Archives for May 2008

Mother’s Day Thoughts

DSC00318I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful Mother’s Day with your families. I’ll get to see my mom near the end of the month when our entire family gathers for a reunion, and I’m going to spend this Tuesday with my daughters when we all meet in T-town for a fun day together. Can’t wait :)

This seemed like the perfect day to share a picture of my parents with you. We took several shots during our April visit, but since Don isn’t used to the new camera yet, this is one of the only ones that isn’t a blurry mess :) It’s not the best picture of me, but I’m not the point of this picture :) I thank God for Mom and Dad and for the many years together He has blessed us with.

I hope you enjoy the following thoughts about mothers. May it bring joy to all as you think about your moms or inspire you if you are one of the special ladies out there living the role of “Mother”. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

MOTHER – A Gift from God

Makes priceless memories, mends hurting hearts, marvels over the smallest things, and models an authentic love for the Lord.

Opens her heart and hands to others, offers wise and loving counsel, overlooks faults and offenses, and obeys the Word of God.

Turns a frown into a smile, teaches right from wrong, tries to pray instead of worry, and tells others that God is her strength.

Hears the call of those who need her, hugs and comforts as only she can, hurries to help again and again, and honors the Lord in all she does.

Eases the pain of those she loves, encourages each step of the way, elects to forgive instead of hold grudges, and entrusts her children to the Lord.

Reminds when others forget, runs kids all over town, rejoices when her children grow strong in the Lord, and remembers that apart from Him she is nothing.

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:29

The Blessings of Mentoring

Late Sunday afternoon, I did something I’ve never done before. I sat on a panel at church with four other women and helped field questions asked by a group of teenage girls just finishing a Bible study focusing on relationships and purity.

Some of the girls have been in our church long enough that I had them as 1-year olds in my Sunday School class. It didn’t seem that long ago that I was teaching them to sing The B-I-B-L-E, and now the topics were things like getting along with parents, modesty, dating, and sex. Talk about a jump :) I’ve got to admit I was a little nervous going in. We all ended up enjoying our time together, though, and hopefully each girl heard at least one thing that will stay with her and help her navigate some current or future situations.

Let me just share one small snippet from the session. When asked what we thought was different for teen girls today than what it had been when we were their age, I pointed out one reality that is a strong negative but then balanced it out with a positive.

One thing girls (and boys) today really have working against them is the assumption and expectation that teens are going to have sex, and if you’re not having sex, then you are the oddball. When I was in junior and senior high in the late 60s-early 70s, kids our age (not the college bunch) didn’t have that shoved in our faces all the time. In fact, there was still some shame associated with having a loose reputation or getting pregnant before marriage. Those girls were in the minority (though change was certainly afoot). The pressure our kids face today concerning sex is heartbreaking.

On the other hand, I told the girls that one positive they have that we didn’t have was just exactly what was going on in our session — open dialogue and sharing about these important topics at church or even in the home. These things just weren’t discussed with adults during that era. My girlfriends and I never had the opportunity to participate in a True Love Waits event, to have an entire Bible study focused on purity, or to ask these kinds of questions to a panel of women at our church and get such open and helpful information and encouragement. In that regard, our kids today are blessed.

In New Testament times, when Paul wrote to Titus, he charged him to encourage the younger men and set an example for them. He also told him to teach the older women to train the younger women. Even though in that instance he was referring to younger married women, the principle of mentoring is still the same. Those of us who have been down a certain road before need to share our accumulated wisdom with those who are coming after us.

I was blessed and honored to help mentor that group of girls last Sunday, even though it was just for about an hour. Other groups besides young people need mentoring, too. Anyone who is new to something benefits immensely from someone else more experienced who will invest in their lives and help them in some way. I even see my online writers group and a few writers’ blogs I visit as my writing mentors.

Are you involved in a special mentoring relationship? Have you been in the past? I would love to hear some of your stories. Share with a comment, please — you might even encourage someone in the process!

Nurturing Needed — and Given

Ah, the beginning of May! Weather willing, that’s when I usually get flowers planted. Kind of an early Mother’s Day tradition at our house. If Kristin was here, she’d be up to her elbows in dirt and loving every minute of it, but now that the girls are away from home, I get in on the actual planting.

Yesterday afternoon was perfect for outdoor work — sunny and mid-60s. Don and I worked together, getting these much welcomed splashes of color added to our yard. What wasn’t perfect was the swarm of gnats flying around my head constantly. They nearly drove me crazy — though I did manage a smile for the camera :)

Now we’ll just hope that some of that severe weather we’re famous for this time of year doesn’t blow through here in the next few days and give our flowers a beating before they have a chance to take root. I want our “babes” to have a fighting chance.

Flowers need some special care, and I stand ready to once more nurture them through our Midwestern summer heat. Evenings will find me faithfully tending the flowers, watering and pruning them of their dead blooms and leaves. If I do my part and give them the TLC they need, they should grace our yard until the first hard freeze in the fall.

Flowers aren’t the only things that need nurturing, are they? People need nurturing — and not just children. Each one of us can benefit from a little tender loving care. A few words of praise or encouragement, a helping hand, or a hug can make the difference in someone’s day — in someone’s life.

Let’s consider who or what in our lives could benefit from some nurturing right now. Our kids? Our marriage? Another relationship? A talent that could blossom with a little special attention? Maybe even a skill that needs regular investment in order to keep it flourishing? Stand ready with me to give the TLC that’s needed. We can make the difference.

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11

*Photo by my husband Don