I’ve been thinking this week about the role of being a mom. And how important our responses are to the everyday moments of life.
I was greatly encouraged by an email a friend sent comparing moms to — of all things! — the builders of the great cathedrals of Europe – most of them are unknown, but they poured their hearts and lives into these amazing structures that became beautiful places of worship.
As moms, we have that challenging job of recognizing each day – even the bad ones – as building strong foundations that will, with God’s help, eventually become unique and beautiful examples of God’s workmanship.
It is incredibly hard to remember at the life stages of our children that how we pour our lives into them in response to the little things will help determine the beauty and strength of these living cathedrals… Important to remember when I feel sleep-deprived that my choosing to kiss the earthworm when he is held up to my face with grubby fingers really is the right choice. Or knowing that the permanent black marker will eventually scrub off those legs even if its not in time for the opening ceremony the first day of school…. remembering that his cake recipe concoction might be a waste of a precious cake mix but in the end it’s the time that we spent cooking it together that counts the most… that the digested red crayon only makes red poo poo for a day or two…
This story is one of my favorites.
The painter, Benjamin West, once told the story of how, as a youngster, he decided one day, while his mother was not at home, to paint a picture of his sister. He took out some bottles of ink and started in on it. Before long he had a picture, quite a good one. But he'd also made an awful mess... with all that ink, a permanent mess. What he'd done dawned on him just as his mother came home. He didn't mean to make such a mess, of course, but he had. When his mother saw the scene, saw the mess, she didn't scold, as Benjamin fully expected she would. Somehow, she caught herself-- not an easy thing to do when you're on the verge of a reaction, as she was. But some inner voice told her not to give in to her reaction. It was a close thing... yet instead of reacting to the mess she responded to the boy. She picked up the portrait and declared, "What a beautiful picture of your sister." Then kissed him. Later in life, Benjamin West, recalling this incident, said: "With that kiss, I became a painter."
I need to run… I have a potential Emeril, Michelle Kwon, Dr. Doolittle, and Beethoven waiting to be kissed.