“The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.”
James E. Faust
What sort of mother do you or did you have? There are homebody moms, executive moms, teacher moms and some who seem to do it all–and with grace and efficiency.
My mom was a housewife most of her childrearing years. When I was about nine or ten, she went to work and continued to work as a practical nurse until she finally retired. She was not a demonstrative type–not a hugger. I remember falling asleep in the car and my head would land on the fur-like collar of her winter coat. She allowed me to rest there, but she didn’t put her arm around me. In our family you were expected to bring home good report cards–there were no rewards like I heard about from my friends. She didn’t show her feelings or talk about them much. I was sick and asked if I should go to school. She said, “You know how you feel.” We were expected to go to school unless seriously ill.
I learned about her love from the things she did for me and my sisters. When I wanted to go skating as a girl of twelve or thirteen, she would rummage in her purse and come up with the fifty-cents it would cost, even though it seemed there was no money. Sometimes there was money and more often not, because of the way my father worked. He was likely to drink a lot of his pay on the way home from work. But we always had a garden and raised a beef or hog for our meat. Mom could rustle up a delicious meal when someone stopped to visit with the canned items from the basement.
That was the way she showed love, by making good meals and showing hospitality.
Because of the way she was, I determined to show my love for my kids more openly and tell them often how much they meant to me.
Regardless of the kind of mother–they are worthy of our respect and thanks, in most cases. If you didn’t experience a mother’s love; determine to do better in your life. Thank the stand-in mothers in your life, the aunts, teachers, and others who influenced your growing and learning.
I can think of a couple other women who were role models for me and helped me become the person I am. Thank you all!
I had a few thoughts this week about what spring means this year. As a few green shoots appear in flower beds, along sidewalks, and near creeks, I feel hope bubbling in my soul. The same feeling emerged on the day I received my second COVID vaccine. We are not safe yet to resume our old way of living, but we can begin to see brighter days ahead.
Because of the year we’ve all experienced, I spend time with each gorgeous sunset, each bird’s beautiful colors and try to ascertain which ones are singing in the early morning. I find these moments bring joy to my days. I took the picture below on a walk with a friend through Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte.
How about how things occurred in Miami this weekend? People are so anxious to be “normal” again that they are not using good sense. I haven’t lost a loved one during this pandemic, but I know how frightened I was when a couple family memories did test positive. My heart goes out to all who were unable to say goodbye or hold a hand, or pray with a husband, wife, or anyone they loved.
Please, God, increase patience in me and all those who are waiting for “real life” to come back. Help us to see and live our best lives right here, right now. We can recognize each blessing if our eyes and ears are open and if we look for the things we can do to help each other. #nature, #writing, #faith, #joy, #patience
An underlayment is a layer between a subfloor and a finished floor that facilitates leveling and adhesion.
Where am I going with that? I was thinking about my personality and why I am the way I am. When I was little, the home was not a happy place, but we kept that to ourselves. “It was not other people’s business,” said my mom. She was a very quiet and stoic woman. For a long time, as I got older and saw more people react to things, I thought there might be something missing in me. I didn’t seem to react when scary or dangerous things happened, except to try and deal with the situation.
I wondered more than once where God was that he would let a little girl have scary experiences and not answer my prayers. It took me to adulthood to realize that God was with me or there would have been worse outcomes in my life. Once I accepted that and began to thank Him for the protection, I felt myself revealing more emotions as well.
With my own children, I tried to be more demonstrative and show my love. When I got married, my father hugged me but my mom never did. She was mad because I hadn’t finished my education and thought I never would. Thankfully, I did finish a couple of years later, but that didn’t turn her into a “huggy” person.
What has this got to do with floors or underlayment? I thought about how my faith developed and it seems like underneath is the strong support of faith in God. Over that is a cushioning layer of truth–what I know and have experienced and can sink into. Like a cushioning layer. On top of that today is my joy that lays smooth and adherent. I can be upset and even angry, but I am still secure that I’m not alone anymore. I hang onto my joy and allow no-one to take it away from me.
As bad as the country is with its divisions and hate groups and economic problems–I still feel a sense that all will be well–eventually. Yes, stand up and speak and do what you can to back your beliefs, but if you have faith, you then turn it over to God, the only being who knows the outcome.
“Happy New Year!” I’ve heard it from many friends and family members, but almost all add,”Hope next year’s better, good riddance to 2020,” or a similar sentiment. No doubt that it has been a difficult year and for many–a terrible year of sickness and loss. I began to think about what I would like to reach for in 2021. I came up with a few words that fit the things I most want to live toward in this new year.
N – Non judgmental attitude. Everyone has something that they’re hiding, working on, grieving, or may be simply blind to.
E – Eager – I want to wake up eager to face the day, see new things or at least see in a new way.
W – I’ll try to write every day, if only to help myself figure out what I believe and where I stand on the issues of today.
Y – Yesterday is gone. Don’t keep mulling it over. MOVE ON.
E – Enough – I have enough and I am enough.
A – Active – It’s important to stay active. Word could be ambulate, amble, accelerate…
R – Respond -React and respond when I feel that urges to call someone, or write a note, etc. My time or that person’s may be shorter than we know.
These are a few of my “words.” Think of a word or words that sum up your wishes for the new year. I would love to hear what you come up with.
Join me next time for Connie’s comments and verse.
As I examined at knitted scarf I’ve been making this week, I tucked in a couple of stray pieces of yarn. I had run out of yarn in one skein and had begun to work from a new one at one place. I could see where I attached the new yarn and wove in the loose end–sort of. A small piece of yarn had still poked up and stood out. I found another error where I had added one stitch more than I should to a section.
Everyone is praying for 2021 to be a healthier, less divisive and more peaceful year. May it be so and may we greet others with an attitude of love and understanding.
On the surface the piece looks acceptable, but I know where the yarn was fraying a little bit and where I tore a row out to redo it.
I am much like a piece of my knitting–acceptable on the surface, but only God and I know where I was broken and knit back together through my life and what each “I’m sorry” cost me to face up to my mistakes and own them. I ask God to point out my mistakes also as we all can be blind to our faults and omissions.
Each event in our lives adds to the fabric of the outward appearance we present. What would people see if they saw the underside where the mistakes and the patches of hurt placed over them have left scars? They would see the smooth sections interspersed with the uglier knotted and tied-together repairs.
As we go forward from this unbelievable year; we grieve with the people who have lost jobs as well as loved ones and we’ve disagreed with others whose political and even medical views differ from ours. But it is important to remember that each person we meet has a few knots and patches, some repaired and some still dangling. Love and understanding go a long way toward revealing the outward person as the true self and not a disguise of what lies beneath.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
Norman Vincent Peale
A neighbor shared some oranges with me today and that was all it took to send my mind back over seventy years to my childhood. My bus driver would give each of us an orange and a candy cane as he delivered us home for Christmas break. In my rural neighborhood, there was a man who became Santa and went house to house where there were kids. He had prearranged the visit with the parents so we received one gift that was something we had asked for. It worked well for small ones, but when Santa pulled my present out of the bag, I recognized the wrapping paper from the chest upstairs and the “jig was up.”
Of course, if I hadn’t been snooping around, my innocence might have been preserved a little longer.
When I read down the list of the so-called traditions of Christmas, I have experienced many of them. I have gone caroling and we always put on a Christmas play at church. We always had a real tree and if I close my eyes I can almost conjure the scent of pine. One of my memories of pine is a little different.
We had two very large pines behind our house on the edge of a field where we usually planted the garden. One day we came home from town after dark and as the headlights swung over our property my dad let out a yell. “What the Hell?” Someone had cut the entire top out of one of our pines. It was quite a feat considering the height of the tree!
Even though 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, I still sense a little excitement in the air as Christmas approaches. Masked people dart through the stores, being careful, but with a purpose in their steps. Secret bags of cookies or cards are being shared by thoughtful neighbors. When the big snow hit a couple days ago, many were out early to shovel and help clean the windshields for others. A kind gentleman shoveled paths through the snow in my neighborhood, so that the owners of small dogs could find a place for the pets to “go.”
When a Savior came to bring love and peace, He brought it for all. He is still showing the way even in 2020 if we have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts of love. Peace, love, and joy to all!
If I could give you just one thing,
I'd give you joy that would make your heart sing.
A joy and a peace that was brought to strangers,
When a young mother laid a babe in a manger.