Category Archive: Mothers

post by carolnl | | 4

What’s Love Got to Do with It

My mother showed me unconditional love in so many ways.

I came home from kindergarten in Winnipeg, Canada one day. “Mommy, I missed you. I don’t like being away from you so long.” She looked at me, gave me a hug and said, “I’m not quite ready for you to be gone so much yet either.” So I’m a kindergarten dropout–and I think I turned out ok!

Another time when I was even younger, I spilled milk on my highchair. I expected a scolding, but instead Mom grabbed a damp towel and said, “Oh well, that can be cleaned up.” I’ve never forgotten that incident although I was only two or three at the time. Mistakes were ok, they could be fixed. (However, I’m still a recovering perfectionist!)

When I made some choices in college that differed from the way I’d been raised, I was able to explain my thought process to Mom and Dad and they didn’t question my choices.

When I broke off an engagement and went home to grieve, Mom stayed up ’til the wee hours listening to me, crying with me.

We had disagreements, sure. But after my father died twenty years ago, Mom and I took several out of town trips together. Our conversations ran the gamut, from faith to family to food to movies to sex (yes!) to hopes and dreams for the future. These relaxed times together were some of our most precious.

She loved both of my husbands. She enjoyed Jerry’s humor; and treasured Don’s hugs and kisses, freely given, as well as his help hanging pictures, building shallower steps up to her door, helping move her into Assisted Living, and pushing her wheelchair when we took her out on occasion.

Mom had a beautiful, classically trained first soprano voice. She often sang solos in church, songs I remember as being part of Mom’s signature. I loved singing next to her in the church choir because her voice always challenged me, pulled mine out stronger and more controlled.

My mother is in heaven now, singing with that heavenly chorus. And I’ll bet she can hit that ‘high C’ again with clarity! She left us shortly before Mother’s Day last year. I’ve written about her before because she has been and continues to be such an impact on my life. And I miss her. Our family has been together on Mother’s Day for years. Two years ago Mom joined in the fun when we followed nephew Kyle’s example and balanced spoons on our noses! She was able to laugh at herself, and with us.

And she modeled love for Jesus Christ. Her deepest desire was to know him better day by day. To search out truths from the Bible. To see him face to face in eternity!

I’m so thankful for my mother’s presence, love and impact in my life.

blue jeans
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on Pexels.com

I’m also thankful for many other mothers. My three sisters-in-love, Vicki, Carol Ann, and Sheila. My stepdaughters-in-law. My nieces and granddaughters, by DNA and by marriage, who are embedding core values into their own children’s lives. Some homeschool. Some support their children in private or in public schools. Some have adult children already. I love watching the interactions between some of my nieces and their children as they love well, discipline wisely, and direct the interests of their children into positive outlets. And I hurt with them when they go through difficult challenges with their children.

two woman chatting
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There are also many wise women other than my mother, who have impacted me over the years, too numerous to name. I’m grateful for you–Sunday school teachers, friends of my parents’, youth group, work and writing mentors.

And I’m grateful for the women who have become like daughters to me as I’ve mentored them in faith and life. If you’re not a biological or adoptive mother, you can still love and mentor a younger woman.

Older women likewise are to exhibit behavior fitting for those who are holy, not slandering, not slaves to excessive drinking, but teaching what is good. In this way they will train the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, fulfilling their duties at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the message of God may not be discredited.

Titus 2:3-5, NET

If your mother is still alive, love her in actions and deeds, not just with words. And when her frailty provides new challenges to you in terms of time and energy, be grateful she is still with you. One day she will not be.

And if she is no longer with you, remember the precious times, the conversations, the laughter, the tears, and be thankful.

…in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I Thessalonians 5:18, NET

So Moms, my hat’s off to you! Your task is a great one with ramifications that will reach to eternity. So what’s love got to do with it? Just everything!

Happy Mother’s Day!

He Sets the Lonely in Families

I’ve never given birth. Never held a child of my flesh in my arms or watched him or her grow up.

Nevertheless, I am a daughter. I was blessed with a gracious, loving mother as you know if you’ve read my last few posts. And while Mom left us for heaven five weeks ago, her impact will always be a part of my life, my character, my memories, my heart.

My beautiful mother with about half of her great grandchildren!

I have three sisters-in-law, all mothers whom I love and appreciate.

One copied an entire book on grief that had been a help to her, and which was out of print at the time of my first husband’s death. I had the privilege of reading this and of seeing notes my sister-in-law had written in her copy when she needed it. That book, A TEARFUL CELEBRATION by James Means, is still the one I would recommend first to anyone grieving a significant loss. I just reordered it at https://www.amazon.com/Tearful-Celebration-Finding-Midst-Loss/dp/159052683X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=james+means+a+tearful+celebration&qid=1589240550&sr=8-1I

I’ve had meaningful conversations with my second sister-in-law, who lives out of State. She has been a model of sweet acceptance following the limitations of a stroke she had six years ago. Don and I have traveled with her and my brother and have enjoyed seeing different parts of our world together. We’ve also loved hosting them in our home, talking and playing table games in the evenings.

And the third, who lives near me, has been generous both in her love and service to Mom, and in encouraging me to spend as much time with her children as I wished. Never possessive, always protective, she invited me to invest in her children’s lives, never resenting time they were with me. What a gift!

These three women are mothers to some of the best nieces and nephews I could possibly want. Phone calls of love after Mom passed away, precious times spent together, sharing deeply of life, memories, hopes, challenges, and coping mechanisms, occur especially now that they are adults and raising their own children. And hugs (before they all became virtual). Did I say hugs?

So my hat’s off to you, Vicki, Carol Ann, and Sheila. Thank you for loving me enough to share your thoughts, conversations, and children with this auntie.

And when I married Don I inherited five adult stepchildren, whom I love. I treasure their children and our darling red-headed great-grandson.

I have girlfriends who are mothers of wonderful children. I have girlfriends who, like me, have not been biological or adoptive mothers. Some of us have the joy of mentoring younger women. Others are involved in their churches and communities in a variety of ways. But we’re all linked to family somehow–as a child, a parent, a sibling, an aunt, a niece, a grandchild, or a mentor.

During this pandemic, many of us have been reminded anew how much we need and value loving relationships, family and otherwise, closeness which is having to take different forms than in the past. But God had a purpose and a plan when He “…sets the lonely in families.” (Psalm 68:6a)

Blessings to all mothers, and to the families who birthed, love, encourage, uphold them!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

I John 3:1

What’s a special memory you have of your mother?