Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Woman of Noble Character

When my charming friend Susan confessed TMQ stories had inspired her to write a letter to her mother, I asked her if she would be willing to share it with us. Thank you, Susan, for your thoughtful and generous remarks.
Dear Nicki,
I had so much fun at your San Francisco reading of TMQ that I decided to not only buy a copy for myself but one also for my mom. It would make for a unique Mother's Day gift. As promised, the book was a delightful read! What I didn't anticipate, however, was the ever growing desire in me to honor my mom. The more I read about each woman's experience, the more I thought about my mom and how she loved and raised us. She had truly helped shape me into the woman I was today and I'm embarrassed to say that it took reading your book to finally bring that truth to light! As I pondered how I might have written my own story, I realized that an intentional expression of my appreciation was in order. This was no easy matter though, for you see the past between us had not always been so rosy. Although we'd been reconciled for years, a heartfelt “Thank you for being my mom”, had never been shared. So, not only did my mom receive a copy of your book, but also a letter of appreciation to bless her, encourage her, and thank her. Here is a little excerpt of my letter to her. Thank you for your book - I'm sure you never dreamed that TMQ would inspire someone to move beyond simple reconciliation with their mom to an outpouring of gratitude and blessing.

Hi Mom! Happy Mother’s Day! ~May 2006
A Woman of Noble Character: Proverbs 31:29 “Her children arise and call her blessed...”
I hope you enjoy this book. I bought it months ago in anticipation of Mother’s Day. It is an interesting collection and I'm amazed to see how completely differently so many women view life! To be honest, I don’t relate to several of the stories and yet, the themes of motherhood strike a chord and quite a few stories made me smile and sort of knowingly nod my head to myself. I think the part of the book that made me most want to share it with you is Nicki’s introduction. I identify with what she wrote on the bottom of page 2, “I’ve discovered that women of my generation have grown weary of embracing the modern-day myth of ‘having it all’ and the reality of what this means for most women.” Although we want to make the most of the hard fought-for opportunity of having a fulfilling career, we don’t want to short-change our families in the process. Thanks to you and Dad- I was told and I believed I could be anyone I wanted! So part of this note to you is to acknowledge and thank you for instilling in me the belief and self-confidence that I really could be and do anything I wanted. I never doubted that ever. When asked how I handled the “cold environment” of being a woman in the physical sciences or how I managed to overcome the lack of female role models in my career to encourage me, I can honestly say I didn’t notice! I was oblivious to any supposed cold or hostile environment because you built into me such a subconscious belief I could do it that it really never crossed my mind that I was overcoming such obstacles. Thank you!

I also wanted to acknowledge that your example as Mom in my life also gave me the confidence to whole-heartedly embark on this journey of motherhood and to not feel like I’m giving up anything in my career to be a mom myself. In fact, I joyfully and willingly accept that my career will likely stall over the next decade or so because I want to be around for my son like you were for me. In addition, we always had dinner together as a family at the table with great meals. And you let us play so much ! So few chores and so much play! And so it is incredibly easy to release the “having it all” pressures and revel in the rewarding pursuit of recreating the home environment I grew up in for my family.

And finally, one last tidbit to share… as I read through the short stories, I was baffled and dismayed at the number of women who would allude to some sort of Christian upbringing or exposure and yet had completely turned their backs on it. Of course I have no idea what role faith truly played in their upbringing but it does make one sit back and ponder it. Why did it stick for me and not for any of them? Anyway, not to get overly philosophical but I do want to thank you and Dad for giving me such a solid foundation to my faith, one that has shaped who I am today and continues to shed light on my life story. If I were to write about turning 30, I would add to these other stories the wonderful completeness which God brings to my own story. Love you lots and lots and thank you for being the kind of mom that I want to be too. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!


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