Thursday, May 5, 2016

Your stories about mothers and motherhood

What can you write—or should you write—about your mother? Or the mother of your children? Or about being a mother yourself?

All of us have stories about mothers and if we’ll make time to put them in writing, our families will be all the richer for them.

Yes, our families will be all the richer for them. Take in Bruce Feiler’s message:

“What is the secret sauce that holds a family together? What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient, happy?”

In researching those questions, Feiler says, “a surprising theme emerged. The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.”

His research showed that the more children know of their family’s stories, the more they demonstrate emotional health and happiness and the more resilient they are when faced with challenges.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know that when I read those words I hollered, “Yessss! That’s why we write memoirs!” 

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Through research, Feiler discovered God was on the right track when He told us to tell our kids and grandkids what we’ve seen Him do for us (Deuteronomy 4:9; 6:5-9; 6:20-25). Their research verifies Jesus knew what he was talking about when he said, “Go tell your family what the Lord has done for you” (Mark 5:19). (Read more at The secret sauce)

Feiler concludes, “Bottom line: if you want a happier family, create, refine, and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and the ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come.” (“The Stories That Bind Us,” New York Times)

So, since this is the week of Mother's Day, write stories about your mother or a mother you know or your own motherhood. Such stories are important.

I’ve assembled the following quotes to stir up memories from years ago, quotes to inspire you to get out a pen and paper, or sit down at your computer, and start writing:

“From my mother did I enter this world and from my loins did my children arrive and there is a bond between us mothers that holds generations and families together. There are recipes and stories and birthing and bathing and it’s more powerful than spider’s silk….” (Amanda Hill, “Ode to Mothers”)

“A mother is neither cocky, nor proud, because she knows the school principal may call at any minute to report that her child had just driven a motorcycle through the gymnasium.” (Mary Kay Blakely)

“I believe it is impossible to overestimate the power a boy feels and the influence it has in his life when he looks at his Mother and sees that she has seen him, has looked into his soul and found something there that makes her glow.” (Randall Wallace, Living the Braveheart Life)  

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” (Abraham Lincoln)

“I am stretched and tired and fearful. I am wild and brave and broken. My closet has a sense of humor and clothes in every size. I have danced circles into the midnight carpet… rocked restless babies, cut baby curls, snipped fingernails…. I have tripped on Legos, stepped on scooters, slept on bottom bunks, and strung yards of white, twinkling lights above the heads of two blonde brothers afraid of the dark and their bad dreams…. I am overwhelmed, infatuated, love struck and completely unhinged. Especially on the nights they bring in wild flowers and all the every-loving mud in the world….” (Lisa-Jo Baker, “The (real life) dictionary definition of ‘Mother’”)  

“From the time they take their first step, it’s a battle of emotions… cheering them on as they move forward, taking a piece of you farther away with every step. The sleepless nights, the hours of school work at the kitchen table and the fevered afternoons, cool washrag pressed to hot forehead. Who can ever sum up the job description of ‘Mother?’ And all this, when they never belong to us in the first place. Ultimately, the job of a mother is to make herself obsolete.”  (E.P. Hale, “The Leadership Influence of Mothers”)

“The influence of a mother’s leadership may not earn worldly awards, accolades or prestige. But one thing we can be sure of … it makes a difference, maybe even all the difference.” ( E.P. Hale “The Leadership Influence of Mothers”)

“Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours began.” (Mitch Albom)

“A mother has a way of seeing through your ugly, and always bearing your burdens. She prays hard and makes you feel that there is love in the universe when you can’t see it and a beating heart when you can’t hear it and consistency in her acceptance even when you feel lost or thrown away…. And she reminds you that God redeems, and we must always forgive, and everything we do must be rooted in kindness.” (Amanda Hill, “Ode to Mothers”)   

“I know of no more permanent imprint on a life than the one made by mothers.... More than any statesman or teacher, more than any minister or physician, more than any film star, athlete, business person, author, scientist, civic leader, entertainer, or military hero ... you are the most influential person in your child's life.  

“There would never have been an Isaac without a Sarah, a Moses without a Jachobed, a Samuel without a Hannah.... 

“And so, mothers, don't ever forget the permanence of your imprint. The kids may seem ungrateful, they may act irresponsible, they may even ignore your reminders and forget your advice these days. But believe this: They cannot erase your influence.” (Chuck Swindoll, “The Greatest Influence”)

Happy Mother's Day! 

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