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Chautauqua Institution: Images of America. Amelia Bentrup. Lydia Borja. Theresa Blackstone. Lindsay Boever. Dwija Borobia. She would recite Deuteronomy I was touched when I heard that she recently sent the Deuteronomy blessing to her now adult son in a card as he celebrated the first birthday of his daughter. Blessing and praying for our children is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. Graduation seemed to be the perfect time for me to give my son the spiritual gift of a blessing.
May Cameron grow into maturity as a godly man, clinging to his faith when the challenges come his way.
Lord, bless his hands and may the fruit of his labor serve to glorify you. When the time is right, bring a godly woman into his life that appreciates him for his uniqueness and heart of compassion.
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Lord, guide his footsteps and give him godly wisdom and discernment for the journey. I invite you to likewise write a blessing to say or silently pray over your children. I know the faithful prayers of my mother made a difference in my life. Pray about what the Lord wants you to say. Are you fully engaged in your current stage of motherhood? Or are you focused on getting through this stage of life and reaching the next, longing for personal space and time to pursue your own ambitions?
Remember: Today is the day the Lord has made Ps. The opportunity for bonding with your child, teaching him the values you hold dear, and just plain enjoying him or her and creating memories to cherish and build on, is now! One author who speaks compassionately to these sometimes-challenging aspects of motherhood is author and speaker, Alice Scott-Ferguson.
She will share her motherhood-affirming and faith-affirming insights. The four of us sat in the dining room of the nursing home. Two of us had cars in the parking lot; we were free to leave any time. The other two occupied wheelchairs because their legs would not support the weight of their bodies and their minds would not support a plan as simple as how to exit the building. I was one of the ones who would be leaving. The two of us carried on a conversation between the bits and pieces of attention that we gave our mothers, those bits and pieces being all our mothers could receive.
Then, out of the blue, the other daughter made a statement. I thought. Twice a year we had to clean everything from the ceilings to the floors. She is younger than my mother by years, but oxygen tubes trailed from her nostrils. My mother, who is now 99 years old, was going strong years ago.
My knee-jerk reaction was , I wish my childhood home had been tidier; but I did not tell her that. My next thought was, I wonder if my children think I cared too much about the cleanliness and order? The moment passed for lack of feedback, and the conversation moved in another direction. Soon the visit ended. I exited the building to my car in the parking lot. In the car on the way back to accomplish the rest of my list of errands, my thoughts were drawn back to the table in the dining hall.
Is there anybody who wishes his or her childhood was different, and therefore, better? It is impossible to make a perfect home, to be a perfect mother, or to be a perfect child. I know there are varying degrees of imperfection, and some people have huge hurdles to overcome. However, we have a heavenly Father who covers us in grace. After Adam and Eve sinned, God covered them with the skins of animals. Those animals were the first creatures to know death. We might not be able to control very much in our lives, or accomplish a long list of achievements.
But, we can accomplish—I believe—the greatest achievement. We can be the generation in our family that chooses to break those negative cycles for our family. Christian spirituality , Emotional and spiritual healing , Grief and loss , Healing love , life stages , life's upward path. After my mother died, my dad started writing poetry. Losing Mother so young — she was 48 — was hard for me. But it was also devastating for my dad. My mother turned 99 in January.
She resides in a nursing home that feels like a prison. And, I must always wait for a go-ahead signal in order to exit the building. She recognizes the love behind it, and she appreciates the humor and attention. My siblings and I keep a calendar taped on the side of the wardrobe in her room, so we can sign our names on the days when we visit. Why try to set her straight?
Once Mom asked me to go upstairs and get a blanket for her. There is no upstairs. Mom is satisfied, and the fact that there is no upstairs—that we are not in my childhood home—never becomes an issue. Then, on another occasion, Mom invited me to eat with her.
We were sitting together in the nursing home dining hall. Mom thought we were in a restaurant. Lately, my mother wants to sleep through lunch. She is too exhausted to raise the spoon to her mouth. And when she tries to feed herself, the result is a mess. I feed her like I used to feed my children when they were babies in the highchair. I am forced to read her menu in order to learn that the light tan mush is chicken and gravy, and that the mossy green blob is seasoned green beans.
I feed her like I used to feed my toddlers, even scraping food off her chin and from the corners of her mouth. It is sad to see all this decline, but there is something very special about these times together. We are a very quiet twosome. Except for an occasional softly-spoken comment or question from me, we sit in silence.
But, who is the mother? Who is the child? Our roles have become as blurred as the space around us. Adoption , caverns of the heart , Emotional and spiritual healing , future hope , Healing love , life and death , life stages.
When your mother dies, especially if she is still quite young, you can feel forsaken and forlorn. But the Lord has shown me that He wants to fill that hole in my life with the most unexpected, beautiful gifts. I have been wanting to tell my readers about the wondrous gifts that have been coming to me.
And I think it is time now.
Our minds can believe all sorts of lies, and our hearts can be oppressed by darkness; but when Jesus steps in to fill a mind and a heart, light shines out the darkness, and loving truth dispels crippling falsehood. Part of that story is that for many years I have lived with a mother-cavern in my heart since my mother died when I was in my twenties. I found a cousin the same age as my mother who had been a toddler in the same home with Mother and always wondered what happened to little Imogene.
At 83 she was the last of the generation that remembered my mother, Imogene.
So I found her in the nick of time. This new-found cousin, Mary Lou, was as thrilled to find me as I was to find her. And gradually I learned that she was a person of faith who loved the Lord and prayed for her family. Then this winter she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Long vigils in the hospital brought my husband and me together with her children and grandchildren.
And the heart-cavern of impending loss filled with cousins who enfolded me and I have found myself surrounded by family I never expected to have. We had each had opportunity to sit with her, express our love, and say good-bye. But the grief and sadness were creating a huge cavern of grief in the room, felt by everyone present. Then this family, with tears, each at various stages of belief and doubt, gathered round the beloved mother and grandmother who had been their strong, caring, faithful hub and, instead of calling the hospital chaplain, asked one of her sons, who had been a steady church attender, to pray.
I doubt the family had ever done that before. But as gentle, simple, real, heartfelt words poured from that brother one of my new-found cousins, who has had much suffering in his life grace like rain poured sweetness into the gaping cavern of sadness. Surely every heart, no matter how unaccustomed to praying, was touched.
A few years ago, when my daughter-in-law was pregnant with our first grandchild, I sat in church as she and our son participated in the worship team—David playing guitar and Hannah singing. I thought of the baby Hannah was carrying—just past her first trimester.
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I watched the parents-to-be standing before the Lord and the congregation pouring forth the praise, proclaiming their faith with all their energies, their hearts, their voices. It dawned on me that the baby—who by now had formed arms and legs—would be sensing this devotion and somehow experiencing the glory and presence of God. Gratitude and joy rose within me, and the Lord assured my heart that His hand was already on that child as it has been on past generations; that the devotion and faithfulness of the parents would bear fruit in the children, again.
When my mother carried me, she and Daddy—just 20 and 25 years old—were preaching and praying and singing and piano playing. Twenty-four years later I carried David and, during those nine months, often sat at the piano playing classical music, church music, choir music, and quartet music. My husband was singing; we were often in the midst of praying. And now it comes to me like a revelation that God is continuing His faithfulness, His friendship with us—to the next generation, to our grandchildren!
What a reward, what a hope, what a comfort, what a joy! Alone at home the next day, Monday, I thought on this again, and the Holy Spirit moved my heart to rejoice and weep and pray for this new life. They too provide challenge and comfort. If you are embarked on the adventure of pregnancy and childbirth, reading different books on the subject, especially books that approach the birth of a child as a spiritual journey, will help you rely on God and His spirit to see you through.
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