“Foundations matter – walls may be damaged, moved, cracked or even destroyed – but a solid, well-built foundation has the best chance of remaining firm.”
As humans, as women, as moms, as wives, even as friends, we underestimate the considerable power our words, our reactions, even our silences can have on others.
One of the most challenging and thought-provoking quotes I ever heard was Brennan Manning’s “In every encounter we either drain life or give life; there is no neutral exchange.” I’ll repeat it: “In every encounter we either drain life or give life; there is no neutral exchange.” Let’s say it together: “OUCH!”
I have thought about, taught about and shared that specific quote many times since I first heard it. It directly cuts to the heart. It offers no exceptions. “Every” means “every.”
Talk about pondering! I’ve been pondering this thing (or era, or phase, or freedom, or time of life) everyone calls “empty nest syndrome” for quite a while. Just like that, in the blink of an eye, in a mere twinkle, in a breath, 25 years of fairly intensive mothering morphs into the next phase, on to the next chapter. It’s something I’ve known would and should happen, but not something I’ve been eagerly anticipating. It’s now the day after Labor Day – most schools are now in session. It’s time to put this pondering to rest.
Thankfully, I was able to raise my daughters, in large part, prior to the advent of social media. If you have heard me speak or teach over the last few years you know I’m concerned over the pressure mothers – of all ages, makes and models – feel to present their lives, homes and, of course, children in the best light possible. I’ve felt that pressure as well. Like most, I don’t post pictures or statuses displaying failure, anger, disappointment, weight gain, dust, dead flowers, etc. We seem to be compelled to present only our successes to the social media world – and, in a good many cases, that usually includes the achievements and triumphs of our children.