I was recently asked, “What does it mean to be a mother?” Immediately, being a Christian, minister, and mentor, my mind went to scripture. However, I began to think outside of the box at the greater call of parenting. I began to think of notable great women, who may, or may not have been physical moms. Nevertheless, were mothers of ambition, invention, heroisms, and example. Women like Maya Angelou, Jane Austin, Susan B Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Margaret Thatcher, Michelle Obama, Mae Jemison, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Madam CJ Walker, Josephine Baker, Harriet Tubman, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, Barbara Jordan, Amelia Earhart. Just to name a few. Not only were they successes in their homes as mothers. They also have paved the way, they have paid the cost, sacrificed much, and excelled despite opposition to create an open door for us today, showing and propelling us as mothers to push our daughters beyond what they feel and see, into what they dream and imagine. Not allowing them to settle for less than God’s best for their lives.
These women all made an impact and left legacies spanning years behind them and into the future. When I think of the mission that these, and countless other women and mothers have made. The word that comes to mind is “responsibility”. Our lives as women and mothers are more than merely rising in the morning, going to work, coming home, keeping house, being a good wife and mommy. While those are notable accomplishments in themselves. Our lives women and mothers are much more than that for our children. There is a purpose and gift inside of us that must come forth, to help and prepare the next generation of women coming after us.
Oftentimes, when we face a difficult or tragic situation, the first default response to exit our lips is “why me”. Why am I the one to get the results that say, cancer, diabetes, Lupus, brain tumor? Why does my loved one have dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke, heart attack? Why not someone else. But the one thing I have learned is that in the midst of tragedy and discouragement, greatness is on the horizon. A woman who comes through the other side with the right mindset is about to make an impact on the lives of millions coming after her. Whether they are biological offspring or not. Tragedies and disappointments often birth a brand, an entrepreneur, a guru, a doctor, etc. by way of experience.
When we learn to use what we have gone through to help others behind us go through with much more ease than it took us to maneuver through the eye of that needle, then we are making an impact. We are adding our lives into the intricate pattern weave in a quilt that I rightly name “Success of Motherhood”, along with the other women and mothers who have gone before us. We are then adding our color threads, to strengthen the cloth, that will one day, wrap around and cover the next generation.
The most negative thing you can think of, may just turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you. We have to learn to rise above our circumstances to a higher vantage point. There we can see the bigger picture.
Even if you yourself, have never gone through what could be considered a tragedy, but you’re a dreamer and witty ideas just pop into your head out of know where. What you decide, or don’t decide, to do with your gift of imagination, craftiness, brain smarts, street smarts, ability to cook, sew, help others organize, fitness, nutrition. Whatever your area of expertise is, it will directly affect, or impact those coming directly after you.
Women by nature are compassionate. Our hearts go out to situations on the other side of the world at times. Women and mothers have a connection through struggle and triumph. Our compassion for a particular situation will at times drive us to help create a solution.
Women and mothers who make an impact and take their place among women of excellence in history are driven, and oftentimes self-motivated. When you’re pregnant with a natural child or a vision, there are two things that you require to insure a healthy birth of the vision. A nutritionist, and a midwife. A nutritionist will insure you have proper nourishment and steer you away from anything that may cause complications along the way to the baby/vision being birthed. And a midwife, to make you push when you’re tired, frustrated, and just plain weary. As women and mothers, we have to learn to trust our support team. And realize that to make an impact and place your thread in the blanket of women’s history, you may face opposition.
I am an ordained minister and author. I have a romantic fiction series out titled The Other Side of Through which is currently available. When I first felt the motivation and call to write this series, I fought it. Not because I didn’t want to do it. It was more because I was afraid of what people would think. That was taking away from being a true mother for my children, because the writing experience does indeed require a great sacrifice of time away from family, closed up in a room allowing your imagination to run wild. Several of my colleagues approached me saying I was wasting my time, and the knowledge God graced me with to exegete the scripture to write cheesy romance novels. I struggled with their lack of support at first. Then I reminded myself of my target audience… women, mothers and youth. And, I also realized they couldn’t have read it, because it’s barely about romance and definitely not cheesy. Sometimes as a woman and mother, you have to push aside the direction that others feel you should be going in, and simply do what you feel is right. I knew I had traveled a somewhat bumpy road and had done several things that I was not so proud of. I began to wonder how could I take all the negative in my life and create something positive that could encourage other mothers and young people coming after me, who had made the same mistakes and experienced similar tragedies in their lives? I often thought, if I could just go back in time and speak to the younger me, shake her and tell her not to take the path she was about to venture down, I would be better off. However, I soon came to understand, that if I were to go back and stop myself for making the decisions that I made. When I came back to 2015, I would not be who I am right now. It’s in the valley that we learn the most about ourselves. It’s in the low points that our misshapen character is corrected, and we grow in every area of our lives. I knew that the women, mothers, young people and men I wanted to reach and make an impact on their lives, would never walk into a counselor’s office, hospital or church to get the help they needed, to advance through their circumstances.
To become a mother and woman who makes an impact, you also have to be a woman strong and willing enough, to take the ridicule and opposition that is sure to come, because of the dream and vision on the inside of you. Because the ones coming after you, are worth what you have to endure, to ensure they survive and succeed you. Taking their places in society as you have taken yours. This is the attitude, although they were not our biological mothers, our predecessors had concerning us. The women who traveled the path to dare to be different traveled a long hard road. Some of them were born in a time when women were treated less than. They had no equal rights and were told they were beneath their counterparts. However, they pushed on, jumping hurdles and breaking through walls of prejudice to ensure their children and other women coming after them, would have it better than they did. That they would have the opportunity to accomplish more and greater feats they had.
We have a responsibility to pick up the torch from the ones who started this race before us as great women and mothers and carry it. It is now, in this race that we call the Olympics of life. It is our job to get the torch to the next generation and pass it on to them. So while we enjoy the pleasures and freedom of the sacrifices made by those notable women who have gone before us. Let us also take on the responsibility to move the torch to the next point. I will pass it off to my daughter, who in turn will pass it off to hers and so on. We must ensure that the Olympic circle of life of women and mothers doing great things, will continue. We must train up the generation coming after us, to be more successful and dynamic.
When you impact someone’s life. They will remember you. We have to be women and mother who cause your children and others to look into the mirror and declare to themselves: You can be better than you are; you can do more than you are doing; you can rise above this obstacle in front of you; you are a conqueror.
One thing I have learned as a wife, woman, and mother. It is to remember that I’m a wife, woman, and mother. To play my role out in society to the utmost of my ability. I love the career path that has been laid out for me. The words I write inspire many women and men, they provoke them to be greater, the comfort them in the midst of struggle. They laugh with them in victory and cry with them in sad times. They inspire them to rise above, pick up and continue on their journey.
I had a wise minister once said to me. There are two types of people in the world. There are people who are often walked on. And people who intentionally place themselves in the path to get walked on. I said I don’t understand. They are both getting walked on. He said not so, the second person understands that through their trials, tribulations, and successes. By sharing their journey and testimony, that they have just created an imaginary latter, leaned it up against their body so others may climb up their lives, using them as a stepping stone to get out of the pit that they are trapped in, or to get their success. After that day, I began to look myself, my life and my role as a mother, as a latter that will one day assist not only my own offspring but countless others, to escape their current situation and succeed.
We cannot erroneously think we have to have the audience or status that an Oprah Winfrey or Ellen DeGeneres has. Everyone will not obtain that grand of a platform. Your mission is to be the woman and mother you were designed to be, and, to reach the group you were destined to reach. If you can impact your own daughter, son, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, spouses or coworkers. You have indeed made an impact on the nation. Because a nation, as vast as it may be, is made up of people… one at a time.
Be the woman and mother who leaves a legacy everywhere you go. Be the worker no employer can do without. Be the wife your husband cannot stop talking about. And others speak well of him because of your good works. Be the mother whose children honor, respect and are proud of. You are making an impact on a level that sends ripples into the future and will touch lives, long after you have made Heaven your home.
Meet Minister Cynthia Middlebrooks Harris
Cynthia Middlebrooks Harris is an ordained minister and native of Atlanta, Ga. She entered the US Army in 1984, where she met and married her husband of 31 years, Minister Kim Harris. They have two children, Dominique and Stephanie. She is a true intercessor with a passion and heart to see the people of God healthy spiritually, emotionally and physically. She is currently working to earn her degree to become a Registered Dietician. She is a teacher and a Christian mentor. In May 2013, she appeared on the “The Word Network” with Still Useable Ministries for the live taping of “Rejoice in the Word,” to an audience of over 120,000,000 viewers worldwide. Her work has appeared in Higher Connection magazine twice and her ministry went international to Kaiserslautern, West Germany in 2014.
She is a published author and currently has six books in publication. Many of the life circumstances of her works are inspired by challenges, situations, and tragedies that have occurred in her life. The mission of her writing is to illuminate the journey of how God brought her through when the pieces of her life began to fall apart and unravel. She is passionate about writing and understands that her mandate from God is to reach the nations with her gift of imagination and knowledge of the Word of God. To minister to the hurt, confused and lost through romance and sound & drama.
She understands that her responsibility to God is to spread His word by any means necessary. It is her determination to do just that… through the power of fiction, romance and sound & drama. She was born to write for such a time as this! She lives and breathes her motto… Ministry is always…..Required!