Honoring the moms in my life

May always makes me think of my mom, because Mother’s Day and her birthday are both this month. She passed away eleven years ago at the age of 68, much sooner than either of us wanted to say good-bye. That first spring I couldn’t go near a card shop because all of the items out for Mother’s Day were just too painful. Now, though the grief of missing her is still there, it is tempered with good memories.

One of the things I most appreciated about my mom was that she could be a friend to us without sacrificing her authority. I could talk to her about anything.

image03.jpg

My mom and I when I was a baby.

My mom and I before my wedding.

In my college years God brought a new family to our church. They noticed that I came to church alone and invited me home with them often. Mrs. C. became like a second mother to me. I’ve often referred to her as my spiritual mom. Her gentle example as a wife, mother, and homemaker taught me much, though I don’t think she was deliberately trying to teach me anything. We’ve corresponded for years, though her notes have become less frequent as she has gotten older and developed several health issues. I’ll always be thankful for her influence on me.

My third mom came into my life when I got married. My mother-in-law and I have had a very amiable relationship with no in-law horror stories. She had several problems in her life that would have made some people angry and bitter, but instead she sought God’s grace to surround the irritants like an oyster making a pearl. It has been sad to see her decline over the last few years, but we’ve been blessed to move her near us and to be able to include her in our family life.

2009

2015

The newest mom in my life is my sweet daughter-in-law, who is a loving wife to my son and mother to the cutest grandson in the world. 🙂

IMG_0044

There have been other women as well who had a word of encouragement for me along the way.

I am thankful for “Aunt Sylvia,” my mom’s best friend, who never married or had children of her own but brought us Christmas presents, was always kind to us, and who bravely battled cancer. She once stepped in to pick me up from camp to explain that my parents were with my sister who had been hurt in an accident while I was away, and I am sure her calmness affected me.

I remember spending many nights with my grandmother when she lived near us and accompanying her on road trips in the summer. She was always crocheting any time she was sitting down and her hands were free.

I remember working on a church bulletin board with a lady whose oldest was a teenager while mine was still a toddler. She encouraged me not to dread either the “terrible twos” or the teen years or any stage in between but to believe that even those stages can be good, and I am happy to report they were.

I am thankful for Aunt Bobbye, my mother’s sister, for her being available to us any time we needed her, for her zany sense of humor, her care and support at my mom’s viewing and funeral, and for her love and care and continued interest throughout my life.

I remember and am thankful for walks and breakfasts and lunches and “play dates” with friends in the same season of life as we encouraged each other in our mothering.

I am thankful for godly pastor’s wives I’ve had and their sweet spirit and godly counsel.

In every season of life there have been a few ladies just ahead of me that I could watch and learn from, though they may not have known they were being observed. Even now, on the cusp of an empty nest, I’m inspired by a couple of older ladies who have been shining and cheerful examples in their “upper middle age” years.

I am thankful for so many women who were examples to me and made me a better woman, wife, and mother. I hope I can encourage others as these ladies did me.

I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day and feel renewed in your roles this morning.

mothers-day-flowers-13

Save

Advertisements

Laudable Linkage

IMG_0195

Here are some interesting reads discovered in the past couple of weeks:

It Is Never Right to Be Angry With God, HT to Challies.

What Our Stay-at-Home Mom taught us About Human Dignity, HT to Challies.

What to Do When Your Friend Loses a Baby.

When Mother’s Day Isn’t a Celebration.

Celebrating All Mothers by a Not-Yet Mother.

How to End Sibling Rivalry Like a Christian.

Unity About Modesty Among Differences of Opinion and Practical Considerations About Modesty, 3 and 4 in a series.

What’s Too Violent for Christian Readers?, a discussion with several authors. Pretty much agree with these points.

Animal Expressions, HT to Lisa. These are so cute! Especially the lamb and the baby gorilla with its mom.

And finally, some smiles, found on Pinterest:

I actually do that kind of thing sometimes….

Happy Saturday!

Save

The Mother’s Hymn

The Mother’s Hymn

by William Cullen Bryant.

Lord, who ordainest for mankind
Benignant toils and tender cares!
We thank Thee for the ties that bind
The mother to the child she bears.

We thank Thee for the hopes that rise,
Within her heart, as, day by day,
The dawning soul, from those young eyes,
Looks, with a clearer, steadier ray.

And grateful for the blessing given
With that dear infant on her knee,
She trains the eye to look to heaven,
The voice to lisp a prayer to Thee.

Such thanks the blessed Mary gave,
When, from her lap, the Holy Child,
Sent from on high to seek and save
The lost of earth, looked up and smiled.

All-Gracious! grant, to those that bear
A mother’s charge, the strength and light
To lead the steps that own their care
In ways of Love, and Truth, and Right.

(HT to Ivory Spring, where I saw this a couple of years ago).

My heart echoes the last stanza especially, even though mine are grown men now.

Happy Mother’s Day!

mothers-day-flowers-13

Laudable Linkage

Unfortunately Delicious.com, where I have been saving links for 8-10 years now, has been down for a week or two now. I hope it gets fixed soon – I would hate to think I’d lost all those, especially some I have returned to multiple times. It may be time to investigate Evernote or a different source. What do you use to save links you want to remember and return to?

Anyway – for now I have just been making a list of them. As you might expect, with Mother’s Day on Sunday, there have been a lot of posts relating to mothers this week.

To My Friends Who Still Have Their Mothers.

This Stage of Life? It’s Hard.

Don’t Blink.

Joy at Rejoicing in the Present has been running a series on moms in different situations. The two that stood out to me were A Letter to the Mommy-Heart Whose Dream Didn’t Come True and A Letter to Moms With Physical Limitations, but there are also posts about losing a child and having special needs children.

Coping With Verbal Abuse when a mom has Alzheimer’s.

And a couple not relating to mothers directly:

5 Question Checklist for Blog Commenting.

40 Most Valuable Toys From Your Childhood.

Susan at Girls In White Dresses is hosting a giveaway for an ESV Family Devotional Bible.

And finally, this cracked me up:

Happy Saturday!

Laudable Linkage

I wasn’t able to get time for sharing interesting links last week, so I’ve got a lengthy list here. But perhaps you’ll find something of interest among them.

Ambushed by Beauty and Chicken Nuggets. Loved this. “It is humbling to work here, but not in the way that implies shame. Who am I to so readily dismiss a job where I witness the entire spectrum of human emotion during the course of a single shift? Who am I to think ill of this chance to observe – over and over again – the miracle of childhood and the poignancy of prayer? Who am I to think that the transcendent things that happen every night in a southern Virginia fast food joint are in any way of lesser importance than those that happen elsewhere?”

What If You’re Not as Awesome as You Think You Are? “An untroubled conscience might say less about our real character than it does about our lack of self-awareness.” We all have blind spots.

10 Marks of an Immature Believer.

Who’s Your Daddy? Quite interesting article about the Fatherhood of God and how fathers are often represented in literature. “But there’s a deeper reason for the absent/adversarial-dad theme, I think: the central conflict of humanity is that we’ve lost our Father.”

About church:

7 Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself About the Church.

5 Tips for Enjoying the Church Prayer Meeting.

About marriage:

The REAL List For the Guy You Should Marry by my friend Ann.

Marriage Is More Than Feeling In Love. “Don’t sit around and wonder if you’re still in love with your spouse or if your spouse is still in love with you. Just love him.”

Six Things Submission Is Not.

About motherhood:

Better Than a Birth Plan. Despite our best plans, things don’t always work accordingly, especially when giving birth. We need to be careful not to make other women feel “less than” if they didn’t have the type of delivery we idealize.

How to Love Being a Mom. Because some days, it’s really hard.

Is Your Child In Charge of Your Home?

Mom and Dad, Your Job Is Not Over. “There are very few griefs for a parent greater than a child who turns away from the gospel faith in which they were raised.”

7 Rules For Online Engagement. Yes.

Dear World: Let’s Stop Giving Our Crap to the Poor. Though I hate the word “crap,” I do appreciate the points she makes.

In Praise of Administration. As someone who prefers “behind the scenes” ministry, I appreciated this affirmation that it is just as needed as the “out-front” kinds.

An Introvert’s Guide to Having People Over.

101 Generation-Bridging, Boredom-Busting Activities For Grandparents And Grandchildren. In case you can’t think of anything to do. 🙂

Fatal Illusions by my friend Adam Blumer is on sale for the Kindle for 99 cents for a time. My review is here. Also The Tenth Plague, which was originally only published in an e-format, is coming out in paperback in April. My review of that and an interview with Adam is here. I enjoyed both books quite a lot. If you like mysteries, give them a try!

47 Photos That Capture How Much Nancy Reagan Loved Ron. I always loved how she looked at him when he spoke. Near the end there is a neat video of a time when he surprised her on her birthday when she was speaking somewhere. I miss them.

And to end with a smile:

In the book

Treadmill

Happy Saturday!

(Updated to add: please don’t take any link here as an endorsement of the whole site it comes from. Some of these are from blogs I read regularly, some are from links I saw elsewhere. I try to give a “hat tip” to the source but I don’t always remember to note it. I wouldn’t knowingly send readers to a site where there was a problem without mentioning it, but in many of these cases I have just read and liked the one article without having the time to check out all the rest.)

Laudable Linkage

It’s been a little while since I have been able to share some noteworthy reads I’ve discovered the last few weeks online. Here is my latest accumulation:

Good Principle, Wrong Text. From my favorite in-real-life former Sunday School teacher. ” Every time we derive an interpretation and application of a text that is not native to the context — no matter how Biblical the concept itself may be — we are robbing that text, and ourselves in the process, of the meaning and applications that God intended when He gave it. The key is not to read any verse as a devotional island, isolated from its immediate and larger context.”

Getting Women Into the Word.

Love Serves: Showing Christ’s Love on Valentine’s Day. Ways a family can minister to others on that day in particular, but the ideas are good for any time.

4 Ways to Love Someone With Dementia or Alzheimer’s, Like God Loves Us.

To the Grown Daughter Who Has Failed to Love Her Mother Well.

In the Bleak Midwinter: When Your Heart Loses Its Song.

How Caring For Children Changes the World. Interesting consideration of the five women involved in saving the life of Moses.

Five Ways Christian Fiction Builds Faith.

Hillary, Bernie, Donald, and Me. Neat article by John Piper, not about these people’s politics, but about their and other people’s goals and accomplishments in their 60s and 70s. Encouraging as I am in the far side of my 50s.

And to end the day with a smile:

birth weight

Happy Saturday!

Laudable Linkage

It has been quite a while since I have been able to do one of these, but here are some posts I’ve found interesting the last few weeks. Maybe you’ll enjoy one or two of them as well:

Planned Parenthood: Four Ways to Respond.

Explaining the Problem Does Not Eliminate the Problem.

Gentle Selfishness, HT to Challies. Guilty.

How We Do Family Devotions.

Are You Believing This Lie About Love?

Getting Acquainted With God.

The Sunday Worship Killer.

A Right Theology of Fear (and Why You Need It.)

A few on mothering:

Talking to Your Kids About Same-Sex Marriage.

The Beginning of the Sacrifice of motherhood.

How Much Should a Mom Minster Outside the Home?

Hidden. God has a purpose in “hidden years.”

A few on online communication:

How Should Christians Comment Online?

An Embarrassing Week For Christians Sharing Fake News. Yes! Confirm before you share.

Why I Removed Extremely Effective Pop-ups From My Web Site. Yes! Wish everyone would do this!

What Makes Readers Lose Interest in a Blog?

Four Easy Ways to Create Quote Graphics for Facebook, Pinterest, and Your Blog. Do you use any of these, or any others? I’ve used Quozio a few times.

21 Self-Editing Secrets That Can Supercharge Your Manuscript.

In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry For Lions. HT to Challies. A different and refreshing perspective on the Cecil the Lion story.

Someone shared this on Facebook:

Spurgeon - Faith

Amen! Happy Saturday!