Sunday, May 08, 2011

Thankful for Parents

This morning in the Daily Bread, I read about what God had to say about Jerusalem in Isaiah 66:7-13. Verses 10-13 read this "Rejoice with Jerusalem! Be glad with her, all you who love her and mourn for her. Delight in Jerusalem! Drink deeply of her glory even as an infant drinks at its mother's generous breasts. Peace and prosperity will overflow Jerusalem like a river," says the Lord. "The wealth of the nations will flow to her. Her children will be nursed at her breasts, carried in her arms, and treated with love. I will comfort you there as a child is comforted by its mother."

me as a tiny babe  :-)
This passage did remind me of my own mother. I love my mom. Did I always? I know I did but there sure were times, and still are times, where I just don't
understand her. During my teenage years, there's definitely times when I had felt, well I don't want to say hate because it's such a strong word, but I really really disliked her and was very cold towards her. My mom has mental illness, and as a young girl, a teenager, embarrassment, shame, fear, misunderstanding and bitter feelings flowed quite rampant. I was never taught to appreciate my mom for who she was until now in my later years. God continually worked on my heart for me to see her for how HE wants me to see her.
the whole family when I was about
3 months old. We were happy
kids in spite of the difficulties
at times. Our parents loved us.

For many years I was warped into seeing her through my dad's eyes, my siblings eyes and through the eyes of all those around me. Yes there's been many a time where I 'wished' for different aspects in my mother or not to have a father who was more legalistic and unhappy. BUT, God has definitely done a lot of work in my heart and in my mind to see them in the light of who He made them to be.

my sister Matilda & I by
gramma Fehr's home
just at the end of dad's
property where we lived
It has taken much reading, thought processing, forgiveness and journeying back into the past to really try to understand my parents better and to try to see where they were coming from. It really took a lot of sifting through what other people thought and form my own decisions as to who I saw my parents to be. They really DID love me. Their ways of raising me was not always healthy, but there's mistakes that I've made with my own children too. But mom and dad did love me, they did care about what I ate and there were times when mom made very good meals when she was feeling well. They did care about my well being, they cared about what type of friends I
my siblings before I was born so
 I added myself up top :-)
 had and they cared about my well being. They both cared about teaching me about God and reading the Bible and praying. Even though things were quite legalistic, I know that they wanted what was best and they did all they could to keep us out of the world. My dad saw everything as being wrong and sinful, but he only wanted me to stay close to Jesus and to stay away from anything that would warp my mind. We weren't raised with a TV or going to movies or doing a lot of 'worldly' things. There is value in that! In his way, dad only wanted to teach us what was right, and I do appreciate that.
Mom & Dad on their wedding day

Mom and dad were deeply in love when they got married and when I see certain photos of them, you can see it and they stuck together over the years. Many many times, things were really really tough in their relationship, especially with mom's mental illness and her many breakdowns and hospitalizations. Dad didn't always know how to handle things, whether it be how to deal with her sickness or us 7 young kids. Trying to work hard, hold his home together, provide for his family, how to be a dad and mom sometimes at the same time, and continually work through mom's illness...I can't imagine what went through his head some days. He made a lot of mistakes and we didn't always see healthy reactions from him.  I can't imagine how my mom dealt with things sometimes either. Her mom passed away when she was 15, she was needy and her siblings were not always supportive either, she needed love and understanding, but no one always knew how to deal with her. Then she married dad and had 6 kids in 6 years and then me 4 years later. Going from baby blue to baby blue on top of her mental illness....oh wow!  I just can't imagine! BUT you know what? God knew ALL of that before the world ever began! He had all the pieces of the puzzle put together. God knew how all the mistakes, all the good things,all the sickness, all the legalism and sickness would mold us into who all of my family are today. It is by the GRACE OF GOD that we are all where we are at today!
mom & dad on their wedding
day - mom's evening
dress which I often wore
on 50's Day during my
high school years

Some say that my parents should never have been married. I don't believe that. God knew! Where would I be today if my parents hadn't been married. I wouldn't be here. Simple as that. If I wouldn't have had the upbringing I had, and the past that I had, I WOULD NOT be who I am today. God used all of that and used it to create me today. I am thankful for that. I am thankful for my wounds, and my upbringing, I really am.

Love you both, mom & dad!  Thank you for staying together forever and never leaving each other. You both loved each other until the very end. You made it through and you have beautiful kids and grandkids. You never gave up on each other. Sticking together speaks volumes...even if it wasn't always a bed of roses. There's such lessons to be learned in that!
True love wins!  HUGS!

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