Monday, May 11, 2015

Mom Guilt, Mom Favor

Up and out for the first time in a while
Mom Guilt, Mom Favor

I know that yesterday was Mother’s Day, so I’m taking the liberty to take the entire week to think about what it means to do this work.

I’ll get right to it, because you and your moms have some more celebrating to do.

For the past three weeks, I’ve been down; not emotionally or spiritually, but physically down. I’ve been sick with pneumonia and bronchitis. I barely told anyone, because I was embarrassed.

I don’t like being sick and it seems like I’ve had more stuff in the past 4 years than I have had in my entire life.

Just the mention of being ill or injured can bring a “Not again,” or “What have you done to bring on so much calamity?” Yes, someone actually said that to me.

I know that everyone has to deal with something; it just feels like lately, I’ve had more than my share.

Then yesterday, a wise woman told me that as mothers, we get what she called Mommy Favor. This favor keeps us well enough to do all of the mending and caring for our children; then when our children our grown and we have two minutes to ourselves, our own body has the chance it needs to breakdown, rest and recuperate.

We had been standing on the church steps, the sun was shining brightly on my face and I was out and about for the first time in three weeks. That beautiful woman’s words were like cool water on a hot day.

Worse than the illnesses and injuries was my guilt. I felt guilty for being down, guilty for feeling tired and guilty for being sick. (The dumb conversation blaming me for my illness didn’t help.)

I’m over it all right now. I’m still smiling at the simple notion that my willingness to care for 5 children that I didn’t give birth to, has given me an extra measure of grace, a bit of mommy favor.

Don’t worry, if you are not a mother, you get extra favor too; just decide why and apply at will.

Be you, be wonderful, be without guilt.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Answer to Your Prayers

Open Your Eyes

This morning, as always, I got up early. I went to the bathroom for my normal routine and then got back in bed for an hour of deliberate relaxation. By then it was already 4:00 but I still had time to read, learn or do nothing. I decided to watch the end of the martial arts classic that I had gone to sleep on the night before.

The movie was a remake of a Bruce Lee remake, starring Jet Li. I turned on my pad and positioned it just right. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was hearing the movie, but I could not see the action. (Fortunately the movie had been dubbed in English, or I would not have been able to understand what I could not see.)

As soon as I reached up to adjust my screen, I became aware of the fact that I had been sleeping.

I couldn’t see the action, because my eyes were closed.

My mind raced to a conversation I’d had with my daughter the day before. She said that she didn’t pray as much as she did when she was younger because her prayers weren’t being answered.

She had begun to doubt the existence of something because she could not see the thing she wanted and needed to see.

“Some things take time”, I had told her, “and sometimes the answer may be no.”

This morning, in my haze, I saw another answer; that some things require that we open our eyes and see.

Be you, be open and see.

Bertice Berry, PhD