Posts Tagged With: hope

Glimmer of Hope

I’ve always loved a good old “good triumphs over evil” story. Where the unlikely hero wins, the good guy gets the girl, the dragon is defeated, the treasure is returned to the deserving and rightful heirs. Who doesn’t love a happy ending?

When our first son was born seven years ago, I struggled. Having a new baby in our home was so exciting and new, and I was completely enamored with that tiny infant. But after years of going to school, working, and all sorts of being incredibly busy, I suddenly felt like life had screeched to a stop. Overnight my life became driven by naps and nursing. My contributions to society seemed minuscule, if they existed at all. Those long days were just that: So incredibly long.

In order to break up the day, I decided to read The Hobbit out loud to our new baby while he nursed. When we finished The Hobbit, I decided to tackle The Lord of The Rings. By the time my son was 6 months old I had brainwashed him into being as nerdy as his parents (and I have high hopes that I was successful in my efforts).

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Those long afternoons with my newborn seems like a lifetime ago. Back then as we read, in my mind the evil was contained inside those pages, or at least merely lurking in the shadows. Whether it’s because I’m more aware, or whether it’s because the world is a scarier place than it was back then, I’m not sure. But unlike those days seven years ago cuddled on our couch devouring page after page of adventures in Middle-earth, the evil seems much more tangible. It no longer lurks in the shadows, but openly recruits, displays it’s intent, and waltzes through the streets demanding attention. And unlike back then, I can’t skip ahead to the last few pages just to be sure that Bilbo makes it back to the Shire or that Frodo does in fact destroy the ring.

And sometimes, like the sad news this week in Europe, it feels like evil is winning.

On countless occasions as a mom I have wondered what life will be like for my kids. With technology so incredibly accessible, facts and information merely a search away, morals and lifestyles changing, and a world much different than the one I was raised in, I occasionally wonder if I’m even cut out for the job of teaching these boys. Evil seems to be penetrating so many facets of their lives, and I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility to teach them.

But truth is, evil isn’t winning. It didn’t win yesterday, it won’t win tomorrow. We might not be able to thumb through to the end and take a peak just to be sure, but we can take a look around and see the good. The unlikely heroes, the small acts of kindness, the love. In the desperation and sadness, there’s always glimmers of hope.

Moms, as mundane and sometimes small our job seems to be, as little as we feel our contributions are, we are not merely maids and nannies. We are mothers. We are raising the next generation, a responsibility more incredible and noble than we realize. Our influence much more far reaching than we could ever imagine.

And we are equipped with the strongest weapon of all: love.

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We, in our little acts every day, are giving rays of hope. What we give to society is faith in a bright future, the assurance that evil will NEVER win. So today as you fold the laundry and change diapers and make dinner and read those bedtime stories, as you build the blanket forts or rock a sleeping baby, take courage. Know that what you are doing does make a difference. As you zip those little coats and tie those tiny shoes, you are dispelling a thick and menacing darkness. You are giving hope. It may not seem like it at times, but we are on the front lines.

And, best of all, we can take heart in knowing that because of that first Easter Sunday so very long ago, good will triumph over evil. It did then, it will today, it will forever. I believe when we carry out our role as mothers, when we teach and love and care for our children the very best we know how, we are fighting on His side.

It’s a scary world out there, but evil won’t win. This too will have a happy ending. Keep fighting, because I have absolutely no doubt we are on the winning side.

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Categories: children, Motherhood, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Land of the Free

I have no idea where my husband read or watched it, but years ago he saw an interview with an astronaut. The man being interviewed was asked what it took to do all that he does, and his response was something along the lines of, “It’s like when you’re exhausted and want nothing more than to go to bed. You must have the stamina to get up and do the pile of dishes sitting in the sink. No matter what, you never leave them for the morning.”‘

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For years now when I am just about to collapse and can barely muster up the energy to climb the stairs and curl up under the covers after a full day of chasing little rascals around, my husband reminds me, “Well, you just wouldn’t make the cut tonight then. No trips to the moon for you.” To be honest, on nights such as these a bowl of chocolate ice cream would motivate me much more than the reminder of the failed opportunity to be the first person on Mars. But once upon a time back in third grade with Mrs. Chamberlain, his attempt at inspiring me just might have worked. I dreamed of climbing into that rocket, listening to the countdown, blasting through the atmosphere, and experiencing that weightlessness known only to the few who have been there before. How amazing would it be to look down at the world and see the swirling clouds, the blue oceans, and the white, snow-capped mountains? Being an astronaut was my deepest eight-year-old desire.

I also dreamed of becoming a ballerina dancing on stage in a pretty pink tutu. A magician, a lawyer, an explorer, an English teacher, a soccer coach, a journalist, a children’s book author, a financial advisor, and an elementary school teacher. Throughout my life I’ve imagined many futures for myself, but none could compare to that of being a mom.

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My boys dream of being farmers. They imagine driving the big tractors, milking their cows, caring for their chickens, and picking award-winning potatoes from their rows of produce. Possibly even raising dinosaurs. But that’s not all. They want to fly airplanes just like Great-Grandpa E, become astronauts, builders like Grandpa T, inventors just like Dad and Grandpa W. They have lofty aspirations, grand plans, and big imaginations. 

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And why not? Sure, it would take lots of hard work, education, dedication, sacrifice, and time. But they could do it. The opportunity is there. The opportunity is there because thousands have made it so. They have recognized that freedom to choose and opportunity for anyone to succeed is the American dream, and it’s a dream worth dying for. I feel so blessed to raise my children in a country that has those freedoms, because many are not so fortunate.

The freedoms we enjoy in America is something to be proud of, to celebrate, and to give us hope. We can choose. Because of that, men and women who may not have succeeded had they not been given that opportunity to rise above their circumstances have changed our world. In our country, unlike so many others, anyone can get an education, anyone can work, anyone can change their fate. Choices are everywhere waiting to be made.

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So my sons, whether it be a farmer, a builder, an astronaut, or a pilot. A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker. You can. Dream big and work hard. Generations of men and women have sacrificed so that you can make a future for yourself, so don’t let them down. You have opportunities so many others will never imagine. What you have is special, unique, and truly amazing. You have freedom to choose. Freedom to create a life you want to live. Freedom to worship, freedom to dream. Dear boys, please never take that for granted.

 

Categories: Motherhood | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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