I write this as I sit on a plane coming home from the 2011 American Mothers National Convention. I am officially a past National Young Mother of the Year and am headed back to Indiana to join my life already in progress as simply a young mother (as a 46 year old mom, I have decided to keep that part of the title). Shawni Pothier is the 2011 Young Mother of the Year and is a wonderful, authentic, and inspiring young mother.
I spent time in Salt Lake City, Utah with inspiring and wonderful mothers. Some who are parenting children with special needs (as is Shawni) with the love, strength and fortitude of only a mother. Some who spend much time and energy, spreading love and support within their communities. Whether through the support of military families, placing food in the backpacks of school children for the weekend, or raising money for causes they hold near and dear, these mothers are nurturing and contributing far beyond their own families.
One of the things I love best about the national convention of American Mothers is that it pulls me away from the dailies of laundry, carpool, groceries, practices, dinner and more to inspire me through the stories of moms I would never otherwise meet. I believe sometimes we moms need time away from our families to gain perspective.
I certainly can get caught up in the dailies….let’s face it, there are so many. But I am returning home with the bigger picture in mind again. The reminder that as I parent in the dailies, I am effecting the direction and destination of our children. That parenting with intention doesn’t just happen, (thus the word intention) but that even as I value that, I still lose focus sometimes.
My greatest desire is that our kids leave our home as confident young adults. Confident in our unending, deep, abiding and passionate love for them. Confident of their faith in Jesus and secure in why they believe what they do about their faith. I want them to have explored the gifts and talents they have discovered thus far. I want them to have secured the belief system that serving others is simply what you do. That being honest, kind and giving is rewarding and fulfilling. That they know lessons learned in failure are better than no lessons at all.
As the plane descends, I look forward to landing back in my life of parenting with renewed focus and intent. Thank you American Mothers for the opportunity to step away and be inspired.