Saturday, May 13, 2017

Lessons from Mom part 4

Mom with her first great grandchild.  She now has 9. In 9 years!


"If you can't say anything nice......"  I paused.

"Don't say anything at all!"  chorused the 80 and 90 year old ladies I was leading in Bible study at our local assisted living place.

This was a common saying among those of 'the greatest generation'.

It seems in today's society, this has been forgotten. I'm appalled  at the coarse language I hear in public today.  But that is a rant for another day.

Mom continually drove home the point that we should be careful about our speech.

"Oh, be careful little mouth what you say, 
Oh be careful little mouth what you say,
For the Father up above is looking down in love,
So be careful little mouth what you say."

So, we were careful what we said.  I think it was easier during the kinder, gentler time of the 50's.  We were not allowed to say 'dumb' , 'stupid' , 'shut up' .  (I cringe even typing these words! Sorry, Mom!) Calling someone silly was also frowned upon.

We lived near Mom and Dad from 2008-2013.  Even tho Alzheimer's had begun to cloud her mind, not only did Mom refrain from saying unkind things, she heaped lavish praise on folks. Even strangers.

"Oh, what a beautiful baby you have!"

"I love your scarf!"

 "Thank you for doing that!"

Kind words flowed from her mouth.  She especially heaped praise on the pianist at church.

Mom was simply and beautifully modeling Biblical behavior.

Colossians 4:5-6
 " Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who is wise holds his tongue. " 
Proverbs 10:19

"Even a fool is thought wise if  he keeps silent and discerning if he holds his tongue."
Proverbs 17:28


"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."
Proverbs 25:11

Mom, thank you for teaching us to be careful and full of care in our speech.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Lessons from Mom part 3



Probably when Mom was my age, in her 60's, sleep starting eluding her.

She would awaken at 3 or 4 a.m. and painfully make her way up the long flight of steps to the  (above the garage) bonus room.  (She had fallen off a bike when she was in her 50's and had difficulty with stairs.)

She called the bonus room her sanctuary.  After brewing a small pot of coffee, she would read her Bible.  Following her Bible and devotional book reading she would write in a journal.  The journals (and there are many) are a combination of recording the preceding day's events as well as praises and prayers.  By Mom's own admission they are difficult to read.

Mom, thank you for your faithful example of reading God's Word.  For your prayers.  In a world that increasingly seems counter to our faith, we have your example of establishing a sanctuary.  A place of safety.  Of rest and refreshment.  Despite the hour or the difficulty of getting there, you purposefully chose to begin each day in the sanctuary.  I choose to follow your example.

Psalm 63

You, God, are my God,

    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary

    and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
    with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;

    I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,

    I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lessons from Mom part 2

 Mom has always been a church goin' woman.   She has taught Sunday School and VBS.  After some of us left the nest, she pursued her lay leader certification through the United Methodist Church, which allowed her to preach.

Looking back through our old family photo albums you will find pictures of three little girls dressed in matching dresses.  Patent leather shoes, ruffled socks.  Our hair would have been curled after Saturday night baths, probably while we were sitting watching the Lawrence Welk Show.  Perhaps we held a little purse and on Easter Sunday, we definitely wore a hat. We are facing the sun with scrunched up squinty faces, but we were ready for church.

I gave fond memories of church growing up.  It never occurred to me to rebel against going.  It was as much a part of my life as breathing.

I attribute this to Mom.  I often remember her quoting Psalm 122:1:

I was glad when they said unto me, let us go to the house of the Lord.

Mom, you are one smart Mama.  Thank you for instilling in me, not only the habit of going to church, but the attitude that makes it a joy, lo these 60+ years later.  Love you, Mom!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lessons from Mom part 1

Isn't Mom adorable?!


It was 1970ish.  I had gotten a job at a family-style restaurant.  My first job other than giving piano lessons to beginners or baby sitting. The only downside to this job, that I could see, was that my mother worked there too.

Now, I love my mom, but as a 16 year old, I was not crazy about working with her.

Most of the time we worked separate shifts.  But one evening we were on together.  

A few hours into our shift, I had a very dissatisfied customer. There was a rubber band in his ground round steak (!).  I would have been dissatisfied too, however, I would not have treated anyone the way he treated me.  He read me the riot act.  I did what any sensitive 16 year old girl would do (after apologizing and putting in another order for a rubberbandless ground round), I retreated to the dish room to cry.  (He hurt my feelings.)

Somehow, Mom got wind of this.  She didn't come to me initially, but went straight to the irate customer.  My petite mother gave him a taste of his own medicine.   I am sure, knowing Mom, that she was not rude, but she let him know in no uncertain terms that his attack toward me was unjustified.  Iam sure that her beautiful blue eyes were snapping in anger. (I may or may not have witnessed that 'look' growing up.)

Then she came to see if I was okay.  I delivered another steak to the now sheepish customer.  

My sweet little mama, who always taught the four of us to speak sweetly, fiercely defended me.  I cannot remember that without smiling in gratitude.

This story has a happy ending.  That rude customer ending up giving me a $5 tip.  I had never received such a large tip!

~~~~~~~~~~

Neither Mom nor I realized it then, but she was painting a picture for me of One Who Defends me, 
when I AM guilty of wrong.

I John 2:1
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.  But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Mom took up my case, because she is my mom.  Jesus takes up my case because he is my Savior.

He tells the Father, "Yes, Cheri is a sinner.  But I paid the price for her sins."

Thank you Mom for giving me a small glimpse of what that looks like.  Love you Mom, you have always pointed me to Jesus.



Saturday, November 05, 2016

What if you knew?

 
You may have heard..... There is an election coming?  Although I usually avoid political conversations, when those around me get into it, there is a spectrum of feelings- regardless of their preferred candidate.  Most are sick and tired of it ( can we just make a new rule?  Please?  That there will be NO campaigning until 90 days before the election).  Many don't care, don't feel empowered by their vote.  Many don't feel we have much of a choice.  I haven't talked to anyone who is passionate about voting for any one particular candidate.
 
We live in a small town. Quiet in the winter, busier in the summer when tourists descend.  I don't worry about civil unrest here.  There are only 39% of us who stick around for winter.  We help each other when needed, mind our own business when not.  When we go to vote on Tuesday, the mother of one of my former first graders (that first grader is now in her forties!), the mother of our former neighbor and the lady who used to sell bait to the resident fisherman will be the election workers.  When we voted in the primary, the judge was in front of us in line and he was on the ballot- his dad was our dentist years ago, his son on our son's soccer team.  Comfortable, familiar, peaceful.
 
The news in recent days has been warning of cyber attacks by bad actors who wish us harm.  Who wish to take advantage of our rancorous political discourse and disrupt our way of life.  Internet down, grid down, civil disturbances.  These are some of the scenarios being projected.
 
What if you knew that one or more of these events would be taking place next week?  What would you do differently right now?
 
Me?  I'm cooking ahead.  Getting caught up on laundry.  Cleaning, vacuuming.  Took the garbage to the dump.  Topped off the gas in the car.*
 
And now I can R-E-L-A-X as our beloved Aaron Rodgers has been known to say ( rather, spell).  I've done what I can.  Plenty of food in the cupboards and good books to read.  One in particular.  The B-I-B-L-E.  Where are repeatedly admonished to "Fear not!"
 
God is with us.  He doesn't leave us or forsake us.
 
We can R-E-L-A-X.  
 
*. Our 14 month old granddaughter will be with us for five days late next week, so even if all the warnings are without merit, I will be so thankful I did what I did.
 
And you?  Doing anything out of the ordinary?  Anticipating anything out of the ordinary?
 
 
 

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Neglect

There was a time when I was if not addicted to at least enamored with blogging.
 
Life circumstances, as they do, changed and I lost my 'voice'.  A few feeble attempts were made to get things going without success.
 
 
So, here we go again.  After long neglect, let's see if we can get this thing running again.
   
 
I suppose I'm no busier than anyone else.  After all, I don't even have a job. Not a paying one anyway.
 
Here is what gets me out of bed in the morning:
 
  • Morning walks
  • Bible study ( a comfy couch, a cup of tea, a well worn Bible opened to the day's passage)
  • Hubby
  • A home I love
  • Children and grandchildren
  • Bible studies
  • Church
  • Other volunteer activities
These are the facets of my life that keep it, depending on the day, energizing, exhausting, real, gritty, fun, wonderful.
 
I love for my life.  I thank GOD for those He has given me, for a gorgeous place to live, great friends, solid church and so much more.
 
The days and weeks to follow will be reflections of and ponderings on these things.
 
I will head out in a minute to teach a Ladies' Bible study.  We are studying Hebrews.  Today's question, ' How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation (2:3).  We should have a lively discussion on this chapter!
 
Captured on this morning's. So blessed to have these views!
 
 
 
 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Timing

 
This fella is excited to meet his new baby sister this morning!
 
He was smart enough to be born on his daddy's 35th birthday.
His sister, not to be outdone, was born on Grandpa's 70th birthday!
 
We are so thankful and can't wait hold her!