In a recent episode of the podcast, “Your Hope-Filled Perspective,” I had the honor of chatting with literary agent Blythe Daniel and her mother, Dr. Helen McIntosh about hope for restoring damaged or broken mother/daughter relationships. They co-authored the book, “Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters”. I know many who hurt because they don’t have the kind of relationship with their mother or daughter that they would like. Many times, words have been the cause of pain. So, I asked Blythe to share more here about the package of words, and how we can use them to hurt or heal.
There’s a book giveaway so be sure to read to the end.
(If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
The Package of Words: A Gift for Mom
By Blythe Daniel
Words spilled out before I knew it and in about five seconds, I changed the atmosphere in the room with my children. I shared with them that because of what they didn’t do as part of their responsibilities and chores, they wouldn’t get to do what they wanted to do next (which involved cake baking, one of their favorites).
It soured the room, long before the cake ingredients had time to come to the temperature of the room. Why do words have the potential to change not only our children but us as moms? How I approached them was disappointing to me even as I shared the words out of a sense of control, not love. Words affect not just those they land on but the one who spills them out.
I’ve long known the importance of how you speak to a son or daughter. My mom’s good instincts, her intentions with me to ask if her words feel controlling have shown me that telling a child what to do is different than asking them to come up with how they see their roles, their jobs, their relationship to us. She grew up with a mother that told her what to do and what she thought of her, rather than seeking a relationship or “what do you think we need to do to make things better between us?”
For years, Mom has believed wholeheartedly in working things out between mothers and daughters from her own experiences so she came up with “conversation starters” or “relationship starters” to introduce this caring exchange of how to make things better between you.
Days can go by where, as the mother, we need to go back and role play a different word choice with our children. Deliver a different package of words to them. Or as the daughter, we need to role play things differently with our mother that has hurt us, maybe many times and perhaps has done it so much that she doesn’t recognize it.
As we approach Mother’s Day, what would it take for you to be able to go to your mom or to your daughter and let her know that you want to start over, right where you are today? You don’t have to pull up all the history between you. But a statement like, “I know that we haven’t done well together. I’m sorry for how I have disrespected you. Will you forgive me? What do you need to see from me to make things better between us?” could be what she needs to receive from you.
We are to clear up our end of things always, and sometimes we get to go first. Who is in the stronger place to initiate forgiveness: the one who has erred 5 percent or 95 percent? Maybe we were only 5 percent wrong, but we can initiate peace. God is our example. He reconciled us to Him through His Son, Jesus, who paid for our lives through His death. His resurrection is the reason we can have restoration.
A Gift for Mom on Mother’s Day: a Package of Words
What can you give your mom for Mother’s Day? How do you know what she needs when perhaps you haven’t spoken with her in a while?
What about the gift of words? The package of words is a powerful tool you can present to your mom.
We want to offer this free tool to you – some conversation starters for you from our book, “Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters”. These are meant to help you find common ground between you and put your relationship ahead of your differences. It’s also helpful to have some words in front of you when you don’t know what to say.
The words I went back to with my children that day sounded like this: “I was wrong to speak to you the way that I did. I am sorry for making you all feel like you didn’t deserve our special time together. Will you forgive me? What do you think we should do to make sure that you are taking care of responsibilities so that we can move on to the more fun events together? How can I encourage you?”
The way I package my words makes such a difference because how they hear me speaks louder to them than often how they see me.
Sharing words that will help you move closer to each other is a good way to model healthy boundaries and also forgiveness.
The gift of a relationship between you can’t be bought but can be created between you so that you can live with peace and operate more freely in your relationship. If you need a relational reset, we encourage you to check out these conversation starters.
Whether there is a short-term distance between you or long-term, we’ve seen the power of God work through many mother-daughter relationships where there didn’t seem to be an opening. Like your mother or daughter, God wants to be invited to the process of restoring what’s between you.
Do you feel led to bring Him into your relationship as you think about your mother this Mother’s Day?
A Prayer of Forgiveness and Restoration in Mother-Daughter Relationships
Let’s agree together in prayer:
God, I need you to change my heart toward my mom and help me to see her for who she is in your eyes. Will you give me the grace to initiate a conversation with her to help bring healing to my heart? I trust you to help me see the restoration that you can bring and I ask for it to fill our relationship, by faith in Jesus’ name. A-men.
About Blythe Daniel
Blythe Daniel is a literary agent and marketer with more than 20 years of experience in publishing. She has written for Proverbs 31 Ministries, Focus on the Family, Ann Voskamp, Christian Retailing, and she links bloggers with readers through the agency’s blog network. The daughter of Dr. Helen McIntosh, she lives in Colorado with her husband and three children.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, How To Improve Mother Daughter Relationships – Episode 55, Blythe Daniel and Dr. Helen McIntosh are giving away a free copy of their book, “Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters”.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you’ve learned in this post about reconciling and restoring mother/daughter relationships.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, May 11, 2020. Continental United States only.