During a recent visit with family in Savannah, Georgia, I played the part of a typical tourist, and enjoyed snapping photos of the sites that make this city a popular tourist attraction. One feature that Savannah is famous for is its elegant old homes. Someone, long ago, was wise enough to promote the preservation of these historic sites. Now visitors from around the world come to admire the architectural beauty of past masters of design, and study the landmarks from our history.
My mother’s eyes are brown, and shine with tenderness and compassion. Every time I see her looking at me, I feel her love. She uses her eyes to detect the needs of others, and to find the positive, more than the negative. Those brown eyes have darted about with humor, have issued warnings of concern, have expressed a knowing understanding, and have hinted of joyous surprises to come.
Matthew 6:22 (MSG) “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light….
Occasionally those eyes have cried with sadness, grief and pain. However, as quickly as the tears appeared, they even more quickly disappeared. She most often has finished a time of crying by saying something funny, or offering a unique perspective, as a way of signaling that despair was finished. Mom isn’t one who spends time talking about others or complaining. I don’t remember seeing her overwhelmed or frustrated for any length of time.
Philippians 4: 4-7 (NIV) 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
She loves to shop, even if she doesn’t buy anything. She is meticulous with her appearance, and it is always a delight to behold her beauty. She has always maintained a clean, comfortable home and lovely landscaped flowers around the house. Mom can find beauty in the simple, as well as, the profound things of life. Her inner beauty radiates with her words, which are gracious and soft-spoken. She is utterly supportive of her family, making each of us feel important. Those that know my Mom respect and honor her, because she has first respected and honored them.
1 Peter 3:3-4 Amplified Bible (AMP)3 Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate]interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes;4 But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.
She has sent hundreds of greeting cards to encourage others, and has made countless dishes to serve families suffering from grief or sickness. Our family continues to enjoy her wonderful cooking as well. Forget the restaurants when she has prepared a Sunday dinner! She is a gracious hostess. I learned how to add water to the gravy and cut the meat into smaller pieces, increasing the amount of portions, when unexpected guest showed up at mealtime… and to smile as you served it. Have you ever walked into a room and smelled cinnamon, either in the food, or from a candle or incense? It is such a warm, inviting smell. You feel comfort, and you want to stay there, appreciating the scent. That is what it is like to enter my Mom’s home.
1 Peter 4:9 (NIV) Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
At 85 she enjoys Facebook, email, surfing the internet and playing computer games. Mom and Dad regularly attend a Senior Citizen Center for fellowship meals, special events, and game nights. She is still active on a church committee that provides meals when needed. She has recently acquired a laptop computer. Mom is well-informed about political and world events, and able to converse with confident knowledge. She is a huge Atlanta Braves fan and knows the players by name and by the positions they play, as well as the team’s standings. She is vibrant with life and has a spunky humor. Mom, with all her 5′ 5″ self, can climb up in their Chevy Tahoe, and maneuver through city traffic without a qualm. Her middle name is “I have my bags packed and I’m ready to travel”. She and my husband have a long running joke that she is his favorite mother in law…..actually she is his only mother in law.
Psalm 92:12-14 (AMP)12 The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible].13 Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.14 [Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].
She has spoiled my dad with her devotion and preference to his needs, and he adores her. She is his loyal friend, and steadfast companion. They are such a good team, both helping the other. Their love was a stable foundation for my brother, sister and I, and now a continued blessing for grandchildren and great-grandchildren to witness.
Proverbs 31:11-12 (AMP)11 The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.12 She comforts, encourages,and does him only good as long as there is life within her.
Now, after listing all these attributes, there remains an even greater asset about Mom. I can’t say that, in my youth, I ever perceived her as a strong, spiritual woman. She had always held back that part of her life, hidden in her heart. She just lived it and didn’t say much about her faith. Also, I think it was because, most of the time, life didn’t force her to reveal her strength. That is until she was diagnosed with colon cancer when she was 72.
I remember getting the call about the diagnosis. I went to Mom and Dad’s house, dreading having to face her. I anticipated Mom would be fearful and inconsolable, because after all, we had never experienced the threat of cancer within our immediate family. Mom and I hugged for several minutes and she cried. I cried. Then she took me by the shoulders and told me she was going to be fine. As I wanted to comfort her, she was the one doing the comforting. I saw her strength and determination, as her walk with the Lord became clear for all of us to witness. Her faith was ready to accept that her God would carry her through this attack of cancer, and He did. During that time of several surgeries, numerous hospitalizations, chemo, IV’s and chest ports, temporary hair loss, mouth ulcers, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, and pain, I saw that my mom was indeed a strong woman of faith. She handled every ordeal, with courage and hope because she kept her eyes on Jesus. Today she is cancer free.
Proverbs 31:28 (NKJV)Her children rise up and call her blessed;Her husband also, and he praises her…
I’ve been blessed that I was born into a nurturing family. As I write this post, I realize there are those that will read this who have not had a good relationship with their mother. In fact, you may have grown up without a mother. Here’s the real message I want to share with you. You are loved by Someone who desires to nurture and care for you, even into your old age. God’s word states:
Psalm 27:10 (CEB)10 Even if my father and mother left me all alone, the Lord would take me in.
God’s love is able to heal your hurts, and fill that lonely ache in your heart. You don’t have to feel remorseful for what has been lost or stolen from your life. He also says in His word:
Psalm 68:6 (GNT)6 He gives the lonely a home to live in and leads prisoners out into happy freedom…
With or without a good mother, God can cause happiness to abound. He makes all things right. Coming to Him, through His Son, gives you a home and a family that lasts forever. I thank God for my Mom, and for His love through loving moms, and His love… even without loving moms.
connecting, with love