Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Strive to Thrive!

I love the word, 'Thrive'.  I consider it the outward expression of inward health; be it physical, emotional, spiritual health,or all three rolled into one.

I find myself in an interesting position as a mother of four grown children.  (Can I still call them 'children' then?)  I have taken a decidedly backseat role in their lives, a position that occasionally begs me to try and drive from there and yet doesn't take long for me to see the futility of that!  Fortunately that is rarely necessary.

My children (they will always be my children) are thriving!  Their lives are not without challenges and yet they are finding ways to conquer them.  They are finding ways to face adversity, poverty, exhaustion, loneliness and simply not having enough hours in the day to do everything they want to do.  Each of them is on a pathway toward self-discovery, uncovering talents and abilities that perhaps have lain dormant.

As difficult as it is to admit, the distance between us seems to be contributing to their tendency to grow.  I don't think I am the worst mollycoddler mother but I may have been a safety net that discouraged true courageous behavior.

I am witnessing true courageous behavior by every single one of them.  I feel blessed for the good choices they are making and the outstanding people they have chosen to join them in their lives.  They are taking care of their physical health by being active and avoiding unhealthy things.  They are taking care of their emotional health by looking out for one another and being supportive.  They are taking care of their spiritual health by actively following their faithful hearts toward righteous goals and commitments.

When a mother perceives her children thriving without her, it causes an internal battle.  The human tendency is to feel sorry for herself, that they don't need her anymore.  On the other hand, I have never felt such gratitude and even just a little bit of pride that maybe I have contributed to their successful lives.

Keep going.  Keep making good choices.  Keep picking yourselves up when you skin your knees.  That used to be my job but I am turning it over to you.


Kim said...

We wouldn't want it any other way though it's nice to be needed occasionally :-) I still call my mom when making gravy.

Nancy said...

You had a huge influence on their lives....that's why they are such great adults. I love your family photo too!

Jessica M said...

I think you show great courage as a mother to allow distance between yourself and your adult children in order for them to thrive and grow independently. It definitely requires a great step of the foundation you laid for them while they were younger and faith in God to watch over and protect and guide them. I have two small children and can't imagine how it's going to be! I pray I have the courage you have when the time comes to let them fly with their own wings...without a safety net!
~abundant blessings

Unknown said...

Ardith, it surprises me how similarly we think. I love reading you because its almost like I am speaking to myself : )(the only difference being your writing style adds so much beauty to my otherwise dry thoughts). My latest post is on my daughter too - but written by my Dad. Would love for you to come by and have a look...

Laura said...

Awe, that got me teary eyed.
I hold on too tight. I have a few years left to loosen my grip. (sigh)
There is no doubt that your example and nurturing is why your children are flourishing. You and Brian are awesome.