"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, July 14, 2008

Relishing Motherhood

Michal from Relishing Motherhood is having a writing contest. The topic is basically your thoughts on motherhood or as she put it an Ah Ha moment. I really haven't ever done anything like this but, I have recently put a few of my thoughts together and figured what the heck.

Being a mother has changed me. It has taught me things that I did not even know I needed to learn. It has tested me and stretched me into a person I am just getting to know.

Twenty years ago, as I was anticipating the birth of my first son, I realized that now my life was no longer about me. All of my thoughts, dreams and actions were focused around this new little spirit. I was excited and ready to take on the challenge. The minute he was placed in my arms I was changed forever.

Along this journey I have had many wonderful experiences. Looking back however, it has been the difficult experiences that have been the most rewarding. Isn’t it ironic? It is the latter that I have chosen to write about today.

It was a Wednesday night in early February. As we sat down to eat, my three year old son Justin pulled the cord on the electric skillet spilling boiling oil onto his head and arms. We spent many sleepless nights in the burn trauma unit. It was physically and emotionally almost more than I could bear. Nothing is as difficult as seeing your child suffer.

Once we knew that his life was no longer threatened, my list of worries began to change. I mourned the loss of my perfect, beautiful little boy. I would stare at his before pictures for hours thinking “what if” and “if only”. It didn’t take long however, to realize that he was still beautiful and perfect. HE WAS JUST THE SAME. Beauty comes from within. I had been taught an amazing lesson and I was changed forever.

Next I remember a long, terrible night. I had noticed some changes in my son Jalen’s normal routine. He was barely eating and always tired. Finally, after a week or so, I took him to the doctor. We found that his digestive system was plugged up. His intestines were compacted and had been for three or more weeks. Needless to say the doctor was concerned and he gave us a few things to try. That night we saw no results. We went back the next day and were given one last option before they would have to schedule surgery.

No one but I would know what that little boy endured that night. For hours his body trembled with pain and his pride was completely stripped away. In between his gasp he would apologize and whisper “thank you mom”. It was physically and emotionally almost more than I could bear. Nothing is as difficult as seeing your child suffer. That night I learned a very difficult lesson about true compassion and I was changed forever.

This last experience is from about six month ago. It was the darkest and most difficult time of my life. My oldest son Jordan was making choices that went against the things that we had always taught him. We were constantly arguing and our home was always a place of contention. I was so tired of it and to be honest I felt like I couldn’t stand it or him anymore.

One night things were especially awful and scary. After hours of heated arguing Jordan grabbed a handful of clothes and walked out the door. He was gone. How could this be happening? It was physically and emotionally almost more than I could bear. Nothing is as difficult as seeing your child suffer. This was not my dream when that precious infant was placed in my arms. But I learned a few important lessons that night. I learned to pray. I mean to really pray and pour my soul out to God. I learned to never say never. And I learned unconditional love. It took him walking out the door for me to fully understand how much I truly loved him. That night I was changed forever.

I am grateful for these and the many other things that I have experienced as a mother. These are lessons that I could have learned in no other way. I am humbled that my children were willing to go through these trials to help their mother change and grow. So now twenty years later I think I may have changed my mind; maybe, just maybe it is all about me after all.

21 comments:

Steve said...

Lynell
Wow - you made me cry! You brightened my day & gave me that little push to keep going!
Got back from girls camp & was a little annoyed with the lack of leadership from the Stake. We had a prayer as ward leaders & realized it was all about the YW & the memories they would carry with them forever! Went on a 8 mile hike straight up the mtn. & again, not one of the girls complained & whined & they all had the time of their life (we were hiking in SNOW!) - I could have pushed some leaders off the mtn.! Again - when you forget about yourself & focus on the really important things - kids, husband, family, church, service, etc. then everything else fades away!
You are an amazing woman with a heart of GOLD & I admire you so much! Love Lisa

Michal said...

thanks so much for participating in the contest and for contributing this beautiful and wise essay.

Allie said...

You made me cry too. That was beautiful.

Nate and Hilary said...

You made me cry Lynell... and that takes a lot right now. We're going through some really difficult times and I've done a pretty good job of building up my little wall. But you sure got to me. I don't like getting too personal on my blog, because I don't know who's reading it, but I'm glad you wrote what you did; it helped me remember again what's most important and to keep everything in perspective.
By the way, I don't think we'll be able to make it to the river this year, sadly. Hopefully we'll be there next year!!!!!!

Grammy Staffy said...

Nothing I can write can describe the feelings I have in my heart for you dear daughter. What a sweet mother you are and what a sweet daughter you have always been. I love you more than words can say.

Both Marie and I have given you blog awards. Pick them up when you get a chance. Love you

Are You Serious! said...

♡ That was very touching! I love the way you wrote this!

Kelsey S said...

WOw im crying! Beautiful!

Kelsey
mysweetlife.org

Tricia said...

Very well written! We love all of your sweet kids. You've done an amazing job teaching and nurturing them. Our desire, of course, now is to help Jordan in any way we can... I'm SOOOO glad he's back working with Dayne again, it showed some maturity and some lack of pride to ask to come back to work. He's always in our prayers.

My vote is definitely with you to win the contest, good luck!

Katie said...

You are so right about all of this. You are a great mom, and so well written. You should seriously right a book, or do motivational speaking! You are the most positive person I know!

Wendi said...

*sniff* sniff*

Thanks for sharing your essay.
Thanks for sharing those very personal memories.
Thanks for being an incredible example of motherhood.
Thanks for reminding me what is really important.

Marie said...

Beautiful post Lynell. All my best experiences, lessons, etc. have been learned from being a mom. It's been a wonderful journey into being . . .

Kathy said...

Lynell, you have brought me to tears. What a heartfelt glimpse into your 20 years of motherhood. Thank you for sharing your fears and love all at once. I love you girl and think you're amazing!!!

Corey and Susie said...

I love your outlook on life! No matter the situation, you always look for the positive and you always use your trials to uplift you! I love this post...it is so touching!

Kelsi said...

You are such a great writer and mother! I look up to you! You have walked in my shoes in some ways, and have learned what I am still learning!I gain so much strength by learning from other amazing Mom's like you with so much wisdom! I am so glad to have meet you through blogging you are a great example for me! Great Job!\
P.S. love your new look!

diXymiss said...

ThanX for stopping by ineXplicable today. It's a pleasure to "meet" you and your beautiful family. Lovely essay.

Melanie said...

Very moving. Motherhood is tough but it is always worth it in the end.

allredclan said...

I was going to say how you made me cry, but everyone wrote that, so I won't. ;) It has been many years now, Lynell, that I have admired you for your positive outlook, your spunky spirit, and for you wisdom. I find myself trying to learn from you in more ways than one. You are a great friend and I love you. =)

An Ordinary Mom said...

The love in this post is real and powerful ... you are a true mother and clearly you understand the power that comes with it.

What a moving post!

Erin said...

That was incredible! I love you and your example to me as a mother. I will need lots of advice when we cross that road!

hoLLy said...

that was an amazing post lynell. thank you for sharing your experiences-it is so true. we learn so much as mothers, more than we ever thought possible.

Susan said...

You are a wonderful person. Thanks for your great example!