Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day Reflections...

I have been challenged a little more this Mother's Day than I have in the past to not make this so hard on myself. By letting certain feelings come, it is easy to hurt or feel deep pain on this special day. I'm also reminded of the truth from God's Word that we do not grieve as those who have no hope, "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)

So, on this special day, I am choosing to grieve with hope and celebrate the blessings of a Godly mother. If you are blessed and your mother is still here with you, I urge you to celebrate what is.  If you are like me awaiting a reunion with a Godly mother, I encourage you to celebrate what was.

I like lists (actually I love lists), so here are things I am celebrating today:

1.  My mom's love for God's Word.  From everything I can recall my mom believed God's Word was true and took the words of Scripture literally.  How do I know? Well, I can think of a few examples. We were taught to obey authorities because of this verse, "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you." (Hebrews 13:17).  Often we were taught about the importance of time and speech with these words, "Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." (Colossians 4:5-6).  Obviously we all fall short in obeying the Word of God, but Mom also believed Psalm 119:11, "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You." I can think of probably a hundred verses she tried to teach us that applied to her life and ours.  I'm thankful for her love for the Word and pray that my love for the Word continues to grow. 

2.  My mom's commitment to the Lord. I think somewhere along the way our world has let so much pride and selfishness abound that we have fallen short in faithfulness.  If it doesn't make me happy, why should I bother. I love the recurring storyline in the Old Testament where we see the faithfulness of the Lord in spite of the people's selfishness and unfaithfulness. From what little information I know about my mom's childhood, I would guess that there were not a lot of faithful people in her life; a few family members and some teachers along the way. She never talked too much about her past. My family and I believed the Lord had been gracious and erased some things from her memory of the past. My mom realized her need for a Savior as a young girl, but did not make a commitment to Christ until she was a young woman. She loved to share of the time when the Lord pursued her and called her His own. I knew she recognized her sins, needed a Savior, and it was at that time she committed to serve Him. We have these words written down and signed by her, "Lord Jesus, on this 1st day of August 1964, I take by faith my place in thy death and resurrection and do yield my whole life unto Thee-- Body and Soul. ALL that I have, ALL that I am, ALL that I may ever be or have is Thine, wholly, absolutely, and unreservedly. Thou art my King, my Savior, and my Guide. USE ME, Lord in whatever way seems good to Thee, keeping my eyes fixed on Thee: ready to obey even Thy glance. Day by day draw me nearer, even nearer, until that glorious time when I shall see Thee face to face, and faith is lost in sight." Those words would offer very little hope, comfort, and peace to my heart unless they were backed up with actions. The Bible calls these actions fruit. :) Mom's actions produced fruit. She was faithful to her Savior and her family, teaching, and business reflected that. God graciously provided opportunities to lead some of the students she taught to Christ. I am grateful to be one of the opportunities God provided for her as well.
This commitment to the Lord remained faithful and unwavering through cancer. I never heard "why me?" but both of my parents took opportunities to remind me and probably themselves that the Lord had us where we were for a reason and this was our opportunity to put into practice the faith we claimed to possess. The lessons learned from cancer are greater than I can imagine - I did learn that God is bigger than cancer. He healed in the most beautiful way possible. He has proven to be faithful before, during, and since Mom was diagnosed with cancer. I'm confident He will be faithful until I see His glorious face.

Today in celebrating my Mom, I will rejoice in these two truths (they actually go together...)
1. God's Word is faithful and true.
2. God Himself is not only the Faithful Creator, but also loving Heavenly Father who proves Himself faithful and true to His children each and every day, even when I fail to acknowledge His sovereign hand.
"But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children," (Psalm 103:17)

This song is special to my family. These words ring true every time I hear them.

My Redeemer is Faithful and True
by Steven Curtis Chapman and James Issac Elliot

As I look back on the road I've travelled,
I see so many times He carried me through;
And if there's one thing that I've learned in my life,
My Redeemer is faithful and true.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

My Redeemer is faithful and true.
Everything He has said He will do,
And every morning His mercies are new.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

My heart rejoices when I read the promise
'There is a place I am preparing for you.'
I know someday I'll see my Lord face to face,
'Cause my Redeemer is faithful and true.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.


Beth Fortner said...

Thank you for sharing these sweet thoughts, I only hope to be as great a mom to
My girls as she was to you.

Ralph said...

Well said My wonderful and beautiful niece! I miss your Mom too! Love you!

Ralph said...

Well said My wonderful and beautiful niece! I miss your Mom too! Love you!