Making Peace – For Mom

Family Grace

My mom is carefully pruning my Mexican oak tree with her bare hands. It stands in my front yard overlooking the street, caddy corner along the fence. It appears diseased as she tirelessly rips off each tree limb. The branches fall around her and the tree begins to take a new shape.

I sit crisscrossed on my porch swing watching her swing her arms around her back to ensure the branches do not prod her hair. The scene is absent of my father; I feel he lingers near grinning at my mom’s barbaric, elegant pruning. This is what family looks like to me today.

Will I continue to sit back and watch her prune away at the life of this tree or am I willing to help her? Am I willing to put in the same amount of effort?

 “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:18

My mom and I may not always see eye to eye, but I admire the manner in which she has chiseled away at life with her bare hands. I hope that I can be that strong when the day comes that I must get up from my porch swing and prune the tree in front of me.


I fight pride daily. When do I walk up and make peace? I lose myself in that fight without ever getting up to wage peace between my mother and myself. There is a lot of lost time when I talk to pride instead of talking to my family.

There will come a time when she is no longer here, pruning trees, shoveling advice, or dangling wind chimes from the limbs.

We don’t pick our tribe, our familia, our blood circle. We can only choose the reaction we have to our tribe when things don’t fall as naturally as we would like. We can watch our family do the labor from our comfortable places or we can get up and help.

With my legs outstretched I stumble toward where she is. I pick up branches from the ground and carry them to the garbage bin. She looks at my effort and smiles. I may not have the muscle to prune, but I have the muscle to clean up.

“See how much better it looks?” She beams.

 How will you honor and make peace with your family?

 Here are four things to keep in mind:

  1.  Recognize that peace must be made.
  2. Peace does not require us to open our mouths.
  3. We must get up from our comfortable place.
  4. Time is lost when we talk to pride rather than talking to our family.

 “Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12


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