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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

How to Recognize a Mom
Date Posted: May 1, 2008

As I was sitting with my best friend in a women's conference this week I reached in my purse to get a notepad and pulled out one that my six-year-old had used for entertainment during church on Sunday morning. There was some unidentifiable drawing on the first page. A few words covered the next page. As I flipped through I began to wonder if he had left me any blank pages. Finally, about half-way through the notepad (a new one, I might add) I found my first pristine page.

I rolled my eyes. My friend leaned over and said, "I can tell you're a mom!"

Yep, you can spot us moms a mile away. We're the ones with wrinkled clothing or breakfast in our hair. Of course, we don't realize this, as the last time we looked in the mirror our reflection was fine - a bit frazzled, perhaps. No, the wrinkles came from the toddler clinging to our leg as we attempted to sneak out of the house. The breakfast came from the little one we kissed in the high chair while she was eating cereal. We're oblivious, but definitely glad to be out of the house for a few minutes.

A mom can also be identified by her purse. No matter what size it is - a diaper bag kind of thing or an evening bag that can fit in the palm of a hand, it will contain everything that anyone could possibly need on a two-week camping trip to Alaska, much less a 20-minute trip to Wal-Mart. The things that come out of this purse may or may not have been put there by mom herself, but will emerge with the fanfare of items being pulled out of the Barney bag or clowns exploding from a Volkswagen. (If you don't get the Barney bag reference, you need to borrow some little kids for a few days and get out the old videos!)

This purse, by the way, will also exceed the weight of her youngest child, yet she will fling if over her shoulder as if it were a feather while balancing a child on the opposite hip, holding the hand of a screaming and/or squirming toddler and maneuvering a shopping cart deftly past the candy aisle to the shortest checkout line.

Sometimes, though, moms wear disguises - like the widow next door who bakes cookies and lets the kids help her plant a garden, or perhaps welcomes to her porch with lemonade the neighbor children who have little supervision and even fewer hugs. Other times she looks like the childless woman who delights in teaching Sunday school and makes the scripture come alive for generations of kids.

If you see someone at a wedding, graduation, concert, worship service, or even a ballgame and she is smiling and crying at the same time she's probably a mom.

If she can say "I love you" in one breath and threaten to ground you for life in the next, she's a mom. If she has finger paintings on her refrigerator, she's a mom.

If her vehicle can drive a triangle from home to school to the park by itself, she's a mom. If she lets you win at Candyland, but makes you beat her at chess, she's a mom.

If she sacrifices sleep to bake cookies, finish a science project, help write a term paper, or wait for all the kids to return home safely, she's a mom.

Next week is Mother's Day. This week, pray for the moms in your life. If you are the mom, thank God for the privilege and blessings and ask him to give you strength and wisdom to be the mom He created you to be!

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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