Tag Archive | Mother

Mother’s Day celebrating …


It’s that time of year again when we celebrate mothers. It’s one of those holidays that make my heart sing for many reasons.

First, I love that I have had the pleasure in life to be a mother – my children, and the spouses they have chosen are a true blessing. I am proud of them all! They have brought out the best in me. They have challenged my spirit to grow in ways I never imagined anyone could. They have enhanced and expanded my life and I am grateful!

Second, When I look at my mother, aunts, sisters and grandmothers I feel deep appreciation because I know the sacrifices they have made for me and my family. Every woman in my family has made a deep and lasting impression on me and my life, both as a woman, and a mother. The ties of love run deep!

And lastly, this holiday is always marked with my favorite flowers as well … lilacs. The look and smell of them take me back to so many family-oriented moments. They make my heart happy and fill my mind with sentiments and hopes. 

As we move through this weekend I will share again the poem I wrote on a previous Mother’s Day that says it best of all …. I Am a Mother.

Enjoy the memories you love most of your mother and if you are blessed to have children (whether your own or any other) that look up to you and that you love … enjoy and celebrate your day!

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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!

I Am a Mother – original poem


May is traditionally the month we honor mothers here in the US. Here’s a new poem in honor of all mothers – those that we are and those that we love. Be blessed!

I AM A MOTHER

Looking into your face I see all that you are.

No secrets of your past can change my heart.

No struggles of the future will cool my love.

I have no illusions of your mortal perfection.

But I recognize and acknowledge your perfect soul.

Your arrival was blessed and inspired devotion.

I saw you grow by inches and learn by miles.

I celebrate your endless possibilities.

I know you on a cellular and heart level.

And love you on every emotional plane.

Your mistakes are for learning and triumphs for growth.

And I go with you as you carry my lessons into your life.

I cannot change your path but I guide your steps.

I cannot protect you from all harm but I comfort your pain.

I cannot walk every step but I light your way with my wisdom.

I hold nothing back.

I reserve no love ungiven.

I am blessed in seeing my place in creation.

I am a mother.

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

I can just be me


It is true that time heals all wounds. Of course, it goes quicker and smoother if you participate in the process. I haven’t always known that.

For me, some of the healing has taken over 40 years, mostly because of my resistance. The biggest resistance was to my birth mother and all that she represented. It not only put a physical, emotional, and mental distance between me and her, but it also kept me isolated from my siblings. The resistance was fueled by harsh memories, broken promises, blatant lies, and evil acts. So it was by choice that I resisted.

I have come to realize there were blessings which were delayed because the healing was delayed by my resistance. Now, as I let go of the anger and hurt, I find the ability to open my heart to the possibility of merging my birth identity with my adopted identity. Just making that statement brings my heart to the brink of both fear and peace. Can it really be so? Imagining a life that is converged vs. the before and after orphanage lives I’ve been living for many, many years has a great appeal.  This healing brings me face-to-face with the others who lived through the unraveling of a family. I can now see them differently and separate them from the pain of the past. In that separation I am gaining connections. One-by-one and little-by-little I am merging my history with my present. The healing continues …

Because of my faith, and my maturing, healing heart, I can let these connections in so that we all might be whole. Leonard, Theresa, Shirley, Jimmy, Charlotte, Lynnette and William deserve the healing too. The future looks different to me today. I don’t have to give up one identity, to gain the other. I can just be. I can just be … me.

God is good, his timing is perfect, and I am blessed. Be blessed too!

I’m okay with that!


After my lovely, solitary, and yet happy Valentine’s day yesterday, I realized something about myself. Oh, I’m probably just joining the ranks of many folks my age who are coming “into their own”. I realized that I am finally at peace with who I am in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I have it all figured out or that my learning and growth is complete. No way – I love to (and need to) learn. I’m not saying all is sunshine and holidays. Nope – life has many ups and downs and I know I’ll experience many more of both. And I’m definitely not saying I’ve got the answers to my foibles and shortcomings, because I’m still working on those til my dying day. But I am finally at peace with this person I call me.

As a parent, I can look at my children and know that I did the best I could in every moment I’ve had raising them. Some were not stellar moments for me but it was the best I had to give at the time. Some stood out as the best of the best of me, which can only be attributed to the up raising I had by the wonderful family who adopted me, as well as the faith I have carried within. As I move dauntingly and quickly toward empty-nest status, I know I have done my job well and raised two human beings who have an appreciation for life and respect for others. They also are not perfect but they are good human beings. I have given them a moral foundation that they may or may not cling to, but I have provided it. I have scrimped and sacrificed so they could get the best education within my means. As my youngest is about to be 21, I am painfully aware that I have shifted roles from mommy to mom/friend. I’m okay with that.

As a woman, I can look at my life and know that I have not always taken the high road or the right road. But I can say I’ve come 180 degrees from the flippant, self-conscious, insecure girl who made bad choices to fill the holes in her heart. I may still have some holes in my heart but I know I can’t fill them with men who do not appreciate or respect me. I cannot fill them with self-destructive self-talk or behaviors. I can only examine them, learn from them, and fill the rest of my life with things for which I have a passion. I know for certain that I will never turn my weaknesses into strengths but I can work to neutralize them.  The holes – well, those are for God to fill. I’m okay with that.

As a friend, I know I’ve made a few cherished ones along my lifetime. They are precious and constant, no matter the distance of time or space. They are unconditional and truly genuine. On my end, I know that I am loyal and supportive. I may not always be perfect, or do the perfect thing, or say the perfect thing, or have the perfect memory. I can say that I am always true in my intention and love of those who I’m blessed to call mine. I’m okay with that.

As a Christian, I know that I have God in my life. In every up and down I’ve traveled through, I have never wavered in my knowledge that I am loved and I will be okay. As I like to say, God hasn’t abandoned me yet, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to start today. I have learned that it’s just fine for me to speak my faith. I don’t need to hide it. I don’t need to scream it. I can speak and show my faith without tearing down what others believe. I do not need to convince others of what I believe or know – I couldn’t if I tried. I simply need to live my faith and share my story.  The rest is their journey. I’m okay with that.

I say all this, not because I have a perfect life. Haha, that is hysterical because I have a decidedly imperfect life. I make mistakes all the time and I chastise myself for them too. I know I’ll forgive myself but I won’t forget. I have troubles and strife that seem to shadow me to a point that is nearly unbearable. But in the end, I know that I am a survivor and not a victim. I have scratched and clawed myself to a level of integrity and faith that only trouble can guide me to. I know I’m an imperfect woman with a desire to improve all the time. I’m okay with that.

So, through it all and in it all, I am finally at peace with who I am. I pray you can be at peace … and be blessed too!

Gotta make something!


I really wanna make something. Ever have one of those days? They seem to creep up on me from time to time.  And today is one of those make something kind of days. I wasn’t always this way …

When I was younger, in my early 20’s life was all about work, career, success, getting ahead, and finding my place in the world. I was a “business professional” and that was that. Then lo and behold my husband got a job out-of-state.  He assured me it was no big thing – just over the border and he’d commute each way. Nothing would change. Oh, but I knew deep inside that this would change everything.

So, after several days of treacherous weather on winding country roads with no lights, he slid dangerously off the road on ice, nearly careening over the edge of a steep hill. Yikes! That was that.  No more commuting and my life as a career woman was about to end. We moved to a little town in the middle of no-where Indiana. There was no work for me there and I suddenly (yet secretly and joyfully) became a stay-at-home mom.

Oh, there were the joys of waking up slowly with my two toddlers.  The slower pace was delicious.  That was the good part. The other part was the solitude of being new in a small town. Alone – no family to pop over. No friends to meet for dinner. Nothing but a 2 and 4 year old with the cutest “kissing” cheeks around. Well, that and plastic toys. Heavy sigh. I was on the slow train to nowhere and the fast track to stir crazy. I was torn in two between absolutely loving the experience of being 100% mom and wondering if I’d ever have another adult conversation. It was slow going to make new friends as we were the only family with young kids in our newly budding neighborhood.

Then one day, one glorious unexpected day, the local hardware store was having a “learn how to faux paint class.” Figuring I had nothing to lose I packed up the kidlings and headed on over. And what to my wondering eyes should appear … a rainbow of paints and some mini-fake walls. The kids finger painted on the bottom of my wall while I learned to twirl, dab, smudge, swish and brush. I was in heaven! The Pandora’s box to my creative self came busting open. Can’t you just see the sunbeams bursting and the “ta-da” music wrapping around me?! No, oh, well, I did.

And ever since then, the creative juices and flair have been unable to be restrained. I learned to paint and did it for all my new friends’ homes. I sought out all manner of creative outlets from basket weaving (don’t laugh!) to cross-stitching. I made home-made gifts and decorations for my home. I became the make it maven of my family.  The secret crafting fairy had sprinkled me with fairy dust and my heart was set free to do arts and crafts and get my kids involved as well.

And that was the beginning of my “gotta make something” days. Oh how I hear the sweet call of my creative siren. I’m going to have to borrow my sweet little niece for some painting or pottery very, very soon!

What about you – what are you making these days?