a loving God

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it. – Mark Twain

Do you ever wonder if God gets as frustrated with Her children as human mothers get with theirs? I do, after all humans are a miscreant bunch. But unlike human mothers God the Mother has infinite patience and while She could wipe out the earth in a nanosecond and start over, She loves us in spite of ourselves.

 

What lessons can I glean from such love? The biggest would be love itself and along with that, patience. As humans we are not given to patience – we want what we want and we want it right now. In order to better understand Love, I read a book of quotations by Mother Teresa. She writes of having a love and patience that only the most tried and tested people have. I don’t know that I could ever give up everything the way she and her sister-nuns did. A man offered them a generator but she refused because it might lead to other things like a dish washer or washing machine. (She did accept some kerosene lamps from him.) She felt it necessary to live as the people she was ministering to did.

 

The love I have for others is nowhere near the Love God has for me, and maybe, because I am human-childless, I will never know the love, understanding and forgiveness a mother has for her children. But God does not call me to do something I am completely incapable of. She knows I will never know the love of a mother for her child. She knows I will never know the type of love She has for Her creations. She knows the depth of love I am able to attain and that is what I am tasked with achieving. And, because She does love me, in the words of Mother Teresa: God does not demand that I be successful. God demands that I be faithful. When facing God, results are not important. Faithfulness is what is important.”

 

Knowing and believing in a loving God, not a taskmaster, vengeful or judgmental God makes all the difference in my life. I am learning of this Loving God who is so new to my understanding and each day I grow stronger in Her Love.

 

Advertisements

hot alabama afternoons

Because I feel that in the heavens above
The angels, whispering one to another,
Can find among their burning tears of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother,”
Therefore, by that dear name I have long called you,
You who are more than mother unto me.
-Edgar Allan Poe

 

Both of my grandmothers have moved on from this earth. My paternal grandmother, Mamaw, died while I was in jr. high school and my maternal grandmother, Mama B., died sometime in the late 1990s. I intensely miss one and not the other.

When I think about Mamaw and how she was with me I can see how she raised the boy who would one day become my father/monster. She was a hard woman with eyes and heart reserved for her only child. She favored him over her husband, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Between her granddaughters I was not her favorite. At least that is how it seemed to me as a young girl. She once told me she wished I was a boy so I could carry on the family name (I was born with the RH factor and in the 50s-60s standard practice was for mothers not to have any more children after an RH baby was born). {If you are unfamiliar with RH babies, go HERE.} But since I wasn’t a boy and I was the last grandchild for her I felt unwanted and unloved by her. My grandfather (her much-beleaguered husband) tried to make it up to me and I felt very loved and wanted by him.

Now, Mama B. was different altogether. She had more children and thus, more grandchildren. But she loved each of us equally and a lot. She was warm, loving, indulgent, friendly, sweet, creative—everything Mamaw was not. I miss Mama B. so much it makes my heart hurt for her. I spent a lot of summers with her even after I was grown and on my own. Of course now I wish I had spent even more time with her but she lived 900 miles and 4 states away so it wasn’t easy to see her. She was a wonderful letter writer but I was not. I’m fairly certain were she alive today she would be commenting on my blog and probably even writing one herself. She could make the best food in the south, especially fruitcake (it was soaked in rum!) for Christmas and coconut cake in the summer. We spent many a summer afternoon watching her “stories”, and afterward taking a nap, then getting up and sitting under the trees in the backyard with coffee (ice tea for me) and cake—before supper! Even now when I walk outside in the hot, humid summer air I am reminded of hot and sticky Alabama afternoons spent with my Mama B. and smile (or tear-up, depending on hormonal level).

No such memories with Mamaw. Just ones of being left out, yelled at, slapped across the face for saying something stupid and apologizing for some perceived wrong.

So I choose to let Mamaw go. And I choose to keep Mama B. with me always. Grandmothers have more than a passing influence on their grandchildren. It is too bad some don’t ever realize it.

 

mama b
my beautiful Mama B.

crazy cat-lady

I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother
to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

A while back I posted a bit about God not being a fairy godmother to give us what we want. If She were then I would wish for my bills to be paid off, my mother’s & sister’s houses to be paid off and to win the lottery so I wouldn’t have to work until I am 99 or in the grave, whichever comes first. But life doesn’t work that way for me and neither does God. Therefore, I must learn to be content with what She has given me because it is what I need  [not want] in this moment.

 

I think all mothers have high hopes for their children. I’m sure my mother did. I don’t think I met those hopes. She has long sense given up on being a grandmother through me and has settled into being a grandcatmother. When I was in my early-to-mid twenties she would say in her aside manner with a deep sigh, “I guess I’ll never be a grandmother.” Thank goodness my sister took over the mother role so I didn’t have to feel guilty for not giving her human grandkids. I can remember saying to her something like, “Well do you just want me to go and get pregnant?” She would just shake her head, sigh again and go on about with what she was doing.

 

The only time I can actually remember having a biological urge to have children was when my sister was pregnant with her 2nd child. Her first was born 800 miles and 10 hours away so no urges there. We talked about me getting pregnant and raising our children together. To be honest, I did try for a while with the guy I was seeing at the time, and now 25 years on I am so glad I didn’t get pregnant. Not only for the unborn child’s sake but for my sake as well so I wouldn’t have to deal with that man for the rest of my life.

 

Anyway, occasionally I do feel some remorse for being childless but I chalk it up to hormones and after a while it goes away. When all systems are in balance in my body, I feel at peace with being childless. I’m okay with becoming a crazy cat lady who is a little more than off the beam but the kids in the neighborhood like. (I certainly don’t want those heathens TP-ing my home or smashing my mailbox!)

 

Children are a blessing to some and a curse to others. Don’t misunderstand, I do like kids – as long as they go away after about an hour. But I am content right here and right now. There may be a day in the future when I will truly regret being childless. But not today. God has blessed my life with abundance in many ways and I am mindful of Her Mother’s love and that for me is enough.