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.

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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.

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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. 🙂

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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.

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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!

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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!

A Belated Happy Mother’s Day!

I was beginning a Mother’s Day post yesterday morning when my son and daughter-in-law unexpectedly came in to surprise me by coming to prepare breakfast. A welcome interruption! I had a wonderful day, which I’ll say more about Friday. There wasn’t time during the day to come back to the computer, so I started to just skip a Mother’s Day post. But it was on my heart to do this morning, so I thought I’d go ahead. We can honor our mothers beyond Mother’s Day, right? 🙂

I want to honor the memory of my mom. I miss her deeply.

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I want to honor my mother-in-law, who raised four children, one of whom became my wonderful husband, and who maintained a sweet spirit throughout her life in the face of serious trials:

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2013

I want to honor my daughter-in-law, who is a loving wife to my son and mother to the cutest grandson in the world:

01dc9269e86cfa0f61905861ceb4270c6fe0121bf2I want to honor my daughter-in-law’s mother, who raised such a sweet girl:

133And I want to remember and honor my sisters, nieces, sisters-in-law, and friends with mothering and nurturing hearts.

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

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