We all want to know that we are making a difference in the world. Most of us hope it will be a positive difference.
I’m pretty sure I’m making a difference in my kids lives. I mostly hope that they won’t have to go to too much therapy as they get older.
I’m not sure that I making much difference in my community, but I am trying to leave it better than when I arrived.
I’m pretty sure I make a difference at work. And that feels pretty good.
I work for a cystic fibrosis nonprofit. I organize the fundraising and manage much of the communication–especially social media. It is a dream job for me, really. It is a perfect fit for my skill set and I enjoy the work.
What did surprise me though, is how much I would really care about my job. I work to help real people. I meet their families. I meet their friends. Some are quite healthy and do very well. Others are very very sick, and sadly I’ve been to more funerals then I would at a different job.
Selfishly, I’d like to think that I am making a difference in the lives of those I serve. And I assume that I do.
Today I had the rare gift of meeting someone that I’d only known on paper for the past four years. His daughter recently lost her fight against cystic fibrosis. It is a sad story. She was a valiant fighter. But what was most amazing was to hear her father tell of her very strong faith. This brave young woman was thinking of others even in her dying moments. She knew where her salvation was. She knew death was not the end. And because of her faith, she was able to make a difference. She touched lives all over the United States.
This grieving father greeted me with a hug. And then he thanked me for what I do every day. It was a good reminder to know that the little, sometimes tedious, things that I do every day really do make a difference. The people that we serve who are living with CF know that there’s someone on their side. I’m happy to be that person. It made my day to know that I made someone else’s day.
So don’t underestimate the difference you are making in someone else’s life. Sometimes the ordinary, every day, expressions of love make the deepest impact.
Last night was a final band concert for kid #2.
Somehow in the hubub of mothering, two of my baby chicks managed to make it to adulthood (mostly) unscathed.
Graduating a second kid is much easier than the first time around. Three years ago I was totally emotionally unprepared for the feelings that would wash over me. And mostly, I feared that I would lose my son. I feared that somehow, he would graduate, move away and never need me again. Thre years later, I KNOW that this is not true. I’ve also really enjoyed our changing and growing relationship.
So, part of this round of the senior year, I’ve spent looking forward to that child to adult transition.
Perhaps things are eased with knowing that graduation does not equal moving out for this young man. He will be living at home and attending college locally. Perhaps, I just really (mostly) like the young man he has become. I’m really super proud of what he has accomplished. Elementary school and middle school were a real struggle for him, but he has excelled in high school and has become organized and responsible.
And yet, as happy as I am for his future, I still choked up a bit at that concert last night. Not during the music itself. During the music, I just soaked it in. (and I secretly enjoyed that it was 12th-grade level music versus the 5th-grade level that he started with!) I choked up at the final applause. Because, really, it is his final applause. I don’t see him playing horn in college, or in the community symphony. He’s pretty much done. And finality is a funny thing.
He has a lot of great things ahead of him…plenty of first things…and plenty of lasts.
The challenge will be to find the joy in both the firsts and the lasts.
Sometimes I question the calendar placement of Mothers’ Day. It is usually smack-dab in one of the busiest times of the year, in the midst of graduations and end of school year preparations, and also right around the time things like summer camp registrations are due. Money may be tight, but you still love Mom!
I generally follow the same gift giving rule that I teach my children, give people a gift that you yourself would appreciate receiving. So, I’ve compiled this gift guide full of things that I too would love to receive for Mothers Day–and I bet you would too!
- Nice Colored Pencils : Every mom knows that all of her favorite supplies are often “borrowed” by children working on their monster map of South America that is due, OMG, it is due TOMORROW! Bonus points if you buy her a different brand than what the kids use, making them more difficult to “borrow.” Sweeten the pot by adding in this beautiful Journaling Bible with over 500 verses to color–perfect for someone like me who loves the idea of a journaling bible, but has zero ability to draw pretty doodles. OR, for the snarkier mom (can I admit that I am a little of both?) a fun adult coloring book about the lighter side of motherhood may just make her day!
- EchoDot: Because sometimes Mama just wants to listen to her stories, or her music–or maybe she wants to drown out the sound of chaos. This little voice-controlled, hands-free device is small enough to tuck in a tote and travel from work to home and back again. At just under $50 it is a fun gift for the tech-inspired mom in your life.
- Water Infuser Bottle: Mom’s on a diet? Well, this little gadget may make her a little less crabby! Water tastes great when it is infused with fruit flavor and the mesh basket helps keep seeds and pulp out of your water!
- Cute Shoes: These sweet Mary Janes from Hot Chocolate Designs are adorable and a fun splurge for the shoe-loving mom. Hint-hint–I wear a size 10!
- Miss your mom? Me too. This sweet coffee mug can be custom made with any of the United States and the Canadian provinces! They also have a sweet quote on the back: “My mother forever, never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart.” A sweet sentiment and I know of at least one mom who is getting one–wink!
- I often like to start my mom on book series–she is a reader like I am. Last year I started her on the Anthems of Zion series, and I cannot wait to purchase her the third of Katie Schuermann’s novels when it is released in a few weeks. This is a perfect series for the “church lady” in your life.
- You can never go wrong with a cookbook! (that is, if your mom cooks!) And I have found that you can never go wrong with a cookbook from Six Sisters Stuff. None of their recipes may be groundbreaking, but they are all delicious and family friendly! They are also full of tips on streamlining meal planning and your kitchen! This one is next on my list of cookbooks to buy!
So, there you have it! My favorite, budget-friendly mothers’ day gifts! What is your favorite gift to share with your mom?
For Pastor’s Wives, I should just say, “yay! We survived!”
But really, no matter our vocation, we all have difficult times. We have periods as moms where our lives have more things on the schedule than times to do them, or more items on the shopping list than money to pay for them.
I’m emerging from a post-lenten fog.
I’ve had a lot on my plate.
I’m beginning to think that March is not my favorite month. Last year I struggled with my oldest son being away at basic training in March, and this year I just, well, struggled. It was nothing I can put my finger on, but I can tell that I am coming out from the other side.
I’m enjoying my family again.
I’m feeling productive.
Yarn is flying off of my crochet hook and knitting needles.
Decent meals are being cooked.
The house, while not company ready, IS family ready.
I’m getting my work mojo back.
It is all good.
And I am so thankful to God for sustaining me through my rough times as well as my up times.
We all have down times.
And that is OK.
Here on #MomWinWednesday I am encouraging you to celebrate the small wins in your day. Because, let’s face it, sometimes the small wins are the only wins we get in a given day.
I’ve written before about setting yourself up for a successful morning before–and make sure you grab your free printable here! Well, this morning was a payoff for proper nighttime preparation. I DID manage to make sure the girls laid their clothes out last night. We ALL made it to bed on time–even me–which might have freaked out the teen when he came home from work to a dark house!
This morning we were up with the sun, and even had time for a home cooked breakfast! (thanks Dad!). But the most fun, and my #momwin would be the fun lipsync party we had to a favorite song over our eggs and bagels!
It set ALL of our days up for smiles and happiness.
(And WHAT is our favorite song for an epic lipsync battle?)