ENCOURAGEMENT FOR MOMS
In the encouraging realm, moms are pretty important people. Even Hollywood recognizes this. Two movies that I watched awhile ago reinforced this concept and I recommend them as entertaining, encouraging, heartwarming, feel-good movies although questionable language for some.
One of the major story themes of the true tale ‘Gridiron Gang’ starring Dewayne, The Rock, Johnson, was the encouraging impact of his character’s (Sean Porter's-Coach of the Mustangs) mother. In fact, she was the driving force behind his success at Camp Kilpatrick, his very own 'wings beneath the wind' influence. She was ill, but she encouraged him to keep going, no matter the disappointments he encountered along the way. "I always had faith in you," she said to him. His reply--"You were my mom; that was your job."
But, as Sean Porter found out working with gang members, not all moms are created equal. In an emotional scene after she died, he gave her this tribute. "She bandaged my cuts, washed my sports stuff, fed me and cheered me on. She loved me. I feel bad for those kids that did not have that kind of mother." And that perpetuated his vision to stop the controlling grip of gangs on the juveniles in LA County.
"You're the Mom and you're supposed to protect her," the older brother finally said to Olive's mother in ‘Little Miss Sunshine’.
Olive, the pageant-crazy child, trying to get to California for the Little Miss Sunshine contest, had no inkling what she was up against. And her parents, too caught up in their own chaotic lives, could not give her the support she needed at that time.
Only the eccentric Grandpa understood the insecurities Olive felt as he encouraged her to practice her routine, "a loser is someone who is so afraid of losing, they won't even try."
Olive tried and tried and finally Mom finally understood, she ‘got her’, and gave the encouragement she needed. “Olive is Olive. Let her be who she is supposed to be”. Hint-the ending made me want to stand and cheer too.
If you are fortunate to have a good mom, encourage her for Mother's Day. If you are a mom, be encouraged. What you do does make a difference!
Dr Laura says that moms are the spiritual and emotional center of the family. She says she’s never understood why any mother would want to believe that she is replaceable: that her voice, her hands, her smile, her attention and her love could be matched by someone who may have taken a child-development class. She wrote a new book, In Praise of Stay at Home Moms, where she deals with the difficult transition of moms from work to home, the arguments of those who tell them they’re wasting their time and education and the challenges of combining mothering with the myriad responsibilities of running a household.
Here’s a beautiful example from her book of why one mother feels staying home is so worthwhile. “Tonight as I lay next to my four year old daughter rubbing her back, singing a song, helping her fall asleep, she looked at me with tears in her eyes, grabbed my face with both hands, and said with such love and conviction, “you are my lullaby mommy!, I cried then and there and the tears continued to flow as she slept in my arms.
“No, I don’t get to have a latte at 10, go to lunch with co-workers and out for drinks after work. I am not being overseen by someone who gives me performance-based raises and praise. Instead, I am in the most beautiful and profound position I could ever hold, I am my daughter’s lullaby”.
Now maybe you don’t have such a wonderful scene in your home. That’s ok. Maybe your child says no til you can’t stand it and actually plug your ears and scream or maybe he says I hate you. Just a note from one who has been there, you will live if they say that—it hurts but you will survive it.
Beth Moore writes in her LPM blog, "My point is, Moms, you've got to have a support group of other moms. Many who are peers. Others, who are just ahead of you. It's a necessity for mental and spiritual health in a tough, never-ending job!"
Moms...you expend alot of energy to encourage your children. But who and what encourages you?
For more than thirty years the heart of MOPS International has been to provide that kind of encouragement to moms. No mom should be alone in this job. The number of women (and men) who struggle with depression, child abuse, suicide and the pressure of kids not turning out like we want can put anyone under. Making connections with real people with skin on, doing life with one another in community--not alone--can make a powerful impact and keep a mom going.
That’s what we strive to do at MOPS-sometimes imperfectly, we’ve made mistakes and will in the future, but always with love and compassion for what you are going through. WE want to help give you hope and gently point you to the One who loves your child more than you do and is the ultimate controller of our lives.
And the benefits of belonging to an organization that is bigger than yourself and that takes you out of your comfort zone can help in your future growth. The current MOMSENSE mag, which is great benefit, has the story of the mom who started Ryan’s Ranches after learning leadership from being involved in MOPS. The point is, even though you are at home, you can be growing and learning.
As we leave today, the last meeting we have here, I want to try something a little different. Instead of focusing on the difficulties you have with child rearing, I want you to think of something that comes easy with your children. Now you can’t use your maternal bragging rights about how sweet or polite your child is, but something they do that causes very little hassle for you. Maybe she likes her bath, she never cries when water gets in her face, maybe your child will try any new food you put in front of them--I had 2 thumb suckers that loved their blankies and were always ready for bed at the end of the day. Hopefully focusing on the positive traits of your child, instead of the struggles of being a mom will allow you to see them in a new light. Let’s be refreshed and encouraged as we think about our kids and end the MOPS year on a great note. So moms, what comes easy for you with your child?
ENCOURAGING QUOTES FOR MOMS
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is really all about.”
“An (aware) mother understands what a child does not say.” Anonymous
“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world, there hasn’t been and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” Pablo Casals
“No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged child for signs of improvement.” Florida Scott-Maxwell
“Correction does work, but encouragement works wonders.” Kay Gramm
“Love covers over a multitude of mistakes.” I Peter 4: