Mama,Mom,Mother-gift from God

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!Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 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)Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate]interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes;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)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


Overcoming the fear that cuts down our blessings

Dealing with fear is common to all humanity, in one form or another. Some fear is healthy, warning us of danger. A healthy fear or respect is due something potentially dangerous  like fire.

  • Fear is a kind of bell, or gong, which rings the mind into quick life and avoidance upon the approach of danger. It is the soul’s signal for rallying.   Henry Ward Beecher

Fear of God is justified. Fear of man is not.  A good fear is a reverence toward God, and Him alone; it is awe inspired devotion, to who He is, and to what He does.  With gratitude and thanksgiving, we are drawn by His great love and our hearts are filled with desire to please Him. In His loving wisdom, the Lord knew that denial, of His will and way, would only bring loss and grief. God  provided a way, through Jesus and His Spirit, for us to avoid being outside of His will, His favor, and vulnerable to fear. The Holy Spirit, within us, beckons if we begin to move outside of His protection, and points the way back to restoration. His power is able to defeat that which alarms us.

  • Happy the soul that has been awed by a view of God’s majesty. A.W. Pink
  • The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One. Paul Chappell
  • To win the war against fear, we must know the true God as He is revealed in the Bible. He works to give us lasting peace. He receives joy, not from condemning us but in rescuing us from the devil. Yes, the Lord will bring conviction to our hearts concerning sin, but it is so He can deliver us from sin’s power and consequences. In its place, the Lord works to establish healing, forgiveness and peace. Francis Frangipane

The opposite of healthy fear is irrational, worrying, faithless fear. This anxious fear leads us to focus too heavily on our circumstances and the dealings of the enemy, and to doubt God’s goodness and faithfulness.  As it creeps into our lives, it robs us of freedom, health, peace and joy.  As surely as a sharpened ax or power saw can fell a tree, so this type of fear can cut down our blessings. Experiencing this robbing fear, your body reacts to its presence. A sickening chill running down your spine, a queasy, churning stomach, clammy or cold hands, headaches, a stiff neck or other muscle tension, weakness, confused thoughts, heart palpitations, panic attacks, shallow, rapid breathing, trouble sleeping, depression or dread….one or several of these reactions might be warning that fear has arrived.

  • Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable. Harry Emerson Fosdick

Fear can be real or imaginary.

  • Imagination frames events unknown, In wild, fantastic shapes of hideous ruin, And what it fears, creates.Hannah More

If  our confidence is in the goodness of God, His faithfulness and everlasting love,  and we rely on His Holy Spirit within us, Who leads us to appropriate the power of Jesus’ name and shed blood, fear will surrender to faith.

  • How sweet the name of Jesus sounds, In a believer’s ear! It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, And drives away his fear. John Newton
  • God incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that He is in the midst… will be quiet in the middle of alarm. F.B. Meyer
  • If my attitude be one of fear, not faith, about one who has disappointed me; if I say, “Just what I expected,” if a fall occurs, then I know nothing of Calvary love.  Amy Carmichael
  • Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. Corrie Ten Boom

To accept what the world, the enemy or self says, over God’s word, is to invite fear to enter your heart.

  • Our lives are full of supposes. Suppose this should happen, or suppose that should happen; what could we do; how could we bear it? But, if we are living in the high tower of the dwelling place of God, all these supposes will drop out of our lives. We shall be quiet from the fear of evil, for no threatenings of evil can penetrate into the high tower of God. Hannah Whitall Smith

The door to fear is closed by detecting the first signs of anxiety and allowing the Holy Spirit to bring that hopeless despair into submission before God’s truths.  The Lord has said “Fear not” over and over because He has only good things planned for us and God’s heart is a heart of perfect love.

  • 1 John 4:18 (NKJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
  •  The presence of fear does not mean you have no faith. Fear visits everyone. But make your fear a visitor and not a resident. Max Lucado
  • Giving in to fear alters God’s best plan for your life. So use the power of God’s Word to do what He wants you to do…even if you have to do it afraid! The rewards are great. Joyce Meyer
  • Beloved, I say, let your fears go, lest they make you fainthearted. Stop inspiring fear in those around you and now take your stand in faith. God has been good and He will continue to manifest His goodness. Let us approach these days expecting to see the goodness of the Lord manifest. Let us be strong and of good courage, for the Lord will fight for us if we stand in faith. Francis Frangipane

The thievery of  anxious fear is defeated by meeting it head on, in the power of the Holy Spirit, never denying nor hiding it. Fear can not be medicated away.  Victory over fear comes through God, by trusting in Him, plain and simple.

  • Never turn your back on your fears. Woodrow Kroll
  • Are you facing fear today? Perhaps you are afraid of losing your job, of developing cancer or being left by your spouse. At times all of us experience fear. But don’t allow fear to keep you from being used by God. He has kept you thus far; trust Him for the rest of the way. Woodroll Kroll
  • Hebrews 10:35 (AMP) Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.
  • John 14:27 (AMP)  Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

I yearn for a greater understanding of our Father’s heart to fill our churches, and draw the lost to His salvation. Without a doubt, our world faces many occasions for fear to knock on our door. A reverent fear of God assures our hearts of His love and His Holy Power,  providing us with freedom from fear .  This blog is a montage of thoughts and quotes gathered together for emphasis, because one voice joined by others declares a message more clearly.

connecting, with love