Today was the first mother's day in a bazillion years (okay, maybe 17) that I've actually been physically present with my mom. Each mother's day we spent apart was heart-breaking given she's one of my closest friends and biggest supporters. When I celebrated my first mother's day as a mom and realized the love I had for my son, I couldn't believe that my mom and I had been apart for so many years.
This past year of moving back to Oregon has been full of transitions and been really difficult at times, but we never doubted this was God's will for our family. Holidays and birthdays have sped by and each time we stand back, awed that we're actually celebrating each milestone together, with extended family, in the flesh. It just seems surreal.
Yesterday I spent an insanely busy but productive day with my sweet husband and our four crazy kids. This morning, we made pancakes and sausage and then I left Curt to man the home front while I spent the day with my mom, Rhonda Ru.
She was the speaker at the Single Again Class at her church today, which is not a new activity for her. As a child, when my mom would be preparing for a talk, she'd work it into the final round and then I'd perch on the end of her bed while she practiced. We continued this rehearsing after I moved away for college, only we'd hold our sessions over the phone. Each session included tears and laughter and would end by me praising her for having the guts to share what the Lord placed on her heart. Today I had the privilege of being there for the live presentation, and I was not disappointed. I laughed and cried with the audience as she powerfully shared the lesson God had given her.
Her topic was "What Matters Most" and she touched first on what society values. Power, prestige and beauty, all which fade away and have no eternal value. She contrasted it to what matters most to God. Having our eyes fixed on Jesus. Pursing life with Him in spite of our weaknesses, fears and failures. She used my Grandma Margie's life as her largest example and walked her audience through a tiny window into Margie's complicated world. Grandma was a woman who spent much of her life paralyzed by fear, but she loved Jesus. Some of her last cognizant words, interspersed with tears of joy, were ones of celebration as she recited Psalm 121 and Jesus relieved her fears. There wasn't a dry eye in the room and a hush fell while we contemplated what matters most.
I finally managed to wrangle Mom away from all her well-wishers and we set off to find a place to have lunch. All the restaurants serving brunch were packed, so I suggested we go to the local pub. With a name like "Wankers Corner" it was good for an immediate laugh and I was fairly certain it wouldn't be high on most mothers' wish lists for a place to dine. Sure enough, we waltzed right into an empty restaurant. We had the patio all to ourselves and we talked, uninterrupted, and savored the moment of mother and daughter, coming together as friends.
I came home refreshed and eager to hug each of my crazy hooligans. Alli gave me a hand-painted flower pot with fingerprint lady bugs and a flower that she somehow managed to NOT kill. She also showered me with multiple My Little Pony pictures colored her very best.
Paige gave me hugs and kisses and lots of "I love you Mommy. You're hair is so pretty." Not sure why she was infatuated with my hair today, but I went with it.
Katie hand-painted a plate at a local pottery store, had it fired and shipped to our house. She eagerly presented me with her gift and home-made card which was sappy and sweet and written in her much-improved, 1st grade handwriting.
Grant waxed poetic on his card he made at school and used every big and descriptive word he could think of. He wrote, "My mom is not ordinary. Outstanding yes she is. The best above all the best. Help is what you're best at. Extraordinary yes you are. Really best of all Mommy, you are so fantastic." Those are large expectations to live up to! He also drew me a card with a monkey-eating eagle attacking a flying lemur and bullet-pointed several interesting facts about both species. It was highly informative. My favorite gift from Grant was a hand-made coupon good for "one morning free of kids fighting." He did clarify that the coupon is only redeemable one time, so I'll have to be selective when I choose to use it.
We enjoyed a wonderful evening as a family, worshipping God at church and playing on the church's front lawn. I actually enjoy the 25 minute drive home. It's a great time to de-brief and act goofy before starting the bedtime process.
As I tucked my four precious treasures into bed, I thanked God for reminding me about what matters most. Happy Mothers Day!