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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Sisterhood of the Travailing Plants

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While strolling with my friend through her enchanting cottage garden  I tried to stay focused on instructions  of how  to properly water her garden of Eden; while she was on vacation with her husband. Unfortunately, my visual senses were taking their own personal holiday. How could they not? Their property holds  breathtaking views of Oregon and Washington,  kicking my cell phone into digital roam, stunning pops of color displayed beautifully with annuals and garden ornaments. Whimsy and charm worthy of gracing the pages of Garden Gate magazine, made reining in my concentration difficult, rivaling  the enthusiasm of a  kid in a candy store.

We concluded our stroll poised underneath the house eaves gazing at a cleverly designed  rebar plant holder for three hanging baskets. The first basket a Fuschia plant was flourishing full of life and vibrant bloom, the second  basket’s plant was showing signs of distress; withered brown curled up leaves. The third plant was down for the count, the hanging basket removed from  the spotlight now placed on the ground, because the plants swirled up and died.

We discussed the dying plant as gardeners do, my friend saying she needed to take the second one down too, it was right then and there I shared with her one of my true confessions. Telling her there have been times when my beautiful hanging flower baskets have bitten the dust before their natural time to do so. Causing guilty feelings to arise within me, that I should’ve paid closer attention to their need.  This was poignantly displayed even greater when my mom’s illness escalated, her extra need care;  made my daily tasks more difficult to accomplish.

Wrapping up with this deeper confession… it was those times that whenever I happened to drive by a house and saw someone elses dying  flower basket, it brought a sigh of relief and an emotional connection.  Experiencing first hand the old saying, “misery loves company”.  After divulging my heart we gave each other the knuckle bump connection, the “New School” version of the original “High Five”.  In closing, this gracious and very compassionate friend choose to leave the second faltering basket up… to encourage other weary sisters that they are not alone. What a heart of gold !

C.S Lewis writes:

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

In the movie the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” four best girlfriends pass around a pair of secondhand jeans that flatter their figures despite their very different measurements. Planning to stay connected during their separate journeys through summer, equally sharing  the opportunity to  wear “the traveling pants”.

No matter what our differences we all put our pants on one leg at a time. Once our feet hit the floor of life we stand on common ground when it comes to facing our own  struggles, suffering and sorrows that come in all shapes and sizes.

What a comfort to know we are not alone!  We can have the privilege of a close friendship with Jesus our precious Savior. Plus the added blessing of  God bringing friends  and family along our path to share our highest highs and  lowest of lows.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 is both revealing and  comforting… receive God’s encouragement with His following words of love for you.

“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.”    The Message Bible
Thank you Lord that we are called your friend’s. May we walk this life with the full assurance of your outrageous love and friendship for us. Often times manifested  creatively through the love of friends, family and even strangers.  A perfect fit as we travel life in the well worn comfort of your grace.

Light is sown for the  righteous and strewn along their pathway, and joy for the upright in heart [the irrepressible joy which comes from consciousness of His favor and protection].

Psalm 97:11-12          Amplified Bible (AMP)

A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a difficult time. Proverbs 17:17