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Your secret to become the best mom.
Friday, May 10, 2024 by Janet Perez Eckles

Hey dear Inspirational family, got some good news to share. I entered the prestigious contest sponsored by EPA (Evangelical Press Association). The competition was stiff, little chance my article would even be considered. But God winked at me so graciously and the judges issued me second place in the free-lance category. May I share the article with you? If you said yes, I’m dancing with gratitude. Here it is:

 

Your Secret to Become the Best Mom

Envy is not from God, I reminded myself. But as I fumbled to tie my 5-year-old Jeff’s shoes, I heard my neighbor’s car across the street zoom away. No doubt, she headed to the mall or to an appointment. She had her independence. But not me. My independence was a thing of the past. It had left along with my eyesight.

I ran my fingers across the counter to find the plastic cup. “Here, honey,” I said to Jeff, “not too much apple juice, it’s close to dinner time.”

“Mommy,” he paused as he did when he was about to say something important, “Will you always be blind?”

I bit the inside of my lip, fighting a lump in my throat. I bent down toward him. “Sweet baby,” I said as I cupped his soft face in my hands and whispered, “we don’t know. But remember even if Mommy can’t see, I will always take care of you, and will take care of your brothers too.”

I kissed the top of his head.

But that night I questioned my promise to him. The fact was my eyesight would never come back. And as his needs as well as his three and seven-year-old brothers’ needs were constant, so were my feelings of inadequacy.

The pain had begun months earlier with the doctor’s prognosis. “You need to prepare,” the ophthalmologist had said, “the disease will be closing in and sadly, only a miracle could stop the progression.”

He was correct. In spite of numerous visits to specialists, herbal healers, acupuncturists and anyone who could give me some hope, the inevitable happened. In matter of months, my vision closed in completely, no shadows, no colors, I saw nothing but a gray veil. And in my physical darkness, I tossed and tossed during sleepless nights. Dabbing my tears with the corner of the pillow case, I asked over and over again, why had God abandoned me? Why had He rejected my prayers?

“Mommy,” my seven-year-old, Jason, called out, “I can’t read this, it’s a note from my teacher.”

Helping them with school work, driving them to soccer practice, admiring their art work and even cheering when they kicked the soccer ball toward the goal were things of the past.

Instead, what was ever-present was the reminder of the tasks I performed with ease when I had eyesight.

But pondering in the past didn’t last long because their active nature always brought me to the present. “Mom, Joe fell down,” Jeff screamed.

I dropped the basket of laundry on the floor and dashed toward the doorway heading to the basement. As usual I extended my arms to guide my path, but in my hurry, I misjudged the door frame and struck with such force that my forehead burst. The blood mixed with my tears of pain.

Joe was fine. But that night when hubby came home from work, he hugged me. And then pulled back. With a slow motion, his fingertips lifted my chin. “What happened? You ran into something?”

“It’s nothing.”

But he knew differently. Bruises had become an everyday thing. The physical pain and the emotional trauma threatened to consume me.

Until one day, God changed all. Until He gave me something better than eyesight. And until that day when my heart which had been like a dried sponge began to receive living water. He brought a friend who gave me a Bible in audio. With headset on, I listened, pondered and embraced each verse I heard. I formed a daily routine: While I cleaned the kitchen counter, or mopped the floor, or folded laundry, I listened to His voice from the Bible and teachings from Christian radio stations. God’s Word trickled in with refreshing comfort and powerful reassurance.

That comfort came wrapped in His promises as He said His Word would be a lamp for my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105). Eventually, God transformed my heart and brought sunshine to each day with a special tool.

That tool was my GJ. It became the answer, the solution, the healing for my emotional turmoil. My GJ was what God used to lift me up from the pitiful, dark cave and brought me to a wonderfully bright place instead.

My GJ was my “Gratitude Journal.”

I learned to operate a computer with a screen reader that allowed me to read text and also to write. With this tool, my “Gratitude Journal” began. In it I placed entries listing all for which I was grateful.

  • Thank you, Lord that today, you gave me strength to smile and to display gladness before my little boys.
  • I thank you for helping me figure out how to organize the pantry. You kept me today from putting powdered sugar instead of flour into a recipe.
  • Thank you, Father, you gave me the ability to smell spices and taste as I made spaghetti sauce. Today’s burned finger, will teach me to be more careful tomorrow.
  • Thank you for teaching me to differentiate the boys’ voices and discern which one needs me.
  • Thank you for my husband who doesn’t mind wearing pink t-shirts. You thought of it all—even teaching me to use bleach.
  • Thank you for the memory you gave me so I can remember neighbor’s phone numbers when I need to seek a ride for doctor’s visits.
  • Thank you that I can trust tomorrow is in your hands and all I have is today to be concerned about.
  • Thank you for being the protector of my sons when I can’t get to them on time. And I am grateful that they are your children first and you care for them better than I can.

My gratitude journal opened a new horizon for me. I saw the best of motherhood, its joy and delightful moments. And the independence I lost made me confidently dependent on Christ.

Let’s pray.

Father, I praise you for granting me the wisdom to be grateful. For the weaknesses and limitations of this blind, imperfect mom are no match to the perfect way you provide for me.

Janet

 

Celebrate with me! My new release, Now I See: How God’s Amazing Grace Transforms the Deepest Pain to Shining Joy won the 2023 Memoir of the Year Golden Scroll Award.

Your copy waits for you here.

Let’s Stay in Touch

You and I are only a click away. You can use this CONTACT FORM to leave your prayer request, make a comment, ask a question, or invite me to speak to your group. Or simply reply to this email.

I also invite you to visit my WEBSITE. You’ll find more inspirational blogs along with my story, books, and videos. You’ll also learn the passion and mission of JC Empowerment ministries.

 

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