One day, when I was just a little girl, I was in Grandma's bedroom with her and observed photos on her mahogany dresser.
"Grandma, who is that lady?" I asked in my childhood curiosity, when I saw a woman whose face wasn't familiar.
"That," she replied, "is my dear sweet mother."
I have always remembered Grandma's words. She revealed in that moment a reverence and devotion toward her departed mother, who then I vaguely recalled meeting as a tiny girl. The way Grandma spoke of her reflected on a different time, a time when children truly honored their parents, and cared for them even as their hair whitened into old age.
And so I present my own precious mother today, in honor of Mother's Day. I want to honor her and bless her today and give her the thanks she so well deserves. I posted five things that made my mother-in-law Ruth a great woman yesterday. Today I want to share seven pieces of advice from the little lady I call "Mom."
1) Put the day in the Lord's hands.(See Matthew 11:28-30.) Mom and Dad have the most blessed routine in their retirement years. Each morning they gather together and read a devotional portion for that day from Jesus Callingby Sarah Young. This little book is remarkable and filled with grace. It lists Scripture references to go with each day's thought. Mom and Dad look up each verse and read it aloud. They pray together, praising and thanking God and give Him their concerns, and mention the family members in prayer as well. If I am to visit overnight, and I witness them doing this in the morning, I am blessed "out of my socks."
2) Ask Jesus to go with you throughout the day. (See Hebrews 13:5-8.)
All throughout her adult life, Mom has done this. She told me she asked for His guidance when she was a teacher as she never wanted to walk alone. I often get way ahead of myself and she often reminds me to slow down, take a breath, and walk with Him moment by moment. What wisdom she has!
3) Throw "today" in the wastebasket. (Reference Philippians 3:12-14.) Mom told me this when I was struggling all the way through public schooling. I would come home after someone said something particularly mean or rotten and I would cry to her, especially to her, and she would say just to throw the day away into the wastebasket. I had trouble with learning how to do that, but she had excellent advice that was Biblically sound.
4) Always do the best you can, and after that, don't worry about it. (See Colossians 3: 23-4.) I was very conscientious in school and Mom's words always echoed in my mind. I always questioned whether I had done my best, because I didn't want to let my parents down. In high school I took Organic Chemistry to help with my career track. The only problem was that I was totallyin the dark. I mean, I was faking any understanding that I had at all. It just made no connection in my brain. I even tutored with the father of a good friend of mine. He was wonderfully patient with me, but still, no light bulb went on. I ended up with a "D" in that class for my final grade. But Mom knew I had really tried my best, so there was no anger or condemnation from my parents. vs
5) Always get your homework in order before it's time to run out the door for the bus. (Look at I Corinthians 14:40.) How many times did I run for that bus? How many times do I still dream about missing the bus? Or how many times did I search for lost homework under my bed? This remains an area of difficulty for me, but Mom really did her best to try to help me out. I am just one of those crazy totally right-brained people. I organize in a totally different way than do most people, including my sisters, who are left brainers.
6) Have room and patience for your spouse as big as the state of Texas.(Look into Ephesians 5:22-33.) Mom didn't "tell" me this one, she lived it everyday before little watching eyes. My Dad travelled extensively when we were being raised and it left Mom with the difficult job of raising three unruly daughters who tried her nerves to the utmost. Poor Mom. But... Mom always stuck up for Dad, shared his dreams, and followed where he led. Dad fell in love with tractors and tractor pulling. There, right with him was dear little Mom sitting in the hot Arizona sun as he participated in the "pulls" and collected ribbons. Today, I look at them with wonder. I behold a couple so devoted to one another, that if one were to go, the other would be completely devastated. Thank you Mom, for showing your girls the importance of "standing by your man."
And finally...drumroll please...Mom's chief "Mom-ism:"
7) "It is what it is." ( See I Thessalonians 5: 16-18.) Dear Mother tells me this one a lot lately. But she is right, absolutely right. And I was too busy to listen to her. The Bible says in the reference verse says to give thanks in everything, not just in some things. Well, what if there are things in your life that you do not like? Mom says, "It is what it is." Give thanks for them. vs God let them into your life for a reason. He knows exactlywhat He is doing. The only thing He wants us to do is TRUST HIM. When we give thanks for things that we don't understand, we prove that we have faith in His plan for our lives. If we are loving Him, we are assured that He is working it out for the good, so that we can have the best things not only now, but in eternity, where it really counts.
To my dear sweet Mother, you taught me simply, yet you spoke profoundly with the Word of God to support all the advice you ever shared. It took me more than half of my life to realize your wisdom, after I thought I was so smart. I honor you, and say "Thank You" today.
"I see that you have opened your mouth in wisdom and in kindness. You have taken care of your household so well, and today, your children, (your three daughters), call you blessed. And your husband, he is praising you also. Many women have done wonderfully, but because you sought the LORD, you excelled all of them. While beauty flees away and charm deceives, a woman like you who fears the LORD will be praised. Now you will reap the fruit of your hands and your works will praise you in the gates.*
*my personal family paraphrase of Proverbs 31: 26-31