Mother’s Day can be a mixed bag of emotions for many. Many celebrate Mother’s Day without their mother, or who have a strained relationship with their mom, and some can’t talk to their mothers at all because they’ve passed away. Whatever the circumstance, Mother’s Day can bring joy and/or pain.
Today I have the opportunity to share with you the new book Mended: Restoring the hearts of Mothers and Daughters by Blythe Daniels and Helen McIntosh.
A moment of honesty–I was a little afraid to read this book, in fear it would conjure up unwanted emotions and pains of the past.
As a child I grew up in a divorced home and had the blessing of having two mothers. My step-mom from the start treated my twin sister and I as her very own. Of course there are ups and downs in any relationship but the love we had for each other grew over the years into something greater–a mother/daughter relationship.
My relationship with my (biological) mother was different. I didn’t understand much about mental illness as a child and didn’t understand why my mother acted certain ways. As I grew into adulthood I had to learn how to separate the person from the mental illness. When I was hurt by something she did I had to learn how to forgive and love her for for how God made her.
As the years past, I learned how to stay away from silly arguments that only led to quarrels. I had to learn how to make healthy boundaries. I learned how to NOT find happiness in met expectations, but in the reality of God’s plans. We don’t get to choose who our parents are, nor do they get to choose who their children are. I admit, there were times in my childhood into adulthood my relationship with my mother was strained at best.
Once I learned to embrace her mental illness was a gift from God in how he made her, I was able to be set free in having the loving relationship with her God intended for me. She wasn’t responsible or in control of my emotions or feelings in how I responded, I was. I didn’t have to constantly be afraid of being hurt over and over because I focused on God’s kingdom purpose for her–to be loved for who she was not in what she did.
Mended will help any mother/daughter relationship gain the clarity it needs to take steps towards healing. Blythe and Helen do a wonderful job in asking the right questions and equipping readers to gain a new perspective. It’s not about the argument. It’s not about being right. And it’s certainly not about meeting YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
Disappointment in our relationships happens when we have high expectations and the reality is no where near them. Everything in between just becomes disappointment.No relationship is beyond repair. Our relationships with our mothers are more valuable and important than our own agendas.Click To Tweet
I had to ask myself was my disappointment always going to be the focus and highest priority? When God’s agenda becomes our agenda we are able to embrace his ways and plans in how to love one another in the most loving way possible and let go of our disappointments.Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7Click To Tweet
Have you put an expectation on someone they can’t meet?
Maybe instead of expecting them to change, sit with God and ask How can I love this person today in the most loving way possible? The pursuit of relationships sometimes don’t always turn out the way we want them nor should they cost us our sanity.
Giving God your struggles, trusting Him in guiding your relationships is the best way to start in mending each others hearts. God will tell you when it’s time to set boundaries. He will tell you when to speak and not speak. And He’ll most definitely show you how to love.
God is never going to ask you to fill roles you were never intended to fill. Your role is not to be the Savior. It’s not to change the other person. And it’s definitely not to enable. Our roles in strained relationships are to let go of what we can’t control by surrendering it to God and trusting in what God is able to do with it.
God didn’t say the pursuit of healing and restoration would be without heartache. But He does promise to hold our hands to get us through.
Are you willing to pursue mended relationships?
Learning how to love my mother in the way God made her was one of the hardest things I had to do, but the reward of the mended relationship was so worth anything I had to go through to get to the other side.
God is with you my friend, he might ask us to step out of the boat like Peter to take his hand in the storm. He might ask us to jump into the fiery furnace like Shadrack, Meschach and Abendago. He might even ask us to spend the night with a bunch of hungry lions at the bottom of a dark pit.
Giving up on relationships is the easy way out and we miss out on God’s miracles. When we stand firm in God’s promises, trusting to hold our hands to get us through we will never miss out on his miracles of what He is able to do.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers! May your day be filled with God’s abundant blessings!
Blythe Daniel & Helen McIntosh
Blythe Daniel is a literary agent and marketer with 20 plus years of experience in publishing. She is a speaker at writer’s conferences and is interviewed for podcasts and webinars. She has written for Christian Retailing and Focus on the Family publications, and she links hundreds of bloggers with millions of readers through BlogAbout. Her passion is helping authors share their unique stories. The daughter of Dr. Helen McIntosh, she lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. www.theblythedanielagency.com
Dr. Helen McIntosh (EdD, Counseling Psychology) is a counselor, speaker, educator, and author of Messages to Myself and Eric, Jose & The Peace Rug®. Her work has appeared in Guideposts, ParentLife, and HomeLife magazines. She resides in Georgia with her husband Jim. They have two children and five grandchildren. Learn more at our mended hearts.
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