Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grateful for the Mama's in my life!

Last week a sweet Spiritual Mother lost her battle with cancer.  Her memorial service was a rush of emotions and memories of such a kind lady in my life.  Saturday welcomed more surprise emotions when driving to the 70th birthday celebration of a friend. Yet another friend had offered to drive, which was good because an overwhelming sense of gratitude hit me as I drove the familiar route to her home. Memories flooded my heart and I was overwhelmed with the thought that this precious lady and her children have also been part of a new family sent to heal my heart. Gayle has loved me (and many) like a daughter and is always kind.  She offered sound, Godly advice, much counsel and at times correction.  Her touch on my life had healed me in ways I didn't understand until Saturday.  During the party, I realized that over 18 years we have shared sweet times of fellowship, fun and hard times.  My family attended all 4 of her daughters weddings.  Each of them have been loving and caring ladies to me and my girls.  Her amazing son has always brought a smile to my face.  Saturday was no different and for that I'm grateful! During the party another sweet Mama graced me with love and caring words as she had over countless days, through many years.  All day I held back tears because the revelation that my new family had poured love over my broken heart filled me with joy. Without my realizing it, God had strategically placed many caring Mama's in my life over the years.  They had been more kind to me than anyone had ever been in my life and are a part of the deep healing God intended. Thank you Lord!  To be graced with wonderful, caring Mama's has helped restore my soul!  More than ever,  I want to be like these ladies and follow their example of love. There is a healing balm that we can offer to others as we allow God’s love to pour from us into the dry and broken places of those He entrusts to us!  The joy of the Lord is now mine in a tangible way and now I can be a Mama to others.  What a joy to be entrusted with caring for others as Jesus did.  The best part is there are still many Mama's caring for me, which gives me courage to care for others. God's design for sure!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm doing this - REALLY?

For years people have suggested I blog the things/happenings/heart stuff or Mama "Wisdom."  I'm not quite sure why, or know what this is all about, but now seems like a good time to do this. Writing has not been my thing.  I have had multiple empty, 1/2 started, or worse than that spanning over years journals because I can't seem to commit to writing down my thoughts on a consistent basis.  Instead they twirl around in my head or once in awhile, I'll write an email and share it with those who are close to me as a means for them to know what's happening in my life and weathering the storm. Annually, my writing found a place in a Christmas letter.  When I stopped doing that, I got calls and emails asking where the Ibarra Christmas letter was! Blogging here I come...let's see where this leads.

One of the joys that will forever be mine is being a Mama. Yes, that's where I'll start, with one of the greatest gifts in life. 30+ years ago when I was blessed with my first daughter, little did I know that it would blossom into a love affair that has captured my heart in ways that I can never describe on this side of Eternity. This love has moved me in ways that were never expected and has confirmed a call to "Mother" many who are part of an extended family. After looking in the sweet faces of my little ladies, my heart was changed forever.  I always knew that this was to be a big part of my call, and that I'd be a young Mom.  Growing up heart-broken and lost had created a deep desire to love and be loved.  Not the best reason for having children, but in my case, my brokenness led me to marry by the time I was 19, having my first baby at 20.  Four years later, my 2nd daughter would be born and indeed our family was set. Through the years no one tells you that there is constant fear that you aren't doing a good job, that somehow you'll make such a mess of your child's life. Now that my daughter's are grown women all I can say is, I am blessed!  If I could do it all over again, I'd face these fears and trust God all over again.  Both of these young women are my heroes. They've weathered a very tough season with grace, love, and humility. There are deep places of grief we've experienced over this time, but they have not overtaken us or robbed us of our joy.  As suspected, I didn't do everything right, but we serve a perfect God, who has our lives in His hands. We are closer than ever, and for that I'm eternally grateful.  I trust Him with everything I am.  He is the reason I live and we have come out on the other side of this very dark storm stronger than ever.  Seems odd to say that, but I've heard that what doesn't kill you will make you stronger.  Life hasn't gotten easier for us, but it is richer!  I am better and so are these precious ladies I proudly call my daughters!  Early last year, I was blessed with a scripture that has held me tight through the storm and given me new perspective and vision.   
Isaiah 45:3 (NIV)
3 I will give you hidden treasures,
   riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name

Ah yes, He knows my name and the names of my daughters. He is summoning us to Himself and granting us sweet treasures that are being uncovered everyday as we journey towards Him and continue embracing the story He is writing.  Now I begin the journey of writing and sharing my story through this blog. Hope you'll be back for the adventure and subscribe! The BEST news? He knows your name too! That’s good news! Remember, Mama Ang loves you, because He first loved me!