With Mother's day only a couple of days away here in New Zealand, I really wanted to honour my Mum, Nana and the other beautiful ladies in my life.
An Ode To Mum...
My Mum comes from a long line of strong and amazing women. I was fortunate enough to grow up with both my Grandmother and Great Grandmother involved in my childhood - my Mum's Grandmother (my Great Grandmother, Nandi) lived down the road from our house for a large part of my childhood, so visiting her regularly for cups of tea, pieces of cake and a game of cards was a regular event... and lots of stories, I heard so many stories!
One thing I've learned from listening to the stories of my Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother's lives is that these women are amazing. They wouldn't probably say so themselves, they'd actually claim that they are quite ordinary, with nothing much to boast about... in actual fact they'd probably start pointing out their failings and flaws quite quickly.
And that is what I love about my Mum (and Nana and great Nana) - normal everyday women who don't make any great claims, but live their lives showing kindness to others, sticking at life when the going gets tough and holding onto their faith in Christ when life almost seems too much to bare.
If only I could share with you some of the stories of heartache and sorrow that these ladies have endured and triumphed in... but they aren't my stories to tell, only stories for me to learn from, admire them through and remember as I walk out my life. I treasure the strength of these women, through all they have walked through in their own lives.
I can share that my lovely Great Grandmother once punched a boy in the face for standing on her lunch. She was cheeky and sweet and although wouldn't have thought much of her life, has given love and strength to many though her beautiful nurturing heart and given hope and kindness to the rejected and lonely.
Then there is my Nana, who has given a large chunk of her life to sending Bible verses of hope around the world in many different languages using the gift of art that God gave her - who knows how many lives have been given true hope through her gift, while at the same time she herself has nursed her late husband though many illnesses, and always had a kind word, warm heart, beautiful hug and plenty of sweets in a jar in her pantry for her family and many others.
And my mum, where do I start - for someone who has been through so many challenges in life from a young girl to the amazing woman she is today, yet with grit and determination she has taught me not to give up no matter how tough life gets. She has taught me to keep trusting in God, keep looking after your family and always have time for a cuppa, a laugh, and sometimes a good cry. I don't know where I'd be today without this lady. As a young girl struggling with identity and issues, my mother led me to my faith in Jesus and has always prayed for me and encouraged me to get my strength from Him and nothing or no one else. She has always had a heart for the rejected, forgotten and outcast... I remember the rough and cheeky kids she'd always have a soft spot for, gathering them up to go to church or our house. I remember the many times she has reached out to the rejected, abused, parent-less and hurting.
Like most of us Mums, I'm sure she has wondered if she's done enough or should have done things differently... but I say she's just perfect. Real and honest, open and funny, and just perfect as my Mum.
It's an honour to be part of these amazing women in my family... honest, sweet, funny, normal yet precious women. These are the Mothers I have the honour to look up to and the privilege to carry on from. Every single one has prayed for their family - their faith in God has been a pivotal and precious thing.
I love that my 4 children still have 2 of these women in their lives, as well as their precious and amazing Grandmother, Symon's mum. I look at the women in my family (including my aunts, cousins, sister in law's and friends) and just have to say how blessed and thankful I am to have these ones in our life.
You are enough and you are a powerful influence, not because of what you do but who you are. Keep being yourself, keep pressing on no matter how tough life gets, keep praying, keep laughing, for we are watching, learning, admiring and cheering you on.
The women in my family and life are beautiful women, smart, kind and strong, and I'm so proud to know each and every one of them.
Happy Mother's Day to my Mum, Nana, Mum-in-law and all the other beautiful ladies in my life.