I went shopping and had a nice brunch with my mother today. My mom can be a lot of things - she can scare the poop out of you with one little frown. She can be very dominant and sometimes you are positive that she is simply mean. But in the last few years, I have come to realize that my mom has had experiences, like everyone else, that have shaped her into who she is. She loves all of her children and her husband and her family and she loves God very much. But she doesn't lavish her love on anything else.
My mother is not sentimental in any way. Don't ever give her a gift that you hope she will enjoy for years to come because it will probably be in the next yardsale. She doesn't like stuff that sits around the house, and things that most people enjoy are NOT her cup of tea. For example, a friend gave her a certificate for a $100 massage treatment at the Spa at Colfax. She never used it. She doesn't like to be touched. She doesn't like Christmas or birthday presents, and she doesn't read fiction, or books that are not theological teaching.
She is passive-agressive and judgemental, although she says she is simply 'making observations since she doesn't judge others'. She doesn't have any hobbies. She views everything as 'work that must be done'. Her house is almost impeccably clean all of the time, and she never takes down time. Her days off do not consist of resting on the sofa and watching television. She mows grass, rakes leaves, cleans the garage, paints or vacuums, but she does not rest.
She is who she is. And I have grown to love her more for it. We never had a good relationship, but now that she no longer 'mothers' me, we are slowly growing a great friendship.
We went to Kohl's to get Christmas presents today for my sisters and their boyfriends. She bought me a pretty new sweater. We did great. Thanks to a 30% off coupon she got in the mail, everything we purchased was between 60 and 80% off. Mom's a great shopper. I can never find anything that I like. She finds great stuff all the time, and for good prices.
During lunch, we talked about God, which is hard to do with my mother because she is exceptionally spiritual. Almost to where you don't like to talk to her because she comes off as preachy. Very preachy. She also firmly believes that she knows better than almost every spiritual leader in the world - from the pastor of a little hometown church to the pastor of a million-member mega-church. She studies her Bible very hard. She has friends of every denomination and religion - Jewish, Catholic, Methodist, Charismatic, Baptist, etc. I don't know how she keeps them as friends sometimes if she talks to them about God in the same way she talks to me about Him.
My mom is seriously struggling with my sister having moved back home and into their house. I am struggling with finding my place in the world. We are both dealing with issues of friends and family members that are a pain. But in the end, we decided that no matter what, we simply must ask God how He feels about everything. We just can't walk through our respective storms alone. We must strive for holiness while allowing His grace to carry us. There were tears shed today from both of us, but we came out of the breakfast diner happy that we had talked about it.