Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Mother Who Turns Groans To Grace

~Photo taken from our St. Mary's parish alcove~
As we approach Mother's Day this weekend, I am inspired by those who echo my sentiments.  As Mothers, we often feel alone with our inadequacies of Motherhood.  Sometimes we don't know how to express it but we feel the groans within the depths of our souls.  Am I really a "good" Mother?  Will I ever be one of those Hallmark card Moms? I am thankful for writers like Ann from Holy Experience, Melody from Blossoming Joy, and Jaime from Lord, Make Me A Saint, who have the courage and gift to express the words that so many of us can never do.  Sometimes I don't know where to begin!
In my own struggles, I may not know where to begin but I am grateful to God for teaching me where to end...With Him through the gift of His Mother, our spiritual Mother Mary, Most Holy.  As Mother's Day approaches, I am reminded of this gift and flooded with gratitude that Our Lord saw fit to give us His Mother, a model of womanhood and motherhood, as he died on the Cross.  "Behold your Mother" ~John 19:26-27.~ I try to hold her close and dear as a spiritual guide and companion through my own motherhood.  Without her, I would surely fail to see the face of God.  
Even with my relationship with Mary, I shamefully admit that it often takes many hours of darkness in my human weakness to remember who I need to fly to!  Then it dawns on my ignorance that "never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help or sought her intercession, was left unaided."  I am very dense sometimes.  How often do we know what to do but we become paralyzed by our own negative thoughts?  There are times when my groans squelch the silence of my heart where the peace of Christ lies waiting to be found. The evil one tries to rob me of my Easter joy. Miraculously, our Mother Mary still hears us.  She flies to us like a mother who hears her child's cry in the night.  As we allow her to help us and choose her motherhood time and time again, she delivers our needs straight to the Father.  She helps us fulfill God's plan in our lives and begins working a masterpiece of grace in our souls; She turns our groans into grace.
GROAN: I have been struggling with my heaviest weight since my last couple of children.  I am emarassed to say that it has come to the point where most of the clothes in my closet just don't fit. Mid-forties is not treating me well as far as metabolism! I only have 1 button up shirt that fits and no money in our budget to buy clothes for myself.
GRACE:  The shirt that fits is blue, the color of Our Lady.  I'd venture to say that Mary didn't have a closet, let alone a wardrobe.  I am planning a better exercise routine to peresevere in better health for my God, through His mother, and my children, not out of vanity.
GROAN:  I often feel inadquate to mother, educate my children at home, and educate them in the faith.  I question whether they are learning all that they need to be or if I am living a good example.  I am sometimes overwhelmed at this enormous task.
GRACE:  Mary and Joseph educated and formed Jesus.  My tasks are nothing in comparison. There couldn't have been a greater responsibility on this earth than to raise up and educate God himself. Things may not have been perfect, but they lived their lives for Him, the most important task at hand. God calls us all to different places and sometimes He calls us to places we least expect.  I re-commit to my "Yes" to God, trusting in Him and keeping my will open to doing His.
GROAN:  Being a "people person", I often miss friendships and regular fellowship with other ladies, especially due to geography and time that it takes to complete the mission of my vocation at home...It can be very lonely.  My beloved is my best friend but there is nothing like having girlfriends...especially as we get older!
GRACE:  Mary was often alone.  From the day her friends abandoned her upon hearing of her pregnancy, to her flight to Egypt.  She relied on God's grace and love to carry her through.  Of course she had her beloved Joseph, her rock and faithful stronghold, praise God.  
This is a Mother who turns groans into grace.
"She will comfort you in your discouragements, solace you in your fatigues, raise you after your falls, reward you for your successes.  She will show you her Son, your God and your all.  When your spirit within you is excited, or relaxed, or depressed, when it loses its balance, when it is restless and wayward, when it is sick of what it has, and hankers after what it has not, when your eye is solicited with evil and your mortal frame trembles under the shadows of the Tempter, what will bring you to yourselves, to peace and to health, but the cool breath of the Immaculate and the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon."
~Blessed John Henry Newman~


  1. We're on the same page today. Thank you for keeping it real with your groans and graces. You're writing is a great consolation to me. :)

  2. Oh Tiffany,
    My sentiments exactly. I feel your pain and grace. It's a beautiful post. I am glad I got to read it fresh off the online press! p.s. You my dear blogging friend are doing a marvelous job! All of us moms, don't give each other much credit. When in the trenches, I think often of the words written online of countless moms like yourself and myself, that are questioning their mothering. How awesome and beautiful to know that along with God and our Heavenly Mother Mary, we can also share our lives with others who share the same common lives and interests.
    Happy Mother's Day Tiffany. I hope your beautiful family adores and dotes you with many love notes and hugs to last a long time! God bless you! {internet hugs}

  3. Tiffany I think you honestly and gracefully described the pains and joys of being a mother! It can be quite the rollercoaster ride at times and is not for the faint of heart ;) What a beautiful heartfelt tribute to all mothers! I hope you enjoy a peaceful and joy filled Mother's Day my friend!

  4. you have blessed me with your humble and faithfilled reflections. i have many of the same struggles. it's a constant reminder that this is not my home.
    i will offer a mass for your intentions.
    pax Christi - lena
    p.s. i still want to meet up with you!

  5. A really good post. I read it twice! Very relatable.


  6. This is beautiful and so well said. I know I constantly struggle with many of these things. I have started saying the Memorare each morning. The worry, the anxiety, sometimes it is overwhelming!

  7. Tiffany, this is a beautiful post. I feel so much the way you do. Am I on the right path, am I living up to the standards that Mary has shown us, am I thankful and grateful for all the graces I do have instead of wishing for more? Am I using the graces I've been given to their best potential? (and can i get any fatter?) I loved your post. It brings me back to the pure and simple truth that Mary is our guide and intercessor and example for mothers, and our aid in time of need. and when we are on top of the world as well. motherhood IS all-consuming. thank goodness we have our mommy blogger friends with whom to share life's strugglesto , wisdom, and give comfort to. Happy Mother's Day!

  8. I can't tell you how much I appreciate this post and your honesty in it. Amazing. Thank you.

  9. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  10. Hi! I found your blog on Faithful Bloggers. Have you ever read My Utmost for His Highest? I have posted many of their devotionals and would like to invite you to come and read some of them. Have a wonderful weekend...Tamara @ God's Perfect Promises

  11. Oh, my goodness, you had me thinking all through Mass today. I offered my Mass for all of us mothers out there struggling in our lives with what mothers struggle with.

    What a beautiful post, I love how you compared your life (our lives) to the Blessed Mother's. It's often hard to imagine being like her in our worldly world.

    Happy Mother's day! God bless you!


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