From Generation to Generation

momonphoneI’ve invited a guest blogger:  Dana Karr.  Like many moms, she wears many hats.  She is a teacher, business woman, wife, writer, carpool driver, sports fan, and friend. Dana serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Vicinity at Karr’s Wharf.  Since the moment she heard her 4th grade class applaud her creative writing assignment about a little girl’s crazy adventures she’s loved writing. Since then, her writing has taken diverse forms including professional reports, government proposals, birthday poems, and blog posts about a grown woman’s crazy adventures.  I know you will enjoy this personal intimate reflection of the impact others have on our lives, some of which are the lives of people we will never know.

From Generation to Generation

The kitchen floor has remnants of yesterday’s breakfast cereal and a glob of mayo from my son’s turkey sandwich lunch.  It’s 3 pm and in an hour I’ll head out the door to transport kids to their afternoon sports. Instead of grabbing a broom and a mop to clean up the mess, I call my mom.

“Where are you?” she asks, knowing that I usually call between the kid’s sports practices or games.

“Home,” I answer “Getting ready to go out in a bit.”

We proceed to chat about what we’ve been doing, how the kids are doing, what my dad is doing, what’s for dinner, who she recently happened to see that I might know, and what’s on the horizon for the week and weekend. Pretty mundane, just every-day stuff. These are our typical conversations.

They feed my soul.

We live about an hour apart, not close enough for a quick drop in, but just right for a day trip there and back. Phone calls, along with an occasional email or text are how we connect.

There are usually needs sandwiched in between the chatter.  School changes being considered, a child’s cough, a friend’s cancer, my nephew’s search for a new career path, concerns in our communities, family communication issues, and prayer needs.

When my kids were still in the infant and preschool ages, I called mom daily during a child’s nap time or some other quiet moment stolen from the busy-ness.  Mom is now in her 70’s.  Her children are grown and launched. I’m middle-aged and entrenched with four school-aged, home-schooled kids who are much older so my days are filled with schooling and work.

Mom and I talk less frequently, but our talks remain similar. We typically talk unfiltered, and she’s a patient listener; whatever the topic she’s there to share stories, laments, joys, and the entanglements of our day-to-day.  Our mom-daughter relationship has always been strong, but during my adulthood it has blossomed. Mom is truly my friend and confidante; she is a wise mentor who humbly and gracefully instills love into her words. Inside each conversation she tucks pearls of wisdom and usually flanks each conversation with one of the following phrases: “Well, make it a matter of prayer,” or “I know you are praying about this.”  She has experienced the hand-wringing of a mother and knows that the secret to having peace when life gets crazy is to let go of our fears in prayerful surrender to God.

She reminds me of her prayers for us;’ prayers for me, for my sisters, and for her grandchildren. These prayers are her legacy for me, and the next generation.

When we start talking about the past and she reflect on certain choices in her life versus paths she chose not to take, she’ll say, “I know that the blessings in my life are, in part, because I had parents and grandparents praying for me.”  This compels her to pray for us and to encourage me to pray for future generations as well.  Her parents and grandparents passed on a deep abiding faith in God; not faith in cultural religious customs, but a true acknowledgement of and surrender to The One, True Living God.  Mom reminds me of the fervent prayers of the generations before us and encourages me in praying not only for my children and their future spouses, but for their children and their children’s children.

And so I do.

At times I look at the knowledge and opportunities my children’s generation has and I’m hopeful. When I consider the state of the world and wonder what it will be like when they reach my age I wonder what good and bad things are they inheriting from us, the generations before them? What pearls of wisdom can be passed on to them just as my parents have done for me? Will they be teachable and receptive?

I hope so. I pray so.

I continue to do what my ancestors have done before me, to “make it a matter of prayer”; that they will know the blessings of His Peace and Joy and Truth.

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