A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Grief Observed

It's been just over a year since my mother went to her eternal reward. It is a statement I make both joyously and sadly. Joyously, because her battle with cancer was not prolonged and sadly because for the first time in my life, there's no one to go to on impulse when my own mothering takes a toll. In short, I miss her. Her wisdom, her experience of life, her ready accessibility in crisis.

Losing my mother has been growing experience for me. It's forced me to BE a mother... to take my own mothering seriously. It's forced me to make some hard decisions in the overall interests of my family. It's also compelled me to walk my own path -- to carve out a different mothering identity... one that means leaving the workplace and have a concentrated focus on seeing the children through some formative moments in their lives. With mum around, I had managed to juggle part-time work and child-rearing but now that she is no longer with us, it is not a luxury I can afford.

The biggest surprise for me, is how I've readily adjusted to this "bend in my road" to quote Anne Shirley. This is not to say I find mothering easier or that I'm about to win any Mother of the Year contests any time soon. Hardly. I am, however, learning what it means in my context to die to self. There's not a day that goes by when I don't wrestle with my own desires and the children's needs. Occasionally, I experience the odd pang or two about not being able to have a ministry with international students.

But God, in his great mercy has given me a sense of rightness about it all.
So far it's been three months since I left my teaching job. Teaching, despite its drawbacks, gave me a sense of short-term achievement. Mothering is A LOT harder (more intense and there's no running from it) and that feeling of achievement doesn't come too often. However, I rest in the fact that for now, at least, I am living in the will of God.

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