A Mother Needs Faith, Not Perfection
- Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna Raising a Modern-Day Princess
- 2010 17 Feb
. . . we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. . . . ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 (MSG)
I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.
They have clung to me all my life. ~ Abrahan Lincoln (1809-1865)
A mom is like the orchestra conductor in the symphony of her daughter's life. Mom, if you tap your baton to the sheet music of Scripture, some amazing things can happen in your daughter' s heart.
Moms have a profound influence on us—for good, or not. Both of us [Doreen and Pam] feel grateful for positive, proactive mothers who cared for each of us and influenced our lives in amazing ways, in spite of their own personal pain or any drama going on in their private lives. Our mothers' influence gave us a heart for serving others and the confidence to lead.
Doreen Recalls Thoughts of Her Own Mother
Just the thought of my mother, Ariel, now in her eighties, brings immediate peace to my mind, joy to my heart, and memories that refresh my soul. I am grateful that God's divine plan purposed that I would be raised by a godly mother. I will always associate simple phrases with Mom when I hear them quoted. Things such as:
Cleanliness is next to godliness.
Always wear clean underwear. You never know when you'll be in an accident.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I carried these and other simple words of wisdom into the lives of my own two daughters and now I'm beginning to see them passed on to my granddaughters. I don't think it's ever been written anywhere that I should have told my girls things like this. It's just the way I heard my mother say certain things repeatedly. We establish traditions by the things we speak to the next generation (once again we see the power of our words).
On the other hand, some things are never spoken but rather lived out—modeled daily for us by our mothers. Imprinted upon my mind to this day is a picture of my mom, curled up in her favorite chair, quietly reading God's Word or praying before the rest of the family rose to meet the day.
I did not realize the effect my mother's spiritual discipline had on my life until the early years of my marriage. I chose to attend my first women's Bible study because I was looking to better understand my relationship with the Lord and become a better wife and mother. One particular day at Bible study, the leader began to paint a word picture of a godly woman.
I immediately recognized that many of the attributes and spiritual disciplines creating the masterpiece of a godly woman were those modeled by my very own mother.
I saw clearly, for the first time in my life, that her time spent with God had obviously kept her centered emotionally. Her faith strengthened her trust in God despite many challenges, and she was strong spiritually because of the thousands of mornings spent with her Heavenly Father.
Today, she is abundant in her knowledge of God' s Word. She has hidden His Word in her heart (even in her early seventies, she memorized the book of Habakkuk) and the depth of her faith continues to encourage and challenge me as well as others who are a part of her life.
Despite my mother's good qualities, I don't mean to imply that she was, or is, perfect, by any means. But it was her good decisions that made a lasting effect on me. I honestly can't remember very many mistakes my mom made. However, I can clearly remember one.
One particular day, when my sister was 12 and I was 14, we were assigned the task of cleaning the pots, pans, and shelves in the lower cabinets of the kitchen. Typical teens, we were both bored within a short time of what seemed to be a major project, so we just lazily moved along knowing Mom was out running errands. To our surprise, she returned much earlier than we expected. When she entered the kitchen and saw our sloppy and unfinished task, in her frustration she took the nearest pan and conked my sister right on the head.
It took my sister by utter surprise because Mom came from behind (and didn't do things like this!). As I watched my mom's unjustified anger turn into shock, and my sister's face turn into a "What just happened?" look, in a nervous response I burst into uncontrollable laughter.
Fortunately, my response broke the tension of the moment and we all ended up laughing together as though we were mimicking a Three Stooges scene. Years later, we discovered in a true confession that Mom had an argument with Dad and was still angry with him when she returned home. When she realized he was gone, her anger exploded on my sister's head. No, moms are not perfect (can you relate?), but moms are called. We are called to be the guardian of the symphony of our daughter's life.
March 1, 2010
Excerpted from Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna's book Raising a Modern-Day Princess, a Focus on the Family book. Copyright (c)2009, Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.
Doreen Hanna is the founder and president of Treasured Celebations Ministries. She is the coauthor of Becoming a Modern Day Princess, a biblically based rite-of-passage progrem for teenage girls. She is a faculty member and motivational speaker for CLASS (Christian Leaders Authors & Speakers Services), and has been a women's Bible study teacher and trained biblical counselor for more than 25 years.
Pam Farrel is a relationship specialist, international speaker, and author of over 30 books, including the best-selling Men Are Like Waffles -- Women Are Like Spaghetti. Pam has been a pastor's wife and a director of women's ministries and is president of Seasoned Sisters. Pam and her husband, Bill, have a newspaper and magazine column on relationships and are frequent guests on shows like Focus on the Family.