Posts tagged mothers

For mothers, moms, and mamas:


… I wish I’d known

 “For all who enter God’s rest will find rest from their labors…”

Hebrews 4v10

‘Come to Me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,

and I will give you rest…”

Matthew 11v28

“let Me teach you.”

Matthew 11v29

I sit, this morning, in my snug cabin in the woods. It is early, the day just arising—still crisp and cool. I am alone in the quiet, welcoming the day in the presence of the One who bids me come.

I flip the pages of my bible to these words, given me long ago when neither alarm clocks nor discipline were enough to pull me from my bed:

… He awakens me morning by morning,

wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed…

Is 50v4

Here in the silence I quiet my mind and still my soul. I lean in to listen, to wait with the intensity of another seeker from long ago,

I waited intently for the Lord, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry…

David, in Psalm 40v1

And I remember how I got to this place of craving Him so much that neither discipline nor alarm clocks are necessary anymore. How I slipped in the muck of my own ugliness, how I couldn’t find my way out, how I raged and wept bitter tears of despair at the unfairness of life, of my life.

And then I remember how He rescued me, setting my feet on solid rock, washing me clean, inviting me into this place I love. A place of surrender, of satisfaction, of genuine, all-the-way-through-to-my-heart happiness.

This place of Rest. 

I wish I had known about this place when I was a mother of little ones.

I wish I had known how to hide from the chaos and the neediness and the incessant conflict that sucks the life out of a young mama’s world.

But I didn’t. Instead, I tried. All the time, every day, I tried.

I tried to be patient… and failed.

I tried to be happy… and wasn’t.

I tried to be good and kind… and ended up irritated and mad—

and tired, just so tired.

I wanted so badly to be a good mama—the best—but I couldn’t be who I thought I should and wished I would be.

And this, my dear tired out mamas, is what I wish I had known then:

That trying harder is not the solution to your inadequacies and ineptitudes.

That the way to be the woman, the wife, the mother you wish you were is not found in books or podcasts or seminars or blog posts—but in Rest.

His Rest— God’s.

I wish I had understood that discipline is not what gets me there. That I will never deserve it… or Him… or any of His benefits. That being better and trying harder just managed to entangle me hopelessly in great knots of uptightness. And anger, and impatience, and self-pity and… shame.

I wish I had known that the Father is so madly in love with us— with me and with you just-as-you-are-right-now-in-this-flaw-filled moment— that He stands at the door and invites us to enter this place we all crave.

This place of Rest.

The key to this place? Not trying, not striving, not ten steps to a better you, but simply…

Belief.[1] Which is trust, entrusting yourself entirely and without reservation to God.

Entrusting your children to Him.

Entrusting your worries to Him.

Entrusting your failings, your past, your future, your wishes and dreams and happiness— to Him.

And then doing it again. And again. Over and over every day, every hour until your head begins to believe what your soul tells you is the truest truth:

That God is trustworthy… that He is good… that He is able… that He is beautiful and He brings beauty and He makes you—and your children— beautiful.

Just because He loves you that much.

And so my one wish for you this Mother’s Day is this:

That you would cease striving and know… Rest. 

I’ve offered no solutions here, no formulas. Because I have come to see that every single one of us has a different story… a story that urges us inevitably towards this place of rest.

I cannot tell you how (exactly) to get there, but I can and will pray for you if you will leave me a hint of who you are, of what you want and need from Him.

From my heart,


[1] For more, read Hebrews, the end of chapter 3 and all of chapter 4

What Happens When A Mom Does Love


I sit beside my mom in a hospital far from home.

Her recovery from the removal of an acoustic neuroma[1] has been tortuously full of tension and worry— very step haunted by unexpected disappointments.

I’ve cried my contacts into shreds, grieving for her loss of dignity and control. To go from her vibrantly sassy self, into a shell of who she is over the course of just a few days has left those of us who love her dismayed, shocked, exhausted by a roller coaster ride of grief.

With every new shift of nurses and caretakers I start over with my litany of mom. I want them to know her as she is, not as she seems right now in this broken moment.

I describe her artistry as a quilter, her love of her family and loyalty to her friends. How her great grandkids named her, “Great”, because she is great. And because she brings them great presents and delights in who they are.

Great is an appropriate  name for my mom.

Then I tell them how she joked with the neurosurgeons just minutes before wheeling into the operating room. Their startled laughter at this fragile patient teasing them about their sober minded seriousness, my knowledge of her underlying terror at what they were about to do.

And as I help her back to herself, I remember…

Cookies coming out of the oven, timed to perfection right when we came home from school. Sweet rolls on Christmas morning, countless lunches all those years of school, and what amazes me the most: a home cooked dinner every single night. Fast food never once sat on our table, she would have been appalled at the idea.

I remember sitting beside her as she sewed ball gowns for my Barbies, then later my prom dress and eventually matching dresses for my daughters.

And all those hours of talking.

Late at night when I was a self-conscious, socially awkward teenager. The after dinner phone calls when I was lonely for her closeness, and lived far away.  And that early morning frantic call when Matthew was so sick and I was so afraid.

She listened to me for hours… and hours… and hours.

I remember her once saying:  For such a quiet girl, Diane can sure talk!


And then in those years when it was all I could do to keep my head above water with four kids and a husband traveling all over the world, she’d welcome me back into her home for my annual Mom’s Break. While Phil held down the fort at home, Mom treated me to a retreat aimed to fill me full and send me back refreshed.

I’d sit on the back deck of their beautiful home overlooking the Sierras and just soak in the peace and sunshine. She’d cook and bake and fill her clawfoot tub full for a hot bubble bath. Then she’d turn back the covers on my bed and turn on the electric heating blanket.

All that Love Does, as Bob Goff so adamantly reminds us.

Mom did.  And so now here I am doing a little love back.

Funny how that works.

And maybe we need to remember that when the kids are squabbling and the house is a mess and there’s too much work for one woman to keep up with.

Because I know we drove my mom nuts sometimes. Lots of times. I remember a meltdown or two, that frustration spilling over as we pushed those buttons every kid is born knowing how to push.

But what sticks in my mind in these moments is all the doing she did for us.  And I find myself wanting to do back.

To be tender for all the times she gently talked my fears away.

To rub her back like she rubbed mine.

To tell her she’s beautiful even though she knows it cannot be true. Just like she told me I was beautiful when my mirror told a different story.

 And isn’t there a glowing beauty in skin gently aged by all that doing?

Dear girls, to be a doing kind of mother is to be beautiful in a way that cannot be covered by age or trauma or brokenness.

My mother will always be beautiful. She earned those creases by doing love so much and so often its permanently etched on her face.

And so many of you need to know that now while you’re in those doing years. There is a day of payback. A time when your sons and your daughters will feel the honor of giving back to you a tiny bit of what you gave to them.

My mother would never have believed that when I was a sassy teenager. But it’s true!

There has been a God-given glow about these days of doing for my mom. A sense that He is here and He is pleased and He is guiding me and delighting in what is happening in this hospital room. And maybe laughing a little too as He remembers the grief I gave to mom way back when.

And so here I sit. I wait for her to come back to us. To laugh and tease and sass in that way of hers I love.  To finally know that all that doing she did is coming back to do a little back.

From my heart,


P.S. Thank you for praying for my mom. The notes and emails and texts of love have boosted me when my spirit wavered. We have a long road ahead of us but we've put our hope in the One who loves-- the One who does love.

[1] a benign tumor that was pushing against her brain