Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 15, 2014- A Mother’s Prayer

            I ran my four miles on the treadmill today and while I might be persuaded to worry about the fact that my knee is a bit tweaky after only two miles, I refuse to do it.  No.  I will not and I mean it. 
            I am woman hear me roar.  Meow.  And I can do all things, even if it is going to be excruciating.  I will not let the silly little things like broken knees or wonky backs keep me down.  I am running a marathon in six days dang it.  This body better get on board because I will not take no for an answer.
Even though it may not seem like it, I am actually focused.  I think about it all the time, especially this particular race.  I mean, come on!  It’s Boston!  There are a lot of reasons why I am running this marathon, why I run at all, those I have already talked about in these earlier installments- my four reasons, but there is another very big motivation for why I run.  It is very close to my heart.
As a parent, you always seem to fret over all the ways you have failed in that greatest of roles.  Heck I remember my mother, who was the queen of motherhood agonizing over mistakes she thought she had made when it came to raising her children.  I realize that I certainly do screw up a bunch of stuff- bad examples and the like, but what are you going to do?  It’s not like you are going to give up on the deal if it isn’t done perfectly.  You may fail over and over but because you love them and want the best for them you continue to try and mold them into little bastions of goodness and grace, or something like that. 
And for me, I am running this marathon because I’m trying to set an example for my children, my daughters especially.  I would like to show them you can do anything you set your mind to.  I want to demonstrate, like my mother did for me, that persistence through pain in no matter what you do brings true fulfillment. 
I want to show them what being a strong woman means.  I think the world’s view and God’s view on the subject are quite different but in all humans there is a deep desire to live life to our fullest potential.  Now while we may desire it, fear, laziness, doubts, insecurities can weigh us down and keep us stagnant.  But there is no joy to be had when you live life in a box.
It might appear to be safe in there, but that box gets tight real fast.  In it there is no room for growth.  Sure you will spare yourself some of the disappointments in life, hid up in your hidey-hole, but what is really so wrong with being disappointed?  What is wrong with a little pain along the way?  It is only through these life experiences that we learn compassion, persistence, strength, love. 
If you are feeling pain from time to time that means you are living!  Of course it can also mean that God is trying to get you back on track with a little tough love, but that’s okay too, as long as you have your ears open to listen, and your heart open to love. 
Four generations: Grandma Swartz, Mom, me, and Emmaclare
I want to do this for my daughters.  I would love for them to be proud of their mother, like I was of mine.  I would love for them to be proud to be molded from the same heart and blood and veins, proud and grateful, like I am.  I want them forever striving to fill my shoes and then some- not as a weight around their necks but as a desire to give back and then pay it forward.  Gratitude.  A grateful heart fueling them to live whatever dreams and goals they set for themselves. 
That’s what I want.  And every day each one of my children is the number one thing on my list of requests before my God.  I think often on the Eighth Station of the Cross when Jesus spoke to the daughters of Jerusalem.  He was carrying His cross and in His agony along the way He stopped and acknowledged those mothers.  That encourages me to pray, and to pray persistently, because He stopped.  He stops and He hears a mother’s prayer:

Heavenly Father, how grateful I am for all the roles you have given me in this life, but mostly for the role of motherhood.  Please continue to bless me that I can be all that I am supposed to be for my children.  How dear they are to me, each one of them.  Please Lord Jesus, turn Your eyes of pity upon this mother who offers You her children, that You might lead them along their roads.  Be with them always, and in all ways.  Help them to be all that You have created them to be.   
I gave this to my mother many years ago... and now I have it back.

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