I know Mother's Day has passed but I have been reflecting on all the gifts my mom has given me in life.
One of the best gifts my mom gave me growing up was she came beside me.
When I struggled in elementary school with reading and comprehension, she didn't stand there telling me to do my work, she sat down beside me, read with me and helped me try and understand.
When I was in High School and I was unhappy with the way I looked. She didn't judge me when I ate baked chicken every night. She came beside me and loved me where I was.
When I hit my biggest pit of depression as an adult, she didn't judge me, try to fix me, tell me I was fine. She came beside me, loved me and prayed for me to be well.
As a parent myself now, I think about my mom coming beside me in life. She didn't push or pull me along, she met me where I was with love and prayer and stood beside me through it all.
I am so grateful for my mom's example. I hope to do the same for my children.
Coming beside others isn't a practice for my mom that stopped with her children.
I have witnessed my mom come beside my dad, family, friends, her students and even strangers, meeting them where they are with love, kindness, compassion, and prayer. To live a life coming beside others, rather than placing herself above or below them, has filled her heart with joy and peace that is tangible in her presence.
As I walk through each day, I hope to notice when I may be pushing or pulling, placing myself above or below others, and instead...
Pause. Breathe. Pray.
And come beside who ever it is I am with, from my husband and children to a stranger I meet in a store. I hope to meet them where they are and offer them what I can; love and prayers, patience and time, my presence and hope.
I hope you find yourself coming beside others today as well:-)