i had a dream last night that i was sitting with a friend in my parents' old house in arizona. that precious, beloved, colorful, light-filled house, waiting for my mother to come home. i was adolescent. we finally spotted her, light-haired, cheerful, and lanky, walking around the house through the desert. she walked around it a few times, and i knew she was trying to surprise us, but finally she came to the front door and i ran up and gave her a big hug. she had been out of town and had a pint of wheat kernels in her hand. she handed me the container; i said, "what are you going to do with these? sprout them?" and i took the container over to the counter to rinse the kernels. i mostly remember the joy radiating all around her, and i remember myself: so happy to see her, so eager to help her do what she wanted to do. this is the part that i felt so poignantly because that is not the relationship i had with my mother. yes, she really was an amazing, joyful woman who loved to sing and smile, encourage and enjoy...and sprout things. but as for me, i was usually annoyed as a teenager, speaking disrespectfully most of the time, hating to help in the house, and exhibiting frequent impatience and anger.
i realized at some point during today that tomorrow will be thirteen years since my mother died. but i didn't make the connection with the hazy cobwebs of that dream until this evening. of course that is why i dreamed about her! that picture was a picture from God of how the mother-daughter relationship is supposed to be. what i could have been to her if i had been submitted. but it was not so much a guilt trip, although i suppose i always feel it a little bit around this time of year, but a beautiful encouragement and reminder: this is how i have to raise my daughters. with joy, with diligence, getting them involved in what we do at home, and with insistence upon respect. especially cultivating respect in these early years. i believe it will help them to be self-controlled in the home and able to enjoy genuinely good family relationships. Lord, help me to be as light and radiant as You made my mother, and help me to honor You and honor her in the way i raise my girls. thank You for showing me a glimpse of that beautiful mother of mine in heaven! young, beautiful, free of disease, full of laughter, and still growing things. May my own little sprouts have a lot of her in them.