I'm sorry that I've been away so long. It has been a difficult month. My dear mother went home to her Saviour on the seventh day of this seventh month. God's perfect timing. My daughter and I were so, SO privileged to be the ones He allowed to be with her as she entered Heaven's gates. We still can't quite get over the feeling of having had a glimpse of Glory. The days since then have been filled with her burial, preparations for her Memorial service, keeping track of my Dad, the actual service, and company. We are doing well -- the Lord has been SO good -- but, at the same time, we are physically and emotionally tired. I think everything has quieted down now, so we're going to take a week or two to regroup, eat right, and catch up on sleep. We've been involved with Mom's care on a regular basis for the past two years and it seems strange not to have to plan around it anymore, but I'm sure that in time the Lord will make our path clear again. We are able to ship GraceWorks orders fairly regularly at this point, so don't hesitate to place your "Back to School" order soon! : )
I'd like to leave you with the tribute I wrote about my mom for the Memorial. She taught me so much these past two years of her illness. Just watching how she handled it day after day after day was both a challenge and an encouragement to me.
There are so many things that I loved about my mom. Her hospitality, her butterfly rolls, the cross cookies she would make for the little ones on Easter Sunday, her love of birds and picking berries, the special napkins that we would have on holidays, the movie nights we would have watching Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility… but I think that I learned the most over the years by watching Mom’s eyes.
Mom’s eyes could be stern at a little girl’s mistakes, or tender when the same little girl was treated unkindly by others. They were often tired eyes as I was growing up, busy with 4-H projects, high school musicals, sports events, band concerts and kindergarten graduations. They were generous eyes, often getting a meal on the table for more guests than there really was food available. They were laughing eyes, enjoying dessert and coffee when the meal was done. They were loving eyes, telling me about Jesus, and compassionate eyes, letting me know that accepting His sacrifice for my sin was something she couldn’t do for me -- it was a choice I had to make for myself.
I saw Mom’s eyes filled with sadness as she saw us children make choices she knew would bring pain, and I saw them overflowing with happiness, as she rejoiced with us over our salvation, or a special event or honor. Her eyes could be determined when she had a goal in mind, or focused on a task that needed to be done, and yet they remained unflustered when scores of grandchildren would be playing underfoot. And, if you asked her, everything was “just fine.”
A few years ago Mom’s eyes began to change. Little by little there was confusion where there had been strength of mind. There was uncertainty where there had been confidence. Simple things like watching her birds and mixing up a box of brownie mix were no longer possible, and Mom’s eyes grew pensive, trying to understand when God’s ways were unclear. What a beautiful testimony these eyes portrayed! Those were the eyes that held pain, but gave smiles. That held sorrow, but gave encouragement. That held grief, but gave grace. Up until her last day, her eyes were on those around her. Clear eyes. Calm eyes. Trusting eyes. Blessing a new baby, loving a special CNA, telling each of those around her bedside that she loved us.
To the end Mom always thought of others, going out of her way to be a blessing to them. Those are the eyes I will remember and cherish. The eyes of grace, without thought of self. The eyes that hid their own hurt to be an encouragement to others. The eyes of peace that showed a life hidden with Christ in God. Eyes that proved that when Mom said she was “just fine,”… she really was.
Today's Happy Monday Prompt...
Something the Lord has taught (or is teaching) me this summer is...