Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lessons Learned

One of my favorite blogs is called "Fiddledeedee", by a homeschooling mother of three who lives in an area of the country she lovingly refers to as "armpit Florida". She's honest and open, and I consider her writing a ministry. She touches my heart often, but especially in a post found here . It describes the difficult relationship she had with her late mother, and her desire to heal the wounds and do better in relationships with her own children. The comments that followed her post were precious affirmations of encouragement, and also confessions from fellow bloggy friends. Proof that social networking does not have to be impersonal.

As always, her post caused me to apply her reflections and insights onto my own life. And my relationship with my mother. I cannot think of one friend  who has ever met my mother. And I have friendships that have spanned four decades. My mother, quite simply, made the decision to not be part of my life, or the lives of my three siblings. 

My upbringing was so dysfunctional, that my way of rebelling was to go off to a Baptist university as soon as I graduated high school. It had a curfew, rules that allowed no males in female dorm rooms, and nightly room checks. I went from a family that only attended church annually on Easter Sundays (because my grandparents were treating to lunch at the local Luby's cafeteria after the service), to a school with required chapel services three times a week. Where they took roll and issued demerits for absences. And those unusually strict rules? They were a haven for me. It was the first time in my life that I had boundaries that made me feel safe and secure and loved.

Somewhere in there, I developed a passion to ensure that my own children, and the students in my classrooms, would feel that same unconditional love and safety. Many good things can rise out of the ashes of this life. "Extracting the precious from the worthless", the Bible calls it in Jeremiah 15:19. And in the squeezing tight places? That is where the diamonds are formed under extreme heat and pressure.

We trade our ashes for beauty. And the results of those hard earned lessons? They are the reason we can have joy in this often treacherous  journey of life. Amen.


kstein said...

God is teaching me in my own life right now that joy is not a DESTINATION, but a JOURNEY.

Love you momma... I am amazed at how you became such a great mother with no real example of your own to follow! You are a wonderful teacher and have a sweet spirit and I know that those kids feel loved and appreciated every day they walk into your classroom!

Have I told you I wanna be just like you when I grow up:)

love you...keep up the good work

Craig Weeks said...

R, this is the reason you are one of my personal heroes: the person you became in spite of where you came from and what you've been through.

Lynn said...

I had a loving mom, my cousins loved to come to my home because they felt safe there. I do know what a huge blessing that was and still is to me. Other things in life have put me in "squeezing tight places" but not my childhood home.

I love that your daughter wants to grow up to be like you - I think that seals the deal of how you have given her love and security!!