It turns out that Bob suddenly went out of town, too, this weekend. Julie and David had a problem suddenly pop up in their house and Bob drove down to Shreveport, Louisiana to help them. Their house is still on the market and David has to leave this Thursday for Montgomery, Alabama. Of all times to discover a leak going on inside the wall behind their shower! David has to take down part of that wall, fix the leak and then repair the wall, including dry wall, stucco, and paint. David's never done most of that and Bob felt that since he happened to have a four day weekend off anyway, and they are in such a tight spot, he should make a quick trip down there to help him. They’ll have only two days to get it done, make it look "perfect" and get the house back on the market again.
So now it’s just Robbie and me here on Mother’s Day. I’m sure I’ll get calls from Laurie in Ecuador and Julie in Louisiana, and hopefully from my hubby, too! I’ll play the harmonica for Robbie and he’ll give me lots of lovin’. It will be a fine day because I am glad that Bob could help the kids, my mom can take a nice vacation and my girls are right where the Lord wants them!
I have a terrible memory when it comes to my childhood, teen years, or even my children’s childhood days. There are certain things that stick out, though, in my mind. Many of those things are lessons my mother taught me (or tried to teach me) either by word or example.
Mom tried to teach me that naps are a good thing. She’d lie down beside me at naptime and fall asleep herself—or so I thought. I would ever so carefully try to slither down the length of the bed and sneak away—only to feel a hand grab my ankle and pull me back. Never could figure out how she did that. To this day, I still don’t like taking naps.
My mother tried to teach me to like rutabaga. That never happened, and never will—not for me or any of my siblings, either! Her idea was that at least we ought to try different vegetables. Why we had to be exposed to rutabaga so many times, though, I do not know! As hard as she tried, I never learned to like rutabaga, or brussels sprouts or squash, either, for that matter!
Mom tried to teach me to make a perfect pie crust. Nobody makes a better pie crust than my mother! The pie-making genes skipped me, though, for no matter how many times she tried to tell me, or even show me, I never did learn to make a pie crust like hers. My girls both learned that talent from their grandma, though—and so did their husbands! At least we are assured that Mom’s apple pies will continue through the next generation, even if the gift does not come through me!
My mother tried to teach me to cook anything. The day after I got my engagement ring she said it was time I learned to cook. The first thing I was supposed to cook was something simple—tacos. Well, three hours and four pounds of hamburger later (I burnt --and I mean burnt -- the first two pounds) I finally had supper made. That was when she informed me that I could learn to cook on my husband.
I actually did learn many other things from my mother, though. Mom was a good whistler, and I’ve followed in her footsteps, whistling as I go about the house, or singing as I do my work. She would be the first to tell you she wasn’t a great singer, but she loved the old hymns and often sang as she washed dishes or did the other housework. My mother was naturally an optimistic and cheerful person. She had a sense of humor and would laugh first of all at herself. I’m the same way.
My mother was, and still is, a reader. Now that she has more time to herself, I would say that she is a voracious reader. She has a library of thousands of books, and her friends and family regularly borrow books from her as if she actually were a real lending library! I learned my love for books and reading from her, and I am so happy to say that both my girls and all my grandchildren have acquired that same love.
And then there were so many other things she taught me that would become lessons for life…
My mother taught me to praise the Lord in everything. Cheree and I were in an accident once when we were riding home from a winter retreat on the church bus. It was snowing hard when the bus tipped over going down the entrance ramp to the highway. No one was seriously hurt, however, and we were all taken to a nearby coffee shop to wait for another bus to come and get us. I called my mother to tell her what had happened, and as I did, I started to cry. “Why are you crying?” she asked. “No one was hurt. You should be praising the Lord!” I’m sure she must have been shaken a little by my phone call, but she did not let on to me if she was. It was a lesson she would teach me – to praise and thank the Lord always.
She taught me to love and trust the Lord. From the time we were very small she made sure we got to Sunday School, even when it meant riding the bus with us herself. She was always an example to us of faith and faithfulness and frequently would remind us of Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” There is no better teacher than a role model, and my mother was that, indeed. I have always looked upon my mother as a woman of strong faith and a prayer warrior and hoped and prayed I would be a woman of faith like her.
I always wanted to be a mother like her, also. There was never a doubt that she loved us and would do anything she could to help us, but she believed in discipline, too, and we could be sure if we messed up she would be there to correct us so that we didn’t soon forget. I remember a time when I was 13 years old and I was spending the night at a friend’s house. She had done something wrong and her mother was quite upset with her. She came in and in a sweet, gentle voice said, “Now, dear, you shouldn’t have done that!” She gave her a tiny little tap with a fly swatter. My friend laughed in her face and made fun of her. I remember thinking then, as a very young teenager, how wrong that was and how I wanted to be a mother like my mother. She might spank or yell, but she disciplined because she loved us and wanted us to grow up into responsible, good people. My friend messed up her life, and as a result messed up her kids’ lives, also. My mother’s discipline paid off.
She taught us to love the Lord, and she taught us to love others, too, by her example. She is always a thoughtful friend and steps in when she sees a need with which she can help. She is generous and caring and always there for her family, and friends and neighbors, too. Her compassion for others taught me a lot even before we got Robbie, and helped to make our hearts open to having a child with special needs.
There are so many other lessons I learned from my mother – lessons on forgiveness, responsibility, perseverance, doing the right thing, standing for your convictions… She was the heart of our home, as children, and is still the frosting that holds us all together! (Bet you thought I was going to say glue, didn’t you?) I know she’s set aside photographs and special mementos for each of us to have some day. There are traditions she began in our family that still are a part of our lives and will continue through the next generations as well. Those things are precious and treasured heirlooms, but the things I will cherish most, and hope to pass on to my own children and grandchildren, are the lessons I learned from my mother.
Proverbs 31 describes The Virtuous Woman. It says, “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates." (Proverbs 31:25-31) That’s my mother, and I am rising up and praising her in the gates today!
Thank you, Mom, for the lessons learned.
Update -- The day turned out to be even nicer than I thought it would and I wanted to share it with you!
First of all, the plumbing problem at Julie and David's was not what they thought it was and they did not have to tear into a wall after all! It was a cracked drain pipe in the shower that was easily fixed in one day with no destruction to the house. That is a huge praise! Bob got to enjoy the day with the kids and will head for home tomorrow. Julie was honored in her church as "Mother of the Year" and they said some very nice things about her, presented her with a beautiful plaque and flowers, etc. I'm so glad Bob got to be there to hear that!
Then, I got to WebCam with Laurie's family this morning and will WebCam with Julie's family and Bob tonight. That's even better than a phone call!
Mom called from Florida a couple times and it was good to talk to her, too. I can't wait for her to read this blog!
The biggest surprise, though, was that my nephew Steven brought lunch and a card over for me and stayed to visit quite a while bcause he knew I was going to be alone on Mother's Day! Isn't that so sweet?
What a happy day!