My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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What My Mother Taught Me

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Last year, a day before Mother’s Day, we celebrated our Mother’s life as she peered down from Heaven’s glory.  Even though the memorial was to celebrate her life it was the hardest good-bye I have ever faced.   The following, is in part, what I shared to honor my mom’s life on that day.  I wrote this from the perspective of being her daughter.

 

Proverbs 1:8:9 says: “Never forget what you learned from your mother… Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair,like rings on your fingers.

My mother taught me how to laugh at myself …. her unspoken motto was, “Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves for we shall never cease to be amused.”

Because of the many silly things she would do,  Mom was never short of material to laugh about.  During my teenage years I found most of her stories amusing,  while at other times  I was completely  mortified.   However, it did not take me long to realize that I was cut from the same cloth, fighting a battle I could not win…slowly beginning to embrace the joy and freedom that comes in laughing at one’s self.

 

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My brother Troy and his love for wheels.

 

My mother taught me the joy of worshiping the Lord.
I have fond memories of mom and I singing hymns while she played on the piano in our basement.  She had a thankful heart and loved to worship God in song.

My mother taught me to celebrate life ….

Mom was eager celebrate and have fun … when we where younger she made every occasion special and festive, full of life and laughter…. even the simplest things felt over the top because of all the love she poured into it.

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For as long as I can remember, before we ate our dinner she would put a paper napkin on her head as if it were a hat; making sure everyone could see her to get a laugh.  I never tired of watching her get the biggest kick out of that!  I have no doubt that she is feasting in Heaven with everyone joining in her napkin hat merriment ..

My mother taught me to be frugal.

Mom knew how to pinch pennies, get a bargain and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.  Thanks to her I realized how much product is left in a toothpaste tube, or a shampoo bottle if you cut them in half getting every last bit from the container.  Mom would be giddy when I gave her my old plastic grocery bags so she could recycle them for her garbage. Her exuberance would make me laugh and I would say, “Oh mom, thank you but I’m only giving you plastic bags.”

Recently, not to long ago it dawned on me, I to get gleeful when I can reuse a plastic bag… just like my mother!

 

My mother taught me how to love my children selflessly.

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Charles Lamb said:  “A mother’s love grows by giving”

 

My mother taught me the power of prayer…

My mother’s prayers for me and my family brought comfort, strength and joy. Having a deep and rich reservoir of answered prayers within my spirit to remember God’s goodness with.

Abraham Lincoln
“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life ..

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Kevin and I renewing our vows on our 25th wedding anniversary in 2011, with our pastor and our two sons.

 

My mother taught me to Love God …..

By far her greatest hope and desire was that her family knew Christ as their personal Savior, living daily staying close to His side. To love His word and putting their trust in all His promises.  Knowing for themselves He is good all the time. Walking by faith even when life seems difficult and disappointing.

Displaying this so beautifully throughout her life even to the end. Even during the eight hospital stays in less then a year, and in the midst of rapidly declining health.  One particular day after telling her I loved her, I finished by saying God is good. Mustering up enough strength she replied boldly, “Oh you better believe it “.

One time while visiting my mom at the hospital I read to her this verse.
Psalms 71:17-18 “O God, you have taught me from my youth, and hitherto have I declared your wondrous works. Yes, even when I am old and grey headed, O God, forsake me not, but keep me alive until I have declared Your mighty strength to this generation, and your might and power to all that are to come.”

Thank you mom for your shining example in human frailty.  Your love, sacrifices and unwavering faith accompany me as I mourn your loss. Thank you God for reassuring me and all of us with your promise, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” Though I miss you something terrible, I know your having the best Mothers Day ever in all of Heaven’s glory. I love you

 

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2 Comments

Lucky U

While anxiously waiting for my counseling appointment which I had extended an olive branch for a family member to attend, my hopes were high to come to a peaceful resolution.  It was time for the wise counseling of a professional to help  repair the severed relationship. Beginning the process of mending torn emotions to a place of strength and deeper healing.  Like tiny tears of muscle that pave the way to increased muscle mass, so too our relationship would optimistically be built up.  As my upcoming appointment drew near the prayer of King David in Psalms 139 :23-24 came to mind,  “Search me thoroughly O God, and know my heart ! Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there is any wicked or hurtful ways in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”   Longing that my heart would  stay on the  course of truth  joined hand and hand in love.

As the meeting came to a close, regretfully the outcome was not what we had hoped for. Deeply wrestling with discouragement the ride home was a somber one. Feeling an intensified and rather profound sense of loss, 2012 was closing its chapter to more sorrow then I had  ever bargained for. My mom’s congestive heart failure, increasing dementia, while also mourning  my only other sibling health challenges.  And now the golden thread of hope of restoration severed, swaying frayed and raw, making the approaching holidays more poignant with overwhelming sadness and grief.

Upon arriving safely at home I was greeted with a  rousing welcome from my loving husband, thoughtful son and two exuberant and lavishly affectionate dogs, Buddy and Buttons. My soul and body instantly sinking into a cozy place called home, their listening ears slowly warming my chilly spirits, thawing out the cold harsh situation. Shortly after our conversation the phone rang, it was Lawrence the husband of my dear friend Lisa from high school calling to plan a surprise for her birthday the following day. His cleverly devised plan was as follows….First, his limo driver would pick us up, then swing over to their house for the birthday girl, surprising her when she got inside with my unannounced presence.  After that, it was time to drive to the Chart House for Lawrence’s company party.  Photos were taken and hugs exchanged then off my husband and I went for over a two hour ride in the limo….all for free! Her husband’s generosity extending not only to his lovely wife but a gift to Kevin and I as well.

It’s safe to say that it’s been well over twenty six years since I have yearned to ride in a limousine with my husband. The odds never  looked good considering for twenty one of those years we have lived only on one income, while I stayed home, homeschooling our two boys, coupon clipping, bargain hunting and pinching pennies tell they squealed.  Honesty, that desire got placed so far on the back burner, I forgot it was still a simmering dream. However, God is mindful of our dormant dreams, His  word promising to give us the desires of our heart.  That same joy of watching my precious friend’s elation on her special day, so too God rejoices over us, watching our astonishment at His glorious celebration on our behalf. This was truly a magical night of sparkling cider toasts, birthday gifts and photos. Then the two of us riding in high style touring Christmas lights, gazing at twinkling stars and city lights from the heights of Rocky Butte. Finishing our glorious night eating at the same Denny’s where we first met after a college career church gathering… sharing french fries like we did thirty years ago. This wondrous adventure fulfilled in a Limo with the License plate,  “LUCKY  U”

Perhaps you too are struggling with a painful hurt or loss?  Do you feel like the chips are down and down on your luck?  May I encourage today with the promise of a God who knows your heart and heartache. He is a God that binds up the brokenhearted repairing and restoring them to wholeness.  His favor and grace resting on the broken and downtrodden. So, whether you find yourself in a luxury Limo ride or not, the Lord wants to bless you  knowing the secret petitions of your heart. This for sure, we serve a mighty God that daily loads His children with benefits.  With this profound  truth I lift my glass of sparkling cider with a toast in honor of a very highly favored and… LUCKY U