“We’re taught to expect unconditional love from our parents, but I think it is more the gift our children give us. It’s they who love us helplessly, no matter what or who we are.” -Kathryn Harrison, The Kiss
Not too long ago, I had to run into the store. It was just like every other morning….busy. I parked the car and gathered all of my stuff together. As I’m walking in, I think I see my mom walking out. I roll my eyes and start laughing because it looks like she has the same outfit on as I do. I start waving and laughing even harder because it’s just so hilarious. What are the chances that I’d have the same outfit on as my mom?? She waves back and starts laughing, too. I almost can’t control myself as I’m walking towards the door. You know, it’s just one of those times where a giggle turns into a laugh that turns into an all out cackle. As I get closer to her, and I’m about to walk into the store, the sliding glass doors open and my mom disappears. Wait…what? Where did she go? I walk in and look around the corner. She was so quick at hiding! And, then I realized. It literally hit me like a ton of bricks. My mom was never there. I was looking at my own reflection in the mirror that I thought was my mom.
Oh my gosh….have I completely lost my mind? Well, if losing your mind consists of playing and talking to your own reflection in the parking lot, then just call me crazy. I am totally embarrassed. I look around me to see if anyone was witness to my “one woman show,” but I don’t see anymore. I think I may be safe. However, I’m sure that the security cameras caught it. Please don’t end up on YouTube.
I proceed to go inside the store all “cool” like. I’ve got it together. I’m totally balanced…well, most of the time anyway. The more I shopped I had this really “deep thought” moment. Although I had a total brain fart before, we do actually reflect so much of the ones we love…whether we want to or not. It just happens. I think about my life, and I have my mom’s laugh that makes babies cry, and I have my dad’s doggedness. And, if I reflect bits of my parents that means my kids are reflecting me. Yes, a chill just went down my spine because my mirror is cracked in a lot of places.
There are so many things in my life that I really struggle with. I can be really stubborn and confrontational. I can have unreachable expectations and a quick tongue. Scary part is I see those things in my children sometimes. I can so relate to their struggle. It’s those generational sins that I’m afraid my children will reflect because they have seen it in me.
However, I’m so thankful that it doesn’t stop there. I know I have this huge responsibility to live by example to my kids, but thank goodness it’s not just me they are looking at. I am to guide their focus to Jesus. He’s the reflection that we should be mimicking. He’s the perfect example. We can walk freely in His shadow and feel His loving mercy.
So, even though I’m nervous about what I’ve passed down to them just through good ole DNA, I can also find so much peace that although they have seen the worst of me, they can also inherit the good parts, too. They can see the continual grace that the Lord has shown me, and know that same grace is theirs for the taking.
Its amazing to feel such freedom that raising these little people is not all on my shoulders….its on His. He’s already taken it, and His shoulders are broad enough to handle it. There is no more perfectionism, no more shame. Just freedom to be the mom I am. And, that’s the mirror I want to be looking in.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7