This is Colette Macfarlane. This beautiful woman is a lover of Jesus, a mommy, a wife, and an amazing photographer, along with several other things! I first met this beautiful lady at Candace's house for our weekly work out sessions. Since than she has been adopted into our mommy workout group and has woven a place into each of our hearts with our amazing friendships that we each have been able to create there (shout out to Candace)! From day one she has always been the one with the most contagious smile and laugh, always bubbly, and always open about her life. One thing I really admire about her is that she is the "real her." She doesn't put on an act of who she is. She is real, down to earth and exactly who God has created her to be while embracing every part of it! She inspires me more than she even knows with all of her life. Colette also loves worship, loves ladies ministry, her babies, her husband and cherishes each of her friendships. I am excited for you guys to get to share in reading her story. Her heart is so tender and pure for the love and honor of friendships and relationships. One thing that I saw when I read Colette's story was "Jesus's eyes." The way that Colette explains her heart through this story is the way through the eyes of Jesus with such care and affirmation for sharing this story! I know you wil enjoy! Make sure to share with your friends. Everyone have a blessed morning!
I have been a believer since I can remember. I was raised in the Catholic Church and went to Catholic Schools in primary school. My dad is a strong believer in Jesus and has always shared that love with me in his spiritual and practical example. I remember growing up we would bring homeless people into our home and give them jobs or feed them and "adopt" senior citizens in nursing homes that had no family. They would join us for holidays or just family dinners. However, when I was 12 my parents had a messy divorce. After that I lived with each of my parents half of the time. My mom and I really had a very tumultuous relationship after that for a variety of reasons. She never really shared my dad's faith and I think that made it even harder.
During my college years my mom and I had about two to three years where we did not talk at all, and then another two to three years since my second child was born. To make a long story short, I wasn't sure exactly what motherhood should look like. I did my best to earn love by being enough or achieving enough, trying to earn love. I thought that I had healed and forgiven my mom. Then, I had my own children. Honestly it was one of the most scariest experiences of my life. Once I found out that I was pregnant I read as many parenting books as I could trying to make sure I did it "right."
The first gift from God was that He gave me a boy first. To me, this felt like a fresh start, a different kind of relationship that was new to me because it was between mother and son instead of a mother and daughter. Then three and a half years later I had my daughter. What an amazing thing, and what a fireball she is. Every day as being a mom I question my ability. I wonder whether I am good enough, loving enough, involved enough, disciplined enough, etc. But, God is so good. It is amazing what He has taught me through this experience. He has taught me that He can show me how to love. He has taught me that if I follow Him and His example I will be all that I can be for my children. Sometimes this means grace. Sometimes this means discipline, and always forgiveness and love. He has taught me that He is my parent (even my mother) when I feel alone and want a mothers input or a mothers love. I especially love Psalm 27:7,8,10,11,13 and 14, "Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, "Seek his face! Your face, Lord, I will seek. Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the and of the living."
God has taught me how important it is to rely on my husband's strengths, leadership, and love. And how important our marriage is to my children spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Although the biggest lesson I have learned is the direct relation to my own mother. I have learned that even though we have had our struggles, that it is my job to honor her and all that she has done for me. Exodus 20:12 says, "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God has given you." I have learned that loving someone that is easy to love doesn't show the Lord's fruit in my life. Although, loving someone who is harder to love shows more about my character and what God has done in my life. I have learned that even when you forgive, sometimes you have to forgive again, but that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And, I have learned that God gives you amazing Godly people in your life that you can learn from. He has given me an amazing stepmom, mother in law, and a huge group of amazing peer moms that I learn from and rely on every day. He is teaching me that I will never be a perfect mom and that in trying I actually take away His ability to work in my kids and my life. I have a great quote on my refrigerator that my sister gave me. It says, "The most important thing she had learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one." - Jill Churchill. I have learned that God is an amazing God. He sees the big picture. And, even though we don't like difficulties, or tears, or struggles in our lives or the lives of those you love, that it is in those times when He grows us and refines us the most to make us into His own image.
As I think back all throughout my relationship with my mom, it was always rocky, but I have relied on God from a young age through it all. I didn't always know why things were happening the way they were and I struggled at times understanding why someone who was supposed to love me unconditionally showed it in a different ways than I had imagined. However, especially as I have gotten older I have realized that God has done everything for HIS glory and not mine. By allowing there to be someone in my life that is hard to love it gives me the opportunity for Him to work through me. It is something often that I am unable to do under my own power. Through His power I am able to continue to pursue my mother and her heart. Although many times I have done that imperfectly He has been the rock that I knew loved me and cared for me in the midst of my struggle. Unfortunately, my family and I have not seen my mom in about 2 years. Though I can say that my faith is really what motivates me to keep faith that restoration is possible because all things are possible with God. My mom deserves the same forgiveness. She too is a child of God. And I am driven to show the world, and my unbelieving mom that love motivated by Gods love is different.
It breaks my heart that my mom is missing out on my kids lives because that relationship is important to me. But, it does absolutely give me huge motivations for having a completely different relationship with my own children. I want them to know that they are a gift from God, that I consider them blessings, that the job God gave me is to raise them up in the way they should go and that I expect great and Godly things out of them. And, that I will absolutely unconditionally love them no matter what. I believe personally that it is important for a person to know unconditional love here on earth because it gives them just a taste of how much our Heavenly Father loves us. There are definitely moments and sometimes days that I really feel like I've failed as a parent but then I remember to just ask my kids and God for forgiveness and be thankful for the grace that both extend. I guess the one thing that I would want other moms to know is that God doesn't expect you to be a perfect parent and you shouldn't expect yourself to be a perfect parent. You should realize that the greatest gifts you can give your children are Faith in Christ and to love them. Between those two things it can get them through anything. And, when the days or minutes or weeks or months get tough with your children ask God for strength, forgiveness, and grace. He will supply all and we cannot do this whole journey without him.