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This was meant to be sent the day after Mother’s Day, but with my lack of tech savvy, it didn’t happen.  We’ll give it a go again.

We’ve all got one.

We all got here the same way.

And whether the experience was positive, negative or neutral, the story in that relationship impacts all of us.

That would be Mom.

Yesterday was Mothers’ Day, a day set aside to honor and celebrate, reflect on and reminisce about that one person in our lives who was our gate into this world. For some, that woman was a very impersonal gate. For others, she was the gate and the sanctuary. Whatever her role, mothers are woven into the fabric of our lives–either through time, love, care,  genetics, responsibility. Or all of them.

Having six children, I’ve experienced a lot of the roller coaster of motherhood. The incredible highs of joy and pride in your children’s choices and actions. The deep dips of disappointment, frustration and grief when they let you down. Which every child, being human, will do. The breathless drops when they are hurting and when you can’t help the pain. The quick turns of unexpected surprises, some good, some not so good.

But I’ve never wanted to get off.

What is more significant than contemplating my own maternal bent is watching my daughter as she expresses hers. Only one of my children is a parent at this time, though my daughter, Melody, was celebrated by her husband this Mothers’ Day for the mother she will be. Heather has four children, from just about three to ten. Having them live with us for awhile was an opportunity for me to observe how she approached motherhood. I appreciated how challenging it was for her to parent her own kids while living in her parents’ home. She and her husband Jeremy did it without complaint. And with a lot of humor.

And I’ve been impressed. Not because of all those wonderful things I taught her–I know better than that. Parenting is one of those re-dos I wish I had. All those things I would have done differently. All those times I would have thought before I spoke. All the small things I blew into big things. All those times I chose a clean house over being close to my kids. The missed opportunities. The regrets.

Pretty much what it is to be a parent.

But I’ve not seen resentment in my daughter. I’ve seen the grace of God gifting her to love her family well. She knows how to work with them. She knows how to play with them. She knows how to laugh and not take herself too seriously.

She will make her own mistakes. We all do. And when she’s older, she may want a re-do. But she’s loving her family with the love of Jesus, and she’s walking each day with Him as her anchor. Nurturing her family and those God has put in her life.

For it’s God who has given us the gift of nurturing, whether we nurture children of our flesh or children of our hearts, those we’ve birthed or those He’s put in our lives to love.

We can all ride that roller coaster.

It’s a sweet ride.

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