The soul is healed by being with children.

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Frankly Phyllis

Welcome to the first installment of the Woman to Woman e-newsletter - I'm glad you're here! I want God to build you up, feed your mind, soothe your soul and strengthen your relationships. I hope you will come to look forward to this newsletter every month as a safe place where you will be encouraged, inspired, comforted and engaged in a lively exchange of ideas!

When you stop by, remember ...you're not in this alone. Let's think together about what that means. God our Creator and Redeemer doesn't just think us up, drop us down here and say "Catch 'ya on the flip side!" He is accessible and available and offers us daily enabling as he draws us to Him. How does that work? Good question!

Stay tuned for practical how-to's about faith and daily life. Incidentally, God does the "work"...it's called Love! We reap the benefits. Every Woman to Woman show reveals that, whether it's Mother's & Daughters Making Peace or Risking Love. So stay tuned!

I'd love to hear from you too - let me know when you "get it" or you think I don't! Try my recipes and tell your friends about our sound bites/sound bytes. Bring me your victories or where you're stuck. I can program to the area where you've run amuck! Above all, I want to walk beside you to increase the joy and decrease the strife. I hope this e-newsletter will become a must...because it's right here you'll find talk you can trust! Be sure to visit womantowomanradio.com for even more nurturing conversation, great recipes and show information - I look forward to seeing you there!


A MOTHER'S HEART - BROKEN OR BLESSED?

The doctors told us my mother, at age 84, was expected to die within days. She was not told this prognosis, but 14 of our family gathered from around the country to be with her. I'd been keynoting on a Caribbean cruise and was the last to arrive. Standing next to her bed in ICU, with the others in the waiting room, I mentioned that most of her entourage had to leave tomorrow and would like to say goodbye. She shook her head at the idea, clearly having no energy for that much interaction. Desperately seeking a way for her to give closure to the family, in view of her anticipated departure of this life, I said, "Mother, you know me, I always have a pencil and paper along. I can write down a little message from you for each person." Shaking her head again, I could tell that wasn't going to fly either. I also sensed she wanted to say something, so I waited. Finally, she weakly and lovingly said, "I wish I'd been a better mother!"

There it was, a mother's heart, broken AND blessed. So unexpected, with all of us there out of love and respect for her revered position as matriarch of the family. I couldn't lie and tell her she was perfect. She'd lost her health, not her reason. She knew no one ever parented perfectly...ever. We'd talked about Adam and Eve having rebellious kids, without TV! But never had she articulated what she'd just said on her way out of this life into the next. I blurted out, "Oh mother, I'm so glad you said that. It's how most mothers feel. I've said the same thing to my kids. But you know what....you must have done a pretty good job considering how we turned out!!" I don't know if she believed me.

Incidentally, the doctors were more than surprised when God loaned her to us for 5 more years of lovin'! We spoke only once more during that time about her ICU statement. Of course she was correct. She did do some things wrong. She was better in some areas of parenting than others. I hope she got relief from the big pix I held up for her! My mom made her fair share of mistakes in her mothering of me. But she more than made up for them later with sacrifices like coming 300 miles to care for me and my newborns for two weeks. She did that four times, every one of which was a total Godsend. Now I do it for my kids. Maybe it will get me off the hook a little bit for some of the ways I messed up as a mom. And if it doesn't, it's sure good for fresh starts between mother and daughter!

I asked Dr. Judith Balswick, author of "Mothers and Daughters Making Peace," how important it is to mend fences and make peace with our mothers while there's still time. You'll enjoy her answer on our "Woman to Woman" visit. Share your thoughts on this tender topic with me if you have a chance. I'd love to hear from you. With your permission, I may even post your reflections on our webpage.

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