his goose chasing, if he would “just turn back” – the grief of my heart would have evaporated. Sometimes I wonder if my children are less forgiving because they have really never been set down while we chased our geese, are less generous with their cheerleading about our hopes to catch.
My hope? That I always play the mother’s part with affection, kindness, making them feel valued, can always find a way to still their hurts either through action, words or prayer and that when I miss it, when I goose chase gracelessly, that I can make it right and receive forgiveness.
- Shakespeare’s Sonnet 143, my favorite Shakespeare work that I read many years ago, many children ago.
- I loved my weekend. My boys helped me sparkle-up my and install the screens in our windows. The cool-front blowing through my windows is sweet respite, at least until the summer heat creeps in.
- My husband, he built me a raised garden Saturday, too.
- Sitting with my husband Saturday night before the rains came, listening to him make dove calls – and listening to the answering call.
- Making scones early Sunday morning for Mother’s Day
- String, eye-screws and determination to finally complete the installation of the blue toile Roman Shades my Mom made me for Christmas.
- Finished piecing together my very first quilt. It’s not perfect – a lot like me, but I learned a lot. My next quilt is a twin-size for grandbaby girl – and then regular-sized quilts for my boys. I’m working my way up in size.
- Coffee at the end of dinner Sunday, as we sat around the table, 4 of 5 sons, my daughter-in-law and grandbaby girl. A cup of coffee is the exclamation point to family dinners.
- Walking around the yard in the evenings with my husband, checking the progress of our transplanted butterfly bushes, knock out roses, hydrangea. Not sure the butterfly bushes and hydrangea are going to survive the move from one spot to anther. 13 out of 15 burning bush root-bulbs we planted grow, grOW and GROW.
- Yellow Papaya with Carrot Juice in a homemade smoothie for work.
- My boys cutting up strawberries and adding 1/4 cup of sugar for my Mother’s Day Scones.
- My sons bravery during allergy testing.
- God allowing me to feel like evenings are much longer, filled with hours that last longer since I started my job in February. Only God can make time do that.
- “Greater is He that’s in me than He that is in the World” (1 John 4:4). This scripture got me through quite a bit of out-of-the-box challenges this week.
- Old friends in grocery store aisles
- Tiki lights from my boys to keep the bugs away when we sit outside at night.
- Rain. Lots of rain. Nourishing the outside, cooling the inside – and the beautiful sound of it’s coming.
- Gapow from the Thai restaurant in a very frustrating week – that God let’s me find goodness in things totally unrelated to the challenges.
- All the different ways my sons slipped, “Happy Mother’s Day” into my ears. Unasked for on this day I find very awkward.
- Laughter in the neighborhood.
- “God is the unmoved Prime Mover of all movements, the First Cause of all Causes, and the Designer of all the design seen in the world” – St. Thomas Aquinas, in 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World.