Monday, August 6, 2012

The {Family} That Built Me {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

My Mom is one of five kids born to a lawyer and his wife.  Though her Mama passed away long before I came along, this weekend I saw her face everywhere I look.

Over the weekend we traveled a few hundred miles to celebrate the wedding of my cousin, and I looked around at the people I've loved my whole life.  People I've looked up to, people who know me better than I know my own self.  I brought my babies to mingle with those of my siblings and cousins watch them start their own little relationships while we reminisced about our childhood together as a tangle of scrappy kids.

(my uncle with my niece)

I can wax on about parenting ideals, read all the research in the world and make informed decisions the best I can, but my mothering journey will always bear the indelible print of where I'm from...or, more importantly, who my people are.  My beliefs about marriage and children, my hopes for my little ones, my faith, all of it was planted in me long before I had any concept of where babies come from, seeds sown in my heart a lifetime ago.

The family that built me is filled with imperfect people.  People who laugh loud and argue late.  People who love hard, who mess up, who dust themselves off and start again.  People who never take no for an answer.  People who believe that, if anyone can do it, they can.  People who say prayers before meals and bedtimes and over babies.  People who trust God above all else and love each other with a deep and abiding bond.  People who stretch their arms wide and welcome outsiders, name them family, and never look back.  People who care about what is going on in the world and attempt to make a positive change.

I see all of this and wonder  - what will the legacy of my little family be?  How will it touch those born into it, or those who see it from the outside?  What seeds of deep family traits will be sown in the hearts of my little ones?  It can be so easy to forget that I'm not just raising children - I'm raising future leaders.  Of their own families, communities, churches, schools.  I'm raising up men and women who will contribute, one way or another, to future families.  When I'm knee deep in sippy cups and diapers, laundry and dishes, mayhem and mischief, I can forget.  This moment is a flash in the pan and the future of these children is being marked by today.   For better or for worse.

We should never mistake the awesome responsibility that is raising up children, this is true, but consider for a moment how effortlessly some of these lessons can be learned.  Lessons in kindness, faith and character.  Lessons in compassion, confidence and sacrificial love.  By bringing these children close and living out these traits ourselves, they get a 24/7 graduate level lecture on what truly matters in life from the people they respect and trust the very most: us.

(babies of cousins, getting to know each other for the first time)

It's how I learned.  How I was built, from chunky baby in my Mom's sling to Mama of my own five ankle biters.  Through the daily lives that pointed me, time and again, in the right direction.

What is the legacy of your family?  Does it drive you to emulate, or to make a change?

{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes.  A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life.  A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now. 

You might post recent struggles or thoughts.  Maybe just a picture or a quote.  Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post.  Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together.  Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday!  Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below.  Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us!  And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter.  This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:



  1. Great post!! It is so true...that we build our own legacy that so often mimics where we came from. Thankful I came from a wonderful family of role models as well! :)

  2. I love this post. My parents made a big change in our family's legacy by turning to wholly live their lives for the Lord. My life has been greatly impacted through growing up in a christian home. I now am in the midst of raising littles to love Jesus and live it out. I want to leave a legacy to my children to love our God as hard as they can.

  3. Oh my gosh, so true! I was just saying to my mom the other day (when she was pointing out something good she thought I'd done for my son) that all my good mothering ideas are from her! Aren't we blessed to have had such wonderful role models!

  4. I feel like I'm just the opposite--again! I'm trying to undo it all and make things right! Be Blessed.

  5. Such a lovely post. I am doing a lot of things differently than my parents did, although what they did wasn't bad, it is just different than how we want to raise our son. They support us, even if they don't totally get it, which is really great. So a new legacy being built for our family and hoping to continues on.


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