You can, You must, You will!


si_photoThis week on FB I saw a great little video of Maria Shriver describing what she received from her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver (yes, of the US Presidential Kennedys).  She was talking about the great work her mother did to bring children with disabilities into their home and how the work eventually led to the beginning of the Special Olympics. The picture on the right is Eunice cheering on “her kids” as they competed and played. I never knew the origins of the Special Olympics and I was impressed to hear of the story. Maria went on to talk about something her mother used to tell her all that time that has stuck with her and encouraged her.

“You can, you must, you will! Now go do it!”

                                                        ~ Eunice Kennedy Shriver

I was struck but the simplicity of the encouragement and even the enthusiasm of the “command”. That line was a gift to Maria that she never forgets. And now, it is a line that I shall not forget.

You see, I am in the middle of an awakening of a vision for work that I have been called to do in the world. The vision was given, without direction, about 15 years ago. The seed was planted and I knew it then, but had no idea yet what the vision really meant. Since then I’ve had confirmations and nudging  dreams which have kept the vision alive, but quiet in my mind. And now, last week I had another vision – one that has urging and purpose and a picture. One that I can now wrap my head around. It’s too early to tell the world about it, but it has already begun to urge me to action. In a flash, a prayer was answered. In a moment, a purpose was set, and consequently a passion has been lit in my heart. In the days since, my mind has played the doubting game as to my ability to bring my vision to life. But I will not listen to my doubting mind. I will follow my heart to create my vision. It is the passionate heart that has created all good and wonderful things in this world. And that is why Eunice’s words struck me.

Barb & Mom pic

As we go into this weekend of celebrating Mother’s Day here in the US, I think of my mother the way Maria thinks of hers – with love and a positive gratefulness. I am thankful for so many things about my Mom. I am thankful that she had an open heart for a little raggedy girl in the orphanage. I am thankful that she persevered through the emotional baggage that came hand-in-hand with adopting me and that she was strong enough to raise me with love and integrity of her upbringing. I am thankful that she has given me the gift of believing that I can be and do whatever I put my mind to.

I am also thankful that I have been blessed to be a mother. My kids, Tony & Maria, are the joy of my heart. They are embarking on their journeys of adulthood as they are both engaged. Soon they will broaden my joy with families of their own. I am mindful that my role as mother is changing from disciplinarian and teacher to one of friend, confidante, and encourager. I am blessed and thankful that they are healthy and happy and on their way.

As a side note, this year, I am thankful that I have forgiven and released my birth mother. For that reason alone I nod my head in her direction in spirit to acknowledge that the life lesson is learned and I am whole again.

And I acknowledge and appreciate Eunice Kennedy Shriver, for adding a little bit more inspiration into my heart. To prod me into the conviction that I can … I must … and I will!

If you are a mother – may you have a loving and blessed Mother’s Day on Sunday. For all others – remember your Mom! Appreciate the good. Release the rest. And be blessed!

3 thoughts on “You can, You must, You will!

  1. To this day, the mission of Special Olympics is rooted in the values of hope, love and opportunity. To create an opportunity for people with intellectual disabilities where they can compete, experience success and showcase their talents to the world. To create a community of hope and welcome for the athletes and their families where they can experience joy and acceptance. And, to let others share in the love and joy that comes from the athletes so openly and unencumbered. That is the essence of my mother’s vision.

  2. Those are indeed, great words of encouragement! I like too how you mentioned all the different roles of a mother, so true!

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