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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When the cherry trees don’t blossom

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During the past few weeks I could not but help notice the cherry blossoms that were in full bloom at the Portland Adventist hospital where mama was staying.  Nor the trees yielding showy pink blooms along the route charmingly called Cherry Blossom Drive. Choosing  this quaint direction from time to time to mix up the daily mundane freeway scenery that I viewed during each trip to the hospital.  My spirit yearning for abundant splatters of joy in the midst of my grief stricken senses. Regardless, it didn’t matter how stunning  those cherry blossom trees were, still my heart was painfully  heavy not being able to hear my mother’s joyous comments about their frilly radiance. Never failing to do so when nature showed her spring splendor.  My childhood home was a showcase of these fair trees framing our corner lot , edged with God’s breathtaking creation. Though show stopping with filigree elegance, they were hard work keeping them that way. When properly maintained, the mailman was ridiculously happy being able to drive his truck up to the mailbox with ease. Once, there was a time that my mother was extremely weary with these beastly beauties threatening to severely prune them down .Wasting no time to beg her to “save the trees”  allowing  for the spring time blooms to appear. Solemnly promising to help her prune them when  she needed to. Thankfully she agreed to hold off her certain plans waiting to prune them after their bloom season had ended.  When that day came I watched out our living room window as my selfless mother trimmed  all the trees while I cozied myself our champagne velvet sofa for a nap. Looking back, not one of my prouder moments!

It’s no surprise why the book of Habakkuk resounded in my spirit as I sat  reading it next to my mother’s hospital bed.  “Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheep less and the cattle barns empty,  I’m singing joyful praise to God. I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I’m king of the mountain!  Habakkuk 3:17–19 The Message Bible
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Slowly losing my precious mother to dementia and a severe infection;  taking a toll on her fragile body.  This being her third time in the hospital within the last five weeks  lessening her ability to bounce back after each return visit.  Yesterday, I watched my mom peacefully sleep while the family gathered to meet with hospice, discussing her care for the days that lay ahead. Feeling numb as my husband and I left her room;and seeing we would be greeted with blustery rain and hail if we decided to head to our car. Instead drawn to wait out the storm in the hospital chapel.  A picture of Jesus painted larger then life on the wall, a box of tissues saying, “It’s my grief and I’ll cry if I want to.” Sitting on the pew, my husband’s arms and prayers consoling me. The cherry blossoms are fading, the rain and hail knocking the last bit of bloom the tree had to offer.. and God’s word rings true…

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven.”

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance..” Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

Lord, help me to trust in you at all times,even if the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries refuse to ripen.  When I’m frightened, heartbroken, or grieving; help me trust in you even though life does not make sense.

Counting on your rule to prevail, so I take heart and gain and strength in knowing you are good all the time.