Sunday, May 10, 2009

Praying For My Mom

"I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart...I am on the verge of collapse..." Psalm 38:8,17

I heard these words just two days ago, coming from the overwhelmed heart of my mother. The stress of the past ten weeks has been taking it's toll on her. She is completely broken as she watches the love of her life for 65 years become a stranger in many ways. I can't begin to imagine the loss as a wife. I only know it as a daughter.

Mom has been a tower of strength and the pillar of our home. It's difficult to watch her suffering now. A time of life when I wish she could just relax and enjoy the blessings of family and friends, she is burdened with the incredible weight of countless decisions and unfathomable heartache.

Growing up, our home was a place where I always felt secure and loved. Mom used every opportunity to set a godly example to let me see the reality of Christ. Even when my sister and I would argue (which wasn't often!), Mom would burst forth in a chorus of "To be like Jesus", making it difficult for our disagreement to continue while being sweetly serenaded with God's truth.

No doubt these teachable moments were a direct result of mom's daily, consistent, personal time with her Lord in prayer and Bible study. As long as I can remember, Mom has been rising each morning by 4:00am to spend time with the Lord, studying His Word and lifting her family and loved ones to Him in prayer. As a child, my days began and ended with prayer. Mom would kneel beside my bed each morning committing my day to the Lord. Then joining hearts and hands around our dinner table at the close of the day, time would be given to read His Word during "Family Worship". I can recall praying for everything and everyone, often stopping in mid-prayer to ask a question or give a hug, but Mom never seemed to mind. I learned early that I could talk to God anytime, anywhere, and He became my best friend and Saviour while watching mom model such an intimate relationship with Him.

Mom is faithful, not only in her quiet times, but in all areas of her life. She is a faithful mother, wife, grandma, great-grandma, sister-in-law, mother-in-law and friend. Her daily letter writing is just another example of her committment to those she loves. It has been the 'norm' for dad to drive to the post office every morning, mailing numerous letters, notes, and little words of enouragement to those the Lord happened to place on mom's heart.

As a godly woman, mom's quiet countenance, gracious nature, open hospitality, discerning spirit and tender heart have always made our home a haven, not just for her family, but for all who enter. A knock at the door, and in no time, the kettle is boiling, as she shares a hot cup of tea, a smile or a tear. She provides a listening ear, encouraging word and prayerful support, ministering God's love.

Perhaps one of mom's favourite past-times, besides a trip to Tim Horton's for coffee with a friend, would be her love of reading! A good book, a hot drink, and a cozy place is mom's personal refuge. She enjoys quiet evenings, needlepoint, fresh white handkershiefs and peanut-buttered toast. She is happiest when her family is happy.

She is the Founder of "There-there's"! Unexpected gifts, large or small, given for no other reason than to simply say, "I love you." We never required a special occassion in our home to wait for a parcel. Often little surprises greeted us on our dinner plates, under our pillows, in lunch bags, tucked away in suitcases and now even on doorsteps. Mom is a generous giver.

Mom invested in the life of her children, making sacrifices for us, and she did it with passion. I cannot thank her enough for making the life-long investment in training and shaping me. She provided the colour and shading that brought depth and dimension to my life. In my growing up years, and still often today, I find time for everything and everyone but you, Mom, and yet, would any of the others have done for me what you did? I don't know how many times I could have made you happy by simply saying, "I love you, mom."

Our relationship hasn't been perfect. We have our differences and we don't always agree. Mom is an eternal optimist, refusing to see any negative and believing always in the good of everyone. Extremely sensitive, her responses have at times received rolled eyes and judgement from this daughter. She goes to great lengths to please others and longs for everything to always appear right and well. Her home is immaculate. Her clothing pressed. Her dinner always prepared. Her floors cleaned. Her windows washed. Her perfume on.

Since becoming a mother myself, I appreciate and love my mother in a deeper way. Being a mother. What a calling. What a responsibility. What an honour! I esteem my mom for the perseverance she continually displays in daily taking the time and effort necessary to ensure that she leave a healthy and godly heritage, a heritage that I now strive to pass on to my family.

Today as I celebrate being a mom, I also celebrate the memories and moments shared with my mom. Treasures in my heart that will never wear out or fade away.

Linda Weber, in her book, "Mom You're Incredible!" writes:

"Motherhood is not an entry-level service position for mindless, insecure and second-class citizens. It is the noblest of callings. To be entrusted with the very life, health and well-being of a tiny human person is a great gift and honour. To realize this small child reflects traits and characteristics of you, your spouse, and your families is a mind-shattering and heart-rending realization. To invest your time and best efforts into a child and to watch him grow, develop, and excel is to be part of the creative majesty of life itself. Never let anyone denounce motherhood or dissuade you from experiencing it. It transcends all other experiences."

As Theodore Roosevelt said, "No other success in life - not being President, or being wealthy, or going to college, or writing a book, or anything else - comes up to the success of a man or woman who can feel that they have done their duty and their children and grandchildren rise up and call them blessed."

Mom, today I rise up and call you blessed, as I am blessed by having the delight and honour of being your daughter. I wish right now I could remove all the pain, loneliness, decisions, misery and distress. I am doing what I can, but it feels like so little as I watch your head bow, your body shake and tears flow.

Today Mom, I am praying for you. May the Lord tenderly hold you. May you feel His arms surround you. May your heaviness lift. May your helplessness be replaced with great courage. May the clouds of darkness dissipate. May His peace, that passes understanding, reign and be a reality in your heart. May your fear and insecurity vanish. May His love carry you...just for today...and then all your tomorrow's. I love you mom.


Sita said...

Joy, you have inherited much from your Mom. A beautiful tribute.
I echo your prayer for your Mom and your family.
Love, Sita

Tracy said...

Hi Joy,
Just wanted to let you know I'm taking a moment to lift your precious Mom, and all of you in my prayers.


Joy in The Truth said...

Joy, this is a beautiful and touching tribute to your mom today. She sounds like an amazing woman who loves God. The best gift we can give our children is abiding in God's Word and His perfect love ourselves.

Praying for your mom, too, during this difficult transition in her heart as your dad struggles. What a precious family God has given you!

Leah said...


I stopped by earlier but didn't have time to leave a comment. God bless your dear Mother. I remember how terribly stressful it was for my mom when my Daddy was sick and dying with cancer for those 22 months. She was far more stressed than we realized and in fact, passed out while she was driving home from a doctor's appointment one day--totalled her car but she only sustained bruises. God was watching over her miraculously.

I pray that your mother will rest in the Lord's arms as she walk this difficult path. You too, dear friend.


Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I know this may sound odd but I totally mean it as a compliment....reading about your mother makes me feel that I am walking through the pages of a Grace Livingston Hill book. She sounds like she is all the things that I have always longed to be for my children but just have never been quite able to accomplish.
I pray the Lord will bless her in aa extra special way even before today is ended.
The picture of your mother and her daughters is precious! Beautiful women all.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Beautiful tribute, friend. You are a good daughter, mother, wife, and friend. This day belongs to you too! Tell your mother I said "thanks" for raising such an incredible daughter.


Catherine said...

Happy Mother's Day dear friend! It was a wonderful treat spending time today with you and your precious family!! Grandma is such an example of a godly wife and mother...and she has taught you and your sisters well. Love you so much sweet friend! xoxo

Runner Mom said...

This, sweet one, was simply beautiful! What an awesome mom you have been blessed with! Please give her a hug for me!! I'm stopping to pray for her now.

Love you!!

Beth E. said...

This is beautiful, Joy! You have written a wonderful tribute to your mother. She sounds like an amazing woman...who has raised an amazing daughter! I am so blessed to call you my friend.


Cheri Bunch said...

Dear Joy,
What a special tribute! I love this. The picture is so good of all of you. Your momma looks tired. She has been on my heart. You are a special friend and you have a special family. I thank Him for all of you!

Micca said...

The Lord does not forget His own. Asking Him to comfort your mom at this time.

blessings to you both!

Anonymous said...

The LORD has surely opened your eyes and ears to the beauty of His creation of your mother. You have so much love and respect for her through your words. I know that your beating heart has even more for your blessed mother. I lift her up in prayer along with you. I ask for His angels to surround her, that He would hold her closely in His arms.
Be still, dear Joy, and know that He is God. ~ linda

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Van said...

Oh- I grieve with you. This is not what life should have to come to. But God knows even though we don't. You have just written the most wonderful tribute to your mother. I will continue to pray for you, her, and your dad.

Lelia Chealey said...

HI Joy!
This was such a beautiful post and tribute to your Mom. You should frame this and give it to her.

Will be praying for you and your family.
Wish I was going to She Speaks so I could give you a big hug...or take you undergarment shopping with me. ;) lol..

Kathy S. said...

Joy, what a wonderful role model you have in a mom. May the Lord show himself to her in deeper ways through this tribulation, and may her faith flourish through this trial and become more pure than gold.

What a beautiful tribute to her, and what a wonderful legacy she has given you.
love, Kathy

Dana said...

Oh Joy!

How blessed you are!! Your mother sounds wonderful. Your words make me wish I could start all over with my boys and be more like your mom. I am still praying for your family.

Love in Christ,

Amy L Brooke said...

Sorry I haven't been around much. But I have been praying for you.


Anonymous said...

Joy~ thinking of you today and saying a prayer for you and your has been a while since I have been in blogland...hope this finds you well.
hugs, Kim

Beth E. said...

Hi, Joy!
Just checking in on you. I've missed your posts, my friend!

How is your dad doing? Please update us when you can. :-)