Monday, January 31, 2011

My Beautiful Mother

This is my beautiful, sweet Mother. I love her so much.

This past week, my beloved Mother celebrated her 80th birthday. It does not seem possible that she has reached this age---I still see her as the Mother of my childhood days. Still, I am so blessed to have her with me and to be able to talk with her daily. She has been such a blessing to me.
Mother has always been the most godly woman I know. I cannot remember a time when she was not prayerful for Daddy and all five of her children. I have the most wonderful memories of hearing my precious Mother call my name in prayer. I would lay in my bed at night and listen to the sound of her voice as she prayed for her family and for the body of Christ. I recall fondly hearing her talk to God like she was talking to her best friend, telling Him how much she loved Him, how she depended on Him, and how she was proud to serve Him. Her prayers left their imprint upon my young heart and are the reason, I am sure, that prayer is so much a part of my own walk with God. She was, indeed, a praying Mother.
In addition to being a true prayer warrior, Mother carried God's word with her everywhere she went. A Bible was never far from her reach. I have seen her read a passage of scripture, then hold the closed Bible close to her heart. It was as if she was pressing His word into her spirit. To this day, Bible reading is the first thing Mother does in the morning. She never fails to start the day with prayer and scripture. I do not know how many times she has read the Bible through, but I know that she is consistently in the Word.
To say that Mother lives what she believes is an understatement. Never have I seen a life in Christ lived more faithfully than in the life of my Mother. Her faith never wavers, never falters, and is completely secure in the God she loves and serves. In the midst of the worst adversity, I have watched my Mother lean on the promises of God's Word to see her through. She has borne her sorrows and her joys with the utmost grace.
I am fully aware that my Mother is not perfect, no one is. She has her faults and her shortcomings just like anyone else. Throughout my life, however, I have chosen not to see them. I have chosen to look at the beauty in my Mother's life---there has been much to see. She is, and always has been, a woman of God.
To say that I love my Mother is, again, an understatement. She is the woman I admire the most---the woman I trust the most---the woman I love the most. When I think of holy people, I think of my Mother. She has been my mentor, my teacher, my friend. She has been, for all of my life, my beautiful Mother.

In Grace,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Seize the Day

One of my favorite movies is "Dead Poets' Society". It is a story of young men coming of age in a preparatory school in New England. The lives of these young men are most affected by a young, intelligent, caring instructor who teaches English literature and poetry. In the beginning of the movie, the instructor seeks to acquaint his students with the possibilities of each new day and the need to live each day to its fullest. In doing so, he gives them a phrase in Latin, "Carpe Diem", meaning "seize the day". He then says a phrase that has stuck with me since I first saw the film: "Seize the day, lads. Make your lives something wonderful." As the movie progresses, each young man learns, at times painfully, the need for making each day count.
I ponder this statement today with a heavy heart. As you know from reading my previous post, a dear, beloved friend has passed on. I already miss her dreadfully. But, as I reflect upon my friend's life, I realize that she truly knew how to seize the day. She knew, instinctively, how to make each day count. I suppose I knew this about her, but never realized it fully until now. She leaves me a fine example.
As I face a new year, I am determined that each day will be something magnificent. Maybe not magnificent to those around me, but certainly to me. I pray earnestly, from my heart, that God will help me open my eyes to the wonder of life---to its beauty and its fragility. This day will only come 'round once, and I want to make it count. I want to see the need and help meet it. I pray to feel the joy of life and revel in it. I pray for humility and gratitude for the many blessings I have been given. I pray, most earnestly, to live a life of honor and value. I pray to be able to "seize the day", before it slips away with nothing gained from it.
Perhaps these words mean little to those of you who read them. Perhaps they will inspire you today and be forgotten in days to come. As for me, I cannot ignore the message. Everyday is a day to be lived to its fullest---to be valued for its uniqueness---to be treasured for its potential. This is not to say that living life to its fullest will be easy or trouble free. Indeed, some of the greatest lessons to be learned from life are learned in the midst of adversity. It is in these times that we come to understand that the simple pleasures of each day are what makes the day itself bearable.
And so, in the days ahead, I plan to enjoy my simple pleasures. I want to hear my grandchildren laughing, feel the embrace of loved ones, sip tea in the quiet of the evening, and watch the beauty of a setting sun. I want to hear the music of the world, fill my eyes with the beauty of God's creation, and listen to the sound of my Daddy's voice reading from the scriptures. I want to hear my daughter's "I love you, too", my son's "Hello, Mom", and feel my Mother hug me until I can't breathe anymore. In addition, I want to leave behind a life well lived---a life of honor, dignity, and joy. I want to be remembered as a woman who loved life. Above all, I want to be remembered as woman who loved her Saviour and served Him well.
A beautiful, unmarred year lies ahead. It is full of potential, full of memories to be made, and full of time to be savored. May your new year bring you joy untold and peace everlasting. May you be blessed with all abundance. Most of all, may we all learn to "seize the day" and make each one count.

In Grace,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Charla Darla, Addendum

My dear friend passed away this morning at approximately 3:00 a.m. Oh, how I will miss her. She was a great encouragement and inspiration to all who knew her. She remained full of faith and hope until the end---her faith never wavered.
Please keep all of us who knew and loved her in prayer. We are already missing her and longing to see her again. There will come a day, for all of us who know the Lord, to be reunited in a place without death, heartache, or separation. I will see her again.

In Grace,