Welcome, former procrastinator ladies from LifeSong! It was a privilege to be with you!
I hope all of you enjoyed a Happy Mother’s Day! Thinking about that, I remember playing with paper dolls as a little girl. My favorites were the tall stiff ones that had clothes I could color with crayons. I’ve been thinking about the fact that my mom was not a paper doll.
I wish I’d known Mother better. I thought I had her pegged as a mom and that was nearly the whole picture of who she was. Wrong. I knew some of who she was as a mother. There was more to her as a mother and there were other facets of her – the child, young woman, wife, teacher, etc. What about her relationship with her parents and sister? What were her hopes and dreams? I kind of made her flat like a paper doll.
Perception is not reality. We think and act out of what we perceive, but sometimes we don’t perceive the whole truth.
I made observations, came to conclusions, and made calls that were not accurate. Now I know my mother was far wiser, had more pain, was more courageous, generous, God-focused, prayerful, respectful, influential, and fun than I had realized. I missed out on aspects of her that were deep or delightful. We really enjoyed each other, but because I assumed I had “pegged” her correctly, I limited our relationship.
Once, I said to my husband, “You just think so and so. You just want so and so.” He stopped me short. “Do not attribute attitudes to me. You don’t know what I’m thinking.”
“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a person of understanding will draw it out.” Proverbs 20:5.
I only thought I understood my mom. I wish I’d sought more to understand her – to draw her out, ask questions, show genuine interest in what she cared about. I’m really looking forward to being together in heaven. We have a lot to catch up on!
If you are privileged to still have your mom, remember she’s not a paper doll! There’s a heart in there – hopes, struggles, memories, counsel. Procrastination contributes to “paper doll perception.” Don’t put off drawing her out. Benefit from shared understanding. Your view of her can grow so it is in accord with the truth of who she is.
Isn’t that what we want for ourselves as well – to be known? We can give that precious gift to our mothers and to other people in our lives.
A heart of flesh doesn’t fit in a paper doll. We are more. Our parents, children, husbands, friends, colleagues are more. Let’s find the more.
How might you honor your mom or another older woman by drawing her out, getting to know the facets of her heart?