Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Lessons from Mama

As most of you know if you follow this blog, I took care of my mother for 10 1/2 years until her passing.  Often, through those years, I learned a lot from my mother who also became my best friend.  

She and Daddy were married for 62 years (until his passing).  They raised four children in the days when there was no such thing as medical care and they owned a house and land debt-free, something few people can boast of doing.

My first lessons from Mama came by her example.  She lived the way she believed.  And what did she believe?  These were some of her lessons:

No matter how the wind blows and whatever storms come, those same winds and storms will blow back out again.

The only Bible some people will ever read is the example of your life.

It's important to live life every day as if it were your last day on earth, because it just might be.

Fear and reverence God for who He is.

Be thankful and grateful for what you have because you often have so much more than what you realize.

As a little girl, she put me in the car one day, loaded it with a garbage bag full of clothes and a prepared meal.  I said, "Mama, where we going?"  She said, "You'll see."  Soon we pulled up in front of someone's house.  Mama took the clothes and the meal with her and told me to stay put. She returned empty-handed. She said, "Those people were burnt out. They lost their home - the clothes and the food were for them.  Always remember, make your life about giving to help other people."

My mother taught me about courage through the years when she battled first one health condition and then another.  She was always cheerful, and thankful despite the hardship of that situation.

Her faith taught me the foundation for my life because she had faith regardless of her adversity and hardship, and there were many of those.  She prayed simply, without fancy words, things like, "Lord, you know we need help."  Sometimes it's the straightforward prayer that gets the results faster than a long prayer.

Mama believed that a man would always reap what he sowed.  She believed that the essence of living was to make your life about giving to the homeless and the poor - and those that had no food.  One Christmas, she and I bundled up our best clothes and sweaters and took them to the homeless mission, requesting that they give them to the homeless to wear.

Mama would get her pension check and say, "Who do you think needs help this month?  Who do we need to help?"  And then when we determined who that was, that's who we would help.

My mother believed that to live a life for the Lord was not about the church pew but about how you lived when you left the church pew.  Lead by example, live what the Bible says, that sort of thing.

Mama believed in the sanctity of marriage, having been married to Daddy for 63 years until his passing. When he became feeble and frail from his many strokes, she took care of him and drove him everywhere with him.  They were always together and through the early years of their marriage, things were very difficult, almost impossible sometimes with adversity but she simply followed the pathway and she stayed.  There's a lesson there, too

In my mother's Bible, scribbled in her handwriting are the simple words, "God is always with you."  

Whatever you are facing today, it's important to remember what Mama wrote in her Bible.  God is always with you even when you can't see Him and even when you can't hear Him.

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