My mother is an incredible woman. She grew up poor with a love for music and married my dad shortly after high school. I was born shortly after that and then 4 more children were conceived in about 9 years. I remember my mother struggling to survive motherhood using the understanding she had and the determination she inherited.
Many of the good things about me were at least partially inherited from my mother. We are both determined and stubborn and independent. These qualities are most likely either inherited or nurtured or taught directly or they may be a combination of all three. The ironic thing is that these qualities that cause us to butt heads occasionally are also the same qualities that cause her children to succeed as individual citizens.
The saddest day of nurturing a person is when that person leaves to find their own life. But it is also why we spend the time to develop it in the first place. Some people try to control the people they influence, but eventually just frustrate and stunt the growth of those they are trying to help. My mother taught us to be independent, and by example, also authentic. I am sure this makes her proud and frustrates her at the same time.
I remember my mother saying, “My kids will do great things.” Maybe we were living out dreams she never fulfilled or something like that, but we certainly did fulfill that prophecy. We all conquered mountains and went places she would never go. Most of us have been to foreign countries and gone on great adventures and even raised some independent humans of our own. But even I didn’t accomplish the things I have accomplished, I now am beginning to realize the greatest thing I got from my mom.
One of the greatest gives we discover in this life is not what we do, but who we become. My mom is constantly busy and involved in many things; but at the end of the day, what is best about her is not what she does but who she is. The same holds true to her offspring – Being and becoming and being authentic are much more important than the things we accomplish.
Even though my mom may disagree with some of my newer beliefs, it was at least partially her spirit that was driving my new book, Being: A Journey Toward Presence and Authenticity. I dedicated the book to my wife, Laura, but it was my mother’s authenticity that started this ball rolling many years ago.
I am proud of my children, but the greatest thing they ever told me was that they are proud of me.
I still sometimes disagree with my mom, but I love her for many reasons — and I am deeply proud of her.
Be where you are, Be who you are,
Karl Forehand is a former pastor, podcaster, and award-winning author. His books include Apparent Faith: What Fatherhood Taught Me About the Father’s Heart and The Tea Shop. He is the creator of The Desert Sanctuary podcast. He is married to his wife Laura of 32 years and has one dog named Winston. His three children are grown and are beginning to multiply!