Whether your mother is loving or distant, caring or critical, this is a place to stop and reflect about the challenge of that maternal bond.
All daughters and mothers are welcome!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just Wondering...

If you were to write a book about your relationship with your Mother, what would you title it?

Really, what would it be called?  I'd like to know.

In my case, I've thought of titles like:  "Searching for Mother,"  "The Dutiful Daughter," and  "A Daughter's Final Gift."

Right now I'm reading a fascinating book by Patricia Beard (1999) entitled:  Good Daughters.
FYI, on page 18 she lists the goals of the "good daughter":

~ To help our mothers find meaning and comfort at the end of their lives.
~To have relationships with them that satisfy us both, and to engage with them as adults, with mutual respect.
~To love our mothers as uncritically as we did when we were children- or at least to be better than we have been lately at showing them that we love them.

What do you think about these? 
Any you would change or add?

God bless you and your mother.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Twenty Eight Years Ago Today...

I became a mother!

Motherhood is a privilege often
taken for granted.
Yet many are saddened by infertility,
so I appreciate the blessing all the more.
Katie Grace changed my life forever.
She is my only daughter and so close to my heart.
The love I have for her is deeper
than words can describe...
know what I mean?

Though she is busy raising her own children
my thoughts walk beside her
and my prayers for her
bookend my days.

Truly the love I feel for her has helped me
love my own mother.
Though alcohol was a barrier to Mom's
expressions of love,
I came to understand that didn't diminish
the care she had for me.

On Katie's birthday, I am so thankful for
the awesome privilege
of watching her grow and blossom.
The challenges of parenting have been many
but the rewards ever more so.
I wouldn't have missed a day of it!

How about you?
Does your child's birthday
cause you to be introspective?
Does it remind you to be thankful?

Monday, August 29, 2011

An Award and A Purpose

Dear Ones, thank you for checking in from time to time, and thank you for sharing about your relationships with your Moms.
I started this Blog specifically as a forum to express the powerful feelings that daughters experience as they "dance" with their mothers.

All women are DAUGHTERS, so we all have a dance. 

We were raised by imperfect women, with their own "hurts, hang-ups and habits," who struggled with their own feelings about their mothers.  They either waltzed, or tangoed; marched or did the rumba.  Some women do a frenzied dance while others sway with grace and peace.

Maybe your Mom is a self-less, nurturing woman and you have basked in her unconditional love.
Praise GOD if you were blessed with such a mother. 

Perhaps you never knew unconditional love because your Mom was too damaged by her past, and didn't know how to give it to you.  That is my story.

Either way, as women who know the LOVE of Christ, we are called to love our Moms and honor them.
Maybe we can help each other bless our mothers, by sharing our hearts and the Hope we have in our relationship with GOD.

My friend Nellie over at Nellie's Cozy Place sent me an award last week and I want to pass it along.

She asked that I share 7 things about myself that you might not know....hmmm...let's see.

1)  I LOVE animals, but I'm allergic to their dander...so I can't have any kitty cats, doggies, otters or ferrets.  This has been a long time sadness for me, but I hope to have many animals in Heaven.

2)  I used to LOVE to ice skate during my childhood...mostly on in-door rinks,very fond memories.  The cold air made my eyes tear up, but my heart overflowed with joy.

3) MUSIC really touches my heart and I treasure sentimental lyrics and praise songs.

4) Photography is a favorite hobby of mine!  Cooking...not so much. 

5) I had the privilege to study in Austria when I was in college.  Such a fantastic experience which included tours of Italy, Britain, France, Germany and the Czech Republic.

6) Friendships are the Jewels of my life.  I treasure connectedness!

7) I married my high school sweetheart and have been blessed beyond measure with the unconditional love of an honorable, caring man for over 30 years.  Thank You LORD!

NOW, to pass on this award, I nominate three precious ladies:

 Diana at To Everything A Season  http://www.dfseason.blogspot.com/

 Kay at Nana's Nuggets http://www.Kaymiers.blogspot.com/

 Karen at Lily Valley http://www.lilyvalley-karen.blogspot.com/

  Please visit these sweet blogs, you will be encouraged!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Love of a LDG!

I came across this photo today...my mother-in-law welcoming my 6 year old daughter in 1989.
Because we settled across the country, she was relegated to being a LDG: long distance grandma.
She lived in New Jersey and we lived in the Seattle area.  We tried to get "home" at least once a year.
Though she had several children and grandchlidren living in town, she missed our family in a way I could not have understood until now...

Now that I am a LDG!

Looking at the tender intensity of her hug, caught on film, I relate completely to the sense of joy in seeing a grandchild after months of absence.  I relate to the sense of longing that we were closer.  I imagine that she prayed for GOD to move us closer...I know that I pray that way for my children and grands.

"LORD, please bless LDG's in a special way!  Thank you for the miracles of technology like email and Skype.  May your perfect will be done in each of our lives. Amen."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


You know, those things women don't typically talk about, like chin hair and eye brow pencils and burying your mother.

Unless you know Jesus, death is so final.
A box with your mother in it...dirt shoveled back into a gaping hole...ending your earthly relationship and any dreams of better understanding or affectionate touch.

With Christ, however, we have the Hope of a beautiful reunion.
Still there is separation and waiting.

So, time should not be taken for granted.  We each have today...right now...and no promise of days to come.  Reach out to your loved ones and let them know you care.
It will make their day and yours too.

Check out this blog for precious words about legacy and mother/daughter love:

Sending ((HUGS)) through the computer.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Precious Gift ~

My birthday was this week, and it brought to the forefront memories of my Mom.
I guess it was to be expected. I mean birthdays and anniversaries are perfect times for reflection.

And who shares your birthday more poignantly that your mother?
I've always liked to honor mothers on their childrens' birthdays...after all, they did all the work on that day!

So I was thinking back to the year I was pregnant with my firstborn.  When July rolled around, I was in my 7th month and feeling sooo maternal!  That's when it occurred to me to send my mother a bouquet of flowers to thank her for giving me birth.  She was a real estate broker at the time and I must have sent them to her office (to make the most impact I suppose).

Well, did I get points or what!  She was delighted with the sentiment behind my gift and shared with friends far and wide.

One other time she received flowers on my birthday. 
It was a year of trauma for her with multiple surgeries on her spine.  My dear husband  thought of sending her a lavish bouquet at the hospital to celebrate my 50th.  He did it without asking me or telling me about it.  He was just so thankful for me, his wife, that he thought it would bless both of us.  At the time I was not overjoyed.  Her ongoing illnesses had stripped me of energy, focus and peace, and my life felt like it would never be my own again. 

However, looking back, I am so grateful for the tender love of this precious man!   It was the right thing to do, to try and lift her spirits and I'm so happy he thought of it.

Sometimes the most precious gifts cost us dearly.  Whether it be our pride, or unforgiveness; resentment or jealousy; when we give unselfishly, we are always blessed in the process. 

How about you?  You don't have to wait til your birthday to bless your Mom or another loved one.
What can you do today?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Great Fiction and Thoughts on Love...

Francine Rivers' saga about mother/daughter relationships, "Her Mother's Hope," is a powerful book about the way women misunderstand each other.  You might see glimpses of your own mother/daughter relationships in her story, I know that I did.  Francine has the ability to draw you into a story as if you are right there with her characters.  I highly recommend any of her wonderful books, and this tale has a sequel that is now available (and in the mail to me as I type!).

Well, as I begin in earnest to explore the root of tensions between my mother and me, I'm realizing that so much of it has to do with "how" we tried to express love.  The fact is there was love between us, but it wasn't easy to receive it.  The characters in "Her Mother's Hope" struggle with this very dilemma.

Ever heard of "The Five Love Languages" by author Gary Chapman?  As individuals, we receive love in different ways.  Some "feel" loved when they hear words of encouragement, for others love is communicated through physical touchActs of service is another way people feel loved by others and spending quality time is yet another way to communicate love. Finally, gift giving is also a way that some people receive the message of love.

Which Love Language best communicates that YOU are Loved?
1) Words of Encouragement
2) Physical Touch
3) Acts of Service
4) Quality Time
5) Gift Giving
(*not necessarily in the author's order)
The struggle comes when we automatically "love" others in the way we receive love.  Because they may not be "getting it!"  It takes time to figure out which love language speaks to which person.
If we really love someone, we'll make the effort to discover what fills their emotional tank:  encouraging words, physical touch, acts of service, quality time or gift giving.

LOVE is a verb, and sometimes we get lazy and passive about showing it.
What will you do today to show someone you love them?

Friday, July 8, 2011


Mothers have them.

Young Moms need rest and patience and energy and confidence and guidelines and love.

Moms of small children need all that and more; an extra arm, more hours in the day, a regular break!

Moms of teenagers need courage and wisdom like never before!  And faith that GOD will protect their offspring in ways they never could.

Moms of adult children need discernment to know when to be quiet! 

Grandmas need to be honored and loved.  They need to be needed...yet not to the extent that they must raise the newest generation.

At ALL stages of motherhood we need to trust GOD and let His love nourish our souls.

((HUGS)) to All Moms!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Prevailing LOVE

How can we love our mothers when they act so, so...infuriating?
How can we respond with kindness when they point out something they feel needs to be changed...like our hairstyle, wardrobe, friends or habits?
How can we sense the genuine love and concern behind their critical comments?

The only answer I know:  
We love because JESUS first Loved us!

I've long wondered how women love unconditionally if they don't know the Unconditional Love of Christ.  I suppose some pull it off and sustain fairly healthy relationships apart from HIM, but I sure couldn't.  Left to my own devices, my bruised ego and personal insecurities caused me to react with either shame or anger when my mother would criticize me.  But GOD. 

Once I welcomed Him in to be the center of my life and trusted His love for me, I was able to serve her with kindness and breeze past most of her unappreciated comments.

You see, as is common with many adult children of alcoholics, my home life as a kid reverberated with the tension of my mother's many hurts and emotional wounds.  She was so unhappy with my father and with her life that she often "took it out" on us kids.  How she needed the arms of GOD around her, holding her close!
Her need for acceptance, security and unconditional love reached a crescendo in her later years, during her third marriage after her kids had scattered.

By GOD's Grace, she did find her way to Christ.  Though she couldn't completely give up Vodka, her liquid lover, she found a new peace that sustained her through her final battle with lung cancer.  And on her death bed she asked me why I loved an old lady who had caused me so much pain.  (Check out my post at http://todaysladyvirtue.blogspot.com/2011/05/guest-post-on-celebrating-mothers_23.html) Though I felt pressed in that moment to have a ready answer, the REAL answer is that Christ made it possible!  HIS Love flowing through me!  Thank You LORD!

Is there someone in your life who needs Christ's love and touch?
Maybe it's a friend, acquaintance, family member or even your Mom!
They may be exceedingly difficult to love unconditionally, but Jesus is up to the challenge!
Tap into His Love and see what a difference it makes!

Thanks for stopping by and may you know GOD's Love in abundance today!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I am my mother's daughter!

(circa 1979)
Oh dear... truly the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree!

Cliche...and yet, I see more of her in me as the years pass.
Whether it's "her" hand motions, pursing of the lips or a flipant chuckle now and then, I unconsciously parrot some of my mother's mannerisms and wonder... could these have been passed down from her mother?

Oh, our family trees!  So full of NUTS!

If your mother is still alive, find a way to celebrate her today. 
Don't put it off until an official day in May!
No matter the quality of your relationship, there is always something good to focus on, and no better time than NOW. 
Don't let little squabbles or defensiveness keep you from the joy of connectedness.
Family is too precious to take for granted!

~ HUGS to you Precious Ones ~

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thinking of MOM

Three years ago today, my mother stepped out of her earth suit and into Heaven.
How I remember that Sunday afternoon, 52 hours prior to her passing, when the Hospice nurse told me that death was "imminent."  I was the only one in her apartment, as my step dad was taking a nap down the hall.

Imminent  (in this context) was a foreign term to me so I asked the sweet nurse to explain.  She told me that my Mom was slipping away, her vital functions shutting down. It would just be days or even hours before she left.

Even now, after three years, it is impossible to type these words without tears flowing done my cheeks.
For me, April 1st will never be a day for goofy jokes again.  Oh, I used to love a funny prank, just ask Hubby about the coffee creamer that poured out of the container a lovely green color! 

But now, this is a day to honor my Mom's memory, to reach out to loved ones and reflect on the 75 years she spent on this earth.  I can no longer make a quick trip to the cemetery to leave a rose on her grave, but I can pause and give thanks for the treasure of family.   I'm so grateful for the love GOD enables us to experience in such frail vessels.

Here is the African Violet that Hubby purchased for me on the first anniversary of Mom's passing.  She always had African Violets in her window! 
It's doing rather well, don't you think?

Blessings to you and yours! 
                  Hug each other a little tighter tonight!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More Than A House Coat

At first glance, just a tired, dated house coat.
The colors faded from hundreds of washings, the style dating back to 1983.
How can I remember the age of an otherwise non-descript article of clothing?
Funny what the heart holds on to.

I purchased this house coat soon after my first child was born.
Pink, in honor of my baby daughter, and well constructed from a classy catalogue.
Now, I must admit that I haven't always fit into this piece of leisure ware but I've held on to it through the years...27 to be exact!

When it first arrived by mail (to our cabin in the woods on Bainbridge Island), it cheered my spirits...made me feel "pretty," and received numerous baby nuzzles with a fair amount of infant "spit-up."  Oh, those days of early motherhood!  For me they were intimidating and magical all together.  I was responsible for Katie's complete care and well being and I took my role so seriously.  Praise GOD, He was there to grant me wisdom and peace as I adjusted to her changing routines and learned patience and endurance through those early colicky months.

Another child followed twenty months later, and again this house coat served me well.  Yet as the children grew, it was relegated to the back of the guest room closet, only to be tried on when my weight dropped, granting me some diet encouragement.

Fast forward twenty two years and many moves.  GOD brought our family to Florida, and my mother ended up living only a few miles away from me.  At some point in 2004, she expressed the need for a house coat and my thoughts returned to the sweet little "coat" hanging in the lonely back closet.  She was delighted when I brought it out and wore it faithfully the last four years of her life!

It certainly made her feel "presentable" when we visited; and seemed to comfort her despite the pain caused by lung cancer.  It even seemed to cheer her during times of chemo recovery . 

Maybe, she treasured it because of its "history." 
From daughter to mother, blessing granddaughter too!

Thank you for sharing this walk down memory lane with me. 
Since I recently moved and downsized, I'm confronted with so many "tucked away" treasures that I really don't have room to store.  So, what should I do? 

Should I keep it intact for my daughter to deal with someday, or maybe cut out the bodice to make a pillow?
Hmmmm...if she ever has a daughter, it would be so fitting to pass it down...just thinking.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Box of Blessing

When my mother died almost three years ago, I thought that my care giving ended and that I would never be able to do anything for her again.  Not so! 

Even though I helped pack up her "stuff" one last time and assisted my stepfather in his move out west, there was still an important task I needed to address, a job she left for me to do.

Yet, life's busyness distracted me soon after her memorial service in 2008, as my husband tore his Achilles tendon just as I was called back to direct a local non-profit ministry.
So, as I cleaned out the garage a few weeks ago (in the process of moving), I was surprised to see a box  marked in Mom's handwriting and designated for the American Cancer Society.

Not knowing exactly where that office is or their abbreviated hours, I decided to take the box to the radiologist that had treated my mother with such kindness during her last cancer battle.  Dr. Graham in Orange City will always hold a place of esteem in my heart and his staff was particularly attuned to Mom's many "ups and downs."

With no time to reminisce or grieve that Friday, for the movers were packing up the moving van and we were headed out of state, I grabbed the box and headed for Dr. Graham's office.  They were so pleased to see me and immediately mentioned my Mom and how they always enjoy the singing Santa she gave the office at Christmas time because "he" reminds them of her!

What a Blessing!
To know that she is remembered so kindly, even when her last days were filled with fear and pain that spilled over to those around her...still her thoughtfulness is remembered!

And the box...contained a couple of breast prosthesis's that she wanted to share, not waste, as she would no longer need them! 
What a reminder to me that some day, I too will leave behind my woundedness and worldly crutches to put on the immortal and live with my Savior forever!!!

How precious it was for me to go on this additional errand for her...and to think that maybe it wasn't the last!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Memories, mementos, displaying the cherished things of a Loved one...dishes, pictures, furniture...all from my mother.  How she enjoyed these things that she had collected over the years!  Objects of art, objects of comfortable function, each one giving her delight...now adorn my new home, drawing her memory near.

She would approve and smile, maybe adjust their placement a tad, but she would be happy to see her "history" live on.

I'm so grateful to GOD for the sensitivity to appreciate not only her importance in my life, but her feelings as well.

How about you?
What things of your mother's tickle your fancy?  Do you own something that was once hers?
Please share your heart ~

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Blessing of Understanding

Wednesday last week was my Mother's birthday.  It still seems so odd not to be able to call her or send a present with a card.  She stepped into heaven 2 years and 10 months ago and left a big whole in my life.

Though she wouldn't want to be back here facing worldly challenges, her family misses her and is still learning to cope with the void she has left.

At present I am confronted with uncertainty on many fronts: unemployment, leaving my home and two cracked ribs; and so I've been thinking about how my Mom coped with years of pain and unhappiness.
Above all else, my Mom was a survivor!

She endured long lasting emotional and physical pain better than anyone I know.  And as I age, and deal with similar trials and testing, I appreciate more what she went through. 
Isn't that usually the case?

How quick we are to form judgements or strong opinions about another's responses to life's difficulties, when we have no idea the depth of their struggles or the toll their trials have taken on their souls! 

"LORD, help me to grow in compassion
for all I meet. 
May I never minimize a person's struggle,
especially when I have never experienced a similar trial. 
Please give me Your eyes
to see the heart of those who cross my path
and Your patience to minister grace and care."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Winner!

Early this morning, Hubby drew from the names of contributors in my first Give-a-way.  Out of a pretty kitchen bowl, one name was selected...
I'm delighted to announce that he drew out Rebecca's name from Life & Godliness.
What fun!   She has fond memories of a special relative who used to play the accordion and we are excited to send her off one of my books with Hubby's accordion music.

To the other participants, thank you for sharing your thoughts about why motherhood matters.
Each of you shared uplifting, encouraging insights into the most important job of all...nurturing and educating the next generation!  Thank you for caring about motherhood and for loving your own children so much!

Maternal Blessings and Joy for the Journey!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Motherhood Matters Give-A-Way

Mama Manatee swims by to announce my first Give-A-Way!

 Motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes.

 But it always requires care and protection.

When the temperature plummeted last month, this Mama Manatee led her calf into the warmer waters of Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, Florida. 
There they frolicked for many to admire, reminding me to take time to be playful with my children and grandchildren!


From now until midnight on Monday, January 10th, leave a comment that starts with the words: Motherhood matters...  and your name will be entered into a drawing for a complimentary copy of my children's book Grandpa's Magical Accordion.   Comments must be shorter than 50 words to qualify!  Invite friends to visit and leave a comment, I'm excited to read your thoughts.