A long line of strong women

My birthday always falls on the same weekend as Mother’s Day; a double whammy for my husband and kids, as they wonder what in the world to get for a woman who truly has everything she could ever want.

I’m not nearly flashy enough to require fine jewels or fancy clothes. As a matter of fact, I’m thrilled with the kind of gifts you can’t wrap, such as quality time spent laughing on the deck or taking a long walk together. Biting into a drippy homemade ice cream cone or snuggling by a bonfire.

My relationships with my family. These are my favorite gifts. Creating memories of nothing special; moments I can replay in my mind for years to come.

I find myself perched in the perfect spot on my timeline of life. Well past the midpoint, I’m sure. With enough distance and perspective to let go of any mom guilt of the past, I can fully embrace an exciting future with whatever energy I can muster up.

Looks like I’m going to need it.

The next generation of us launched almost four years ago with a bevy of adorable, active little boys that make every minute more fun, illogical and hilarious. It takes every grown-up we can find to keep up with them in an exhaustive blur of motion and squeals of delight.

With two babies due this year and nothing to do but wait, it gives me ample opportunity to look back with appreciation and to look forward with anticipation.

I remember visiting my grandmother and great-grandmother. Their houses were bursting at the seams with people who believed in me, love, laughter, hugs, and music. They were also great examples for me to follow.

I come from a long line of strong women, and I consider that a true blessing.

When I reflect on the stories of those women who passed down the baton to me, I’m blown away by their dedication and ability to infuse love and guidance while overcoming unbelievable obstacles. More than anything, I recall the pleasant expression, a result of a life well-lived, that has graced each one of those precious faces in the later years.

As women, daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and friends, we are such a mix of extremes. Soft, yet tenacious. Strong, yet vulnerable. Loyal, yet able to speak truth into the lives of those we love, even when they don’t want to hear it. We seek ways to lighten the load, lift others up, and make sure to spread love and light. We listen with our hearts and serve with our hands.

We are world-changers, if only for one person at a time; those precious souls God has entrusted into our homes for the brief season called motherhood.

And then grandmotherhood.

It all happens so quickly.

From this particular notch in the timeline of my life, I can see that now. Such is the miracle of family that our loving Father so perfectly designed.

I come from a long line of mighty strong women. My only goal is to follow in those footsteps, so perfectly demonstrated for me as I grew up.

I have two adult daughters of my own. World-changers, definitely. Listening with their hearts and serving with their hands.

They come from a long line of mighty strong women.

That line is getting stronger all the time.

What a blessing.

What an honor.

Janet Morris Grimes

Janet is the author of the book, The Parent's Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, released in 2011 through Atlantic Publishing. A wife and mother of three, Janet currently writes from Vine Grove, Kentucky on such topics as faith, family, and forever. She writes for Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine among other publications, and is an aspiring novelist. For additional information on Janet, visit her website at http://janetmorrisgrimes.com.

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