Friday, April 16, 2010

theory of liminality

shelby took a literature class that studied the theory of liminality,
and her description of it transfixed me.  arnold van gennep, a french
anthropologist in this past century, asserted that there is a threshold
between neither "here nor there" that we pass through.

intuitively, i understood it in the many stages of parenting, and it was
an 'eureka' moment.  in this life,  i will never arrive at that ceremony
in which medals are rewarded for gold, silver, and bronze in mothering.
on this side of the grave, i will always just be transitioning from one
stage of mom to another.

how bizarre is that?  and how many times have we heard that our job
is over once we get them through high school?  what a lot of bologna!

girls, and by girls, i mean wimpy, pathetic ME, we will be parenting
until we take our last breath.

hailey remarked in amazement when one of her very young friends
had her baby, "oh my gosh, mom, she is going to be a mom for the
rest of her life!"  yep.

does it sound like i am complaining?  i hope not, because i love my
children more than life itself.  sometimes, though, i get overwhelmed
by the enormity and the consequences of my choices as a mom.

thankfully, i have a Father "who knows the number of hairs on their
head and has engraved them in the palm of His hand." (luke 12:7 and
isaiah 49:16)  He has walked with us through many valleys, over vast
mountain peaks, along green pastures, under might ocean waves, up
rocky roads, on terrifying plane trips through turbulent weather . . .
(sorry, got a little carried away)



myletterstoemily said...

thank you, sweet hailey, for the lovely
paris photos.

and thank you, sonja, for the excellent
parenting advice.

Vee said...

Now that's a term that I've never heard and wish to learn more about. Thanks!

(As for mothering adult children? I find that the less of it that I do the better off the relationships. My adult children don't want "mothering" in the traditional sense of the word. I know that my own mother cringes when her mother starts in on her. After all, my mother is a big girl now at 75 years of age. Believe me, there is nothing quite so pathetic as a clingy, smothering mother who is still at it at 100 years of age. Nope, it's not even "cute." Perhaps, we need to discuss what "mothering" is.)

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Wishing you a happy, sunny, wonderful and inspiring weekend, sweet Lea!

I Love Pretty Little Things said...

This post is so real to me today because my middle son turns 18 today. My oldest is almost 21, and I still have our little tag along 14 year old. Parenting is forever! There are still all of those same maternal, protective feelings, but suddenly you are dealing with an "adult" (and I do use that term loosely) but still, it's a moment...
I just PRAY! And, rely on the fact that He loves them even more than I do!
Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

"Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever." ~ Unknown

:) Have a lovely day, dear Lea.

Auntie Cake said...

I constantly am still asking my parents for advice. I couldn't make it without it!

Enjoy a beautiful spring weekend!

Farm Girl said...

I loved your post today, it is something I think about quite often, what I have discovered with my marrieds, that is what I call them vs the ones who still live at home, its now they love being my friend. So the transition from mom to friend to mentor is a very good one, but being a mother, yes, we will be until we finally get to sit at Jesus feet and He tells us to come into His rest he has prepared for us, giving us the well done faithful servant.
You are so sweet, I love your thoughts.

Andrea said...

Oh, it is so comforting to know that He will make up for our shortcomings as a parent!

Beansieleigh said...

You know.. I did in fact say something to the effect that I would be worrying and taking care of my son till I die, and it did greatly upset me that someone has to twist that as if I was complaining! My son has trouble in school, and now with budget cuts and layoffs at the school, I don't like how they're now, all of a sudden, handling/placing him for next year. I am seriously thinking of home schooling him now... if I can. Lots to think about... ~tina

myletterstoemily said...

ha ha! vee just emailed me that we are all
liminoids! :)

Lisa said...

Having 4 children ages 25 through 15 I soooo know just what you mean. I think as our children grow up we take on the role of counselor more so than parent. And thank goodness that God is able to keep what we commit to Him. He is faithful! Great post Lea!

Southern Lady said...

How true! Once a mother, always a mother. Thankfully our childern have a heavenly Father! Carla

Single and Sane said...

I've learned a new word today!

I'm thinking it also applies to each of us as a child of God. We're all on a life journey, growing in His grace all along the way, but we never fully arrive on this side of the grave.

Burlap Luxe said...

You can never get carried away. Thank you for speaking and backing it up in scripture.

So happy I found you!


Darcie said...

SO, so, so true! What a honor it is to be a mother, but what a responsibility at the same time. I like that last passage you shared...just the other day I was thinking about what I thought my kids needed, and then a reassuring voice came to be..."just trust"...God truly knows just what they need even more than I do. I just need to trust and be faithful in praying for them

Have a beautiful weekend.

Burlap Luxe said...

When you stated in your comment to me that you had a disability I was in Awwww!! that I may need to come over there and help you!! Then you stated that clearly that it was of a lack of talent!!! I was relieved to then find out it was talent you felt you lacked and not some sort of disability :)

Now that that is out of the way!

It takes a whole lot of talent to write the way you do and with that talent just spread your wings a bit and try to create something that creates passion for you :)

I will be keeping my eye on your blog waiting to see what you have CREATED :)


Mountain Mama said...

A mother forever! Ahhh... love it.

I don't have any adult children - yet. But I am not far from that new phase of life. Thanks for your encouraging words.


The Strawberry Mallard said... NEVER.........a beautiful woman, indeed, who in giving of herself to others, actually becomes stronger and wiser!

Hugz, Nancy

Deborah Ann said...

What are you trying to do with all these new-fangled words? Teach us old dogs new tricks? I can barely remember what I read 5 minutes ago, much less yesterday...

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

...the lion will lay with the lamb

thank you so much for taking the time to stop by Farmhouse and leaving the comforting words....

you're a dear

have a wonderful weekend, my sweet friend


Just Breathe said...

Great post and so true. We will always be mothers. My husband and I were at the show once, years ago and a woman stood up during the movie and said "can someone help me, my son is choking." They ended up stopping the movie. Well her son was maybe 35 yet her screams were that of a mother with a little child.

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

what a great thought. it's such a huge blessing and responsibility to be mommy for life! thank God for His grace and strength... and for people like you to encourage me! : )

Elyse said...


what a dear blog you have! so eloquent and love the idea of your blog as letters written to your friend.

thanks so much for your lovely comment on my blog. it was nice to read on a hectic day.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

So glad my parents are still parenting, but so much further for the transition that has taken place over the years to move us toward friendship. I feel so blessed to still have them be a very active part of my life. Even today (while vacationing in the mountains), I've heard from my mom no less than 3 times via the cell phone. Two times to check on "us" and a third time to ask me the name brand of flat beans I use.

Only a mother & daughter...

PS: And thanks for all of your words of support over the last week. It's blessed my heart tremendously. I hope to get back to visiting blogs soon.

Anita @ Far Above Rubies said...

Yes I feel it getting harder every day and knowing that no matter how old they are they will still be my babies. My mother still thinks I'm 12:-)

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Lea
Well I'm not a parent but would agree it would be a lifetime responsibility... Just saw your last post too.. woo hoo a trip to Paris... lucky you!!! Seems like a lifetime since I have travelled.. glad you got to have a wonderful break.. see you soon... xxx Julie

Amy said...

Great post and so true. I am thankful that my parents are still there for me when I need advice, support, or just a shoulder. My Grandmother still watches us leave her house everytime we visit, to make sure we are safely on our way.

Joan Elizabeth said...

My thought on this is that one is never quite grown up until ones mother is gone.

koralee said...

Love this today! Parenting is hard at the best of times. xoxox

Sonja said...

very well said my friend, and so true!

A Tale of Two Cities said...

Liminality--thanks for enlightening me on that term. I'm a very involved mother in this season of my life to my adult kids and their wives. Both sons are in the process of moving-one to a new neighborhood, and another to London, so they are very thankful for my help. It's nice to be appreciated and needed too.

Happy weekend....