God is good!

By Lisa Baker 

Hi everyone,

Yes God is so very good isn’t He. Let me explain…

 

With everything that has happened in the last few months there are still blessings to be had. Mom has passed and I have had some tough days almost immediately. About a week later was her birthday and then Mother’s Day. It’s been a hard few months. My son and his wife are expecting and their due date was May 19th.  My daughter in law started having high blood pressure, so they admitted her to keep a close watch on her. They decided to induce.  Their sweet baby boy was born in the very early hours of Mother’s Day.  What a blessing.  

pic with baby

No way can you top Mother’s Day with anything else.  Meet my handsome and very precious grandson, Baylor.  I’m so in love! God took a holiday that would have been very tearful and gave us a brand new reason to celebrate and give thanks! In other areas, dad yet again has been sent to the ER.  He was very aggressive, kicking and punching a few residents.  The ER basically just let him sleep and did not run any tests. They sent him back to his facility.  The nurse was going to try to get him to give her a urine specimen so it could be tested for a UTI.

 

dementia picWe are still having our own ups and downs dealing with the loss of Mom.  Some days are great.  Others not so much.  I’ve had a few dreams with her in them.  I have recently gotten her life insurance in and have paid her bill at the funeral home.  I have also gone to Probate court to handle her affairs and file her will.

 

Sometimes I will get ticked off easily over little things it seems.  Thank God for my amazing husband, Carl.  Somehow he knows just what to say or do to help me out.  He is a true blessing. Then my sweet new grandbaby, Baylor, makes all seem right with the world.second pic with baby 

So now our next step will be to pick out and pay for a headstone to mark Mom’s grave. One that will have both Mom and Dad’s name on it so later all we will have to do is get dad’s date of death engraved on it. I will let you know how that goes at a later date.

death changes nothing quote

 

So until next time, make memories!

 

A Mother’s Intuition

By Marianna Boyce

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and my mind is full.  For those who have either lost their mom, or a bereaved mother that has lost a child, I cannot fathom how difficult it must be.  I pray fond memories comfort your hearts, especially this weekend.

Roses

With so many ideas, I wasn’t sure which direction to take.  Instinctively, I began writing about my amazing mom and quickly concluded this blog could not contain all the stories of her loving kindness in just one post.  She is absolutely the best!

Another fun idea was to share my motherhood blunders.  I didn’t write much before realizing I had enough material to write a novel.  As a contributor to Every Woman Blog, there are countless opportunities to share these stories in future posts.

MomAfter writing and deleting several rough drafts, a reminiscent and relative story kept finding its way to the forefront of my mind.  It’s about the day my intuitive mom revealed to me a little secret…

Soon after I married, I invited my mom and daddy over for supper on an unusually cool evening in September.  Mom taught me to cook when I lived at home, but I wasn’t up for cooking a huge meal with all the trimmings.  I made homemade vegetable soup instead.  Everyone raved how delicious it was, and they also enjoyed homemade brownies I made by reading the instructions on the back of a box (wink wink.)  Their praises made this young new bride beam with pride.

After dessert and coffee, I felt nauseous.  Breaking out in a sweat, I thought I’d up-chuck right there on my living room floor, but let not your hearts be troubled:  I thankfully made it to the bathroom just in time.  The best mom in the universe followed me down the hall to help her baby girl.  She placed a cold cloth on the back of my neck, and another one to wipe my forehead as I was hugging the porcelain throne.  I was mortified!  How horrible would it be for everyone to get food poisoning from something I lovingly cooked for them.  Luckily, no one else was sick.

I felt much better after my unfortunate episode, so mom and I tidied the kitchen.  She tried making me sit down to relax, but I stubbornly refused.  She looked at me and said, “Honey, I think you’re pregnant.  There’s something different about you, and I believe you’re going to be a new mommy.”

What was different?  How did she know?

After scheduling a doctor’s appointment, I invited my intuitive mom to accompany me for support.  It turns out she was right and knew it before anyone else.  She was truly ecstatic, and I was scared to death!  Her baby was having a baby.

BabyI was married on July 18, 1987, and my due date was April 18, 1988, exactly nine months to the day.  I am 100% positive that Cody was conceived on my honeymoon night.  There’s a comical story to share in another post how I know that for sure…

We never need a special day to honor our mothers.  We just need special mothers to honor everyday.  I’m blessed to have two.  To my mom, Mary Lee Caldwell, and mother-in-law, Eleanor Boyce, I love you both dearly.  To my amazing bonus daughter Tiffany, remember being a mom is the most difficult, yet most rewarding job a woman can ever have.  You’re a terrific mom!  Happy Mother’s Day ladies.

I’m A Mutt

By: Stacy Thompson

People like to say that a person takes on the physical or emotional embodiment of his/her dog—if that were true, at one time or another I would have been described as a stout, menacing, but sweetheart of a Rottweiler (OK, so not far off); a placid, neurotic, scared-of-everything Lab-mix (way far off); and a Cheeto-lovin’ doe-eyed, gotta-follow-you-everywhere-you-go gangly Rottie-Lab mix (yeah, well, I’m OK if you want to go into a room unattended, but I do love some Cheetos). I’ve been the happy Mom to both pure-bred pups and mixes; and although we share the same penchant for unconditional love, I can say with assurance that it ends there—but with both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in my rear view mirror, I am proud to say that I am a mutt in the best sense of the word.

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From Mom I have gained the desire to make a list and check things off, while going off-list and doing (climbing, jumping, running, hiking, venturing) beyond that which is expected. She taught me to plan ahead but to never be afraid of the unplanned, as that is where life is lived and loved. She taught me that even if you follow a guide you can pave your own path and attain more than what even you think is possible. This was a woman who upon receiving her Medicare card decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro—pretty big accomplishment, for sure, but only one adventure in her many roads and paths (stay tuned, she’s not done yet!). And most importantly, she showed me that everything is possible; and in case it’s not attained, she will always have my back!

From Dad, after my teen-year eye-rolls were done, I learned what compassion, patience and hard work can bring—not just financial security but a soulful peace and satisfaction of a job not just well-done but a job done well, for others. I learned from him that laughing at yourself can be the funniest and most stress-relieving act ever, while laughing with someone can bring the greatest joy. I inherited his corny sense of humor, terrible knees, gonna-burn-before-you-tan skin and his need/drive to help whoever and  wherever possible—not just to accomplish a task, but to create a vocation, a calling, that makes each day worth it.  And finally, I know for sure, to paraphrase his own words, “I may not know where I’m going, but I’m making good time.”

So this mutt wants to spend this post thanking the two most important people in my life—they make it fun and fabulous not only to work hard but to play hard, while enjoying each equally. Every day is a treat when they simply walk into a room, and, much like my pups, I get excited every time!

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Father’s Day from your Mutt! Love you both!

Your Struggle is Not Greater Than Your God

By: Chaunte McClure

Mothers Day

I always find it interesting when I’m invited to preach for a Mother’s Day worship service. I don’t have children, although I do have quite a few who are special to me. I accepted the invitation and when I was meditating and thinking about what my message will be on Sunday, Hannah, Elkanah’s wife, came to mind. She longed to be a mother, but was barren for many years. She prayed that God would change her situation and give her a son.

Mother’s Day is well celebrated to honor moms and maternal bonds. On Sunday, my Facebook timeline will be flooded with public statements of thanks to moms and photos of Mother’s Day gifts. Historically, that’s what typically happens; and we ought to honor mothers.

I kept thinking about the sons, daughters, moms or even husbands who are struggling. Struggling? Yes, the mom who is struggling with caring for a sick child. The child who is struggling because mom is deceased, ill, absent, unattached or unavailable. The mom who has lost a child or whose child has made poor choices. The husband whose wife, the mother of his children, is no longer here. What is the message for those parishioners with these struggles? Here’s what came to mind: The struggle is not greater than your God. It’s a message that is relevant even for the mom who doesn’t have any of the aforementioned issues because the demands of motherhood alone are sometimes a struggle.

Hannah’s story exemplifies hope in the struggle, strength in faith, and the power to overcome affliction. This Mother’s Day, it is my prayer that the principles and applications gleaned from Hannah’s story will offer hope and encouragement to anyone who might be facing difficulty. Read Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel and remember, your struggle is not greater than your God.

Mother’s Day Lessons

Here at The Every Woman Blog, we wanted to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to the women who have made us who we are today. To celebrate our mothers and thank peoniesthem for all they have done for us, the Every Woman Bloggers shared the most valuable lessons they learned from their moms.

Elizabeth: I think the most important lesson I learned from my mom is the power of positive thinking. She’s always said we should focus on what we want, not on what we don’t want. It’s more than mere optimism; it’s knowing, BELIEVING that we will get the positive result we want.

Katie: I learned a lot from my mom over the years but what stands out most are the following lessons:

  • Do what makes you happy. Only you know what that is.
  • Family will always be there for you, no matter what.
  • Anything is possible as long as you believe it’s possible.
  • And the most important lesson of all, every day is a walk in faith and everything happens for a reason.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today and wouldn’t have made it through my cancer battle without my mom. She, along with Mike’s mom, kept me focused, believing that better days were ahead even when I was losing hope. Love you mom!

Brady: Not only is it okay to be different, it is GOOD to be different.

Shannon: I have learned so many valuable lessons from my mother. My amazing mother has taught me the importance of using and sharing my talents. Through incredible example, my mother has shown me how much joy one can bring to others by sharing their God-given talents. I have watched her share her musical talents and fill a room with such love, joy and passion. To truly touch and inspire others is such a gift! I can only hope that my life will include opportunities to share my own talents.

Crissie: I learned so much from my mom. Much of it, I didn’t realize I had learned until I was older, as is often the case. It’s nearly impossible to pick the most important thing she taught me. Most of what I am most grateful for are the lessons I learned from her about being a mom, none of which came in the form of “advice” from her, but came from simply watching her and remembering how she handled many different situations while I was growing up.

She gave us freedom and let us grow. She watched, safely from a distance, never really sheltering us, but being close enough to help if we fell, both figuratively and literally. She still does this today with me, although she’s a bit more sheltering of her grandchildren. I think of my mom as I watch my two little boys climb high into our magnolia tree. I hear their laughter and see their happy faces, all while I am silently praying that they don’t fall, but knowing the experience and memories will last them a lifetime.

Another important lesson I learned from my mom is to not be late for anything. Ever. Especially church. While I have tried my best to apply this and, for many years, was able to put this into practice, admittedly, I am not as early as I used to be, though I do try to still be punctual. Especially to church.

Lastly, perseverance. I’ve watched my mom struggle through a number of heath issues in her life, but never shirk her duties in regards to her family or her job. No matter what she was going through, she never gave up. While I don’t know if I’m as strong as she, I do try to persevere and, even when I’ve had trying times, and have felt like crawling under a rock, I remember that there are responsibilities that must be taken care of.

I’m so grateful to God for another Mother’s Day with my mom!

What are some of the most valuable lessons you learned from your mother? 

Flex Your Muscles

By: Lara Winburn

With the approaching Mother’s Day weekend, I know there is a lot of talk about how there is no greater love than a mother’s love. There are probably Hallmark cards and Publix commercials that could make me weep. I love all of that sappy stuff and gifts made with Mother's Dayhandprints. But I think Mother’s Day is also about some fiercely strong women.

Think about it. For me, the mom strength started early in pregnancy. I threw up every day I was pregnant – even the day my daughter was born. I could puke, brush my teeth, smack on some lip gloss and get back to work. Not to toot my own horn, but I was a bad mamma-jamma. I watch moms tote those leaden car seats, which we affectionately call “buckets” at our house, not to mention the diaper bag, pocket book, and breast pump they might have in their other hand. As our kids become toddlers, there is the physical strength of carrying a flailing 35-pounder that does not want to get in the car because the sky is blue and you chose the wrong color sippy cup. I am telling you that requires super human strength.

Then, there is the strength of restraint. When you hear a playmate say something like, “Let’s not play with so-and-so today.” And it takes everything you have not to tell said playmate that you are so-and-so’s mother and so-and-so is the most wonderful, kind precious child in all the world. There is restraint when you know that a good mother would discipline the child that has discovered a word like “shut up” and you bite your lip not too laugh because even though it is not a nice word, out of a toddler mouth in rapid fire succession, it IS funny!

Letting go also takes strength. I was recently talking to a new mom and we were discussing those first days of dropping a tiny baby off at daycare. There is strength in trusting caretakers with your most precious gift. My daughter recently wanted to sit with her friends at a play and not with me. It took strength for me to wave as she proudly sat a few rows back and beamed with independence. (Luckily, she returned to sit with me because I “had better seats.”) I can only imagine the strength it will take to let them go to kindergarten, their first sleep over, or GULP…..college.

So moms everywhere, I hope this Mother’s Day you feel special and loved, but I also hope you flex your muscles and feel strong.

Redefined, And I’m Good with It

By: Sherree Thompson

Mother's Day

As Mother’s Day was approaching, I was asked several people what I wanted for my special day. I thought quite hard on the matter. What did I want? Hmm.  Well, a number of normal things ran through my head…maybe a piece of jewelry, or a massage, or just a simple morning of sleeping in. All of that sounded just grand to me, yet that’s not really what I wanted. Actually, I didn’t want anything – nothing material, anyway.

What would really make me happy is to see the sweetness in my daughter’s heart. To share her voluntarily share her treat with her brother. To see my son studying how crickets hop and how his mind processes that action. To see my husband with our babies, helping to heal an imaginary “boo-boo.” These are the things that fill my heart with such joy. These are the things that make all the sleep deprivation, deliriousness and the redefining of me worth it.

I think for me the hardest one of those hurdles was the “redefining of me.” I was driving Jesse to school the other morning when I looked into the car next to me. The lady was so well put together, hair done, clothes on straight and her car so soooo clean. That’s when I thought, “That used to be me.” For a minute I started down the road of “Wow, I’ve really let myself go,” but then I caught a glimpse of my sweet babies in the rearview mirror. That sweet glimpse made me realize that it’s not about what I used to be, who I was or what job I held. I was no longer defined by those bullet points. I have been chosen to be the mother of these very special beings in the backseat. There are no earning manuals or guidelines written in black ink for this job.

Without those guidelines, I have compared myself to others. I have looked at other mothers and their journeys for guidance. I have fallen short of what I thought was normal so many times. I thought the house had to be picture perfect, kids dressed to impress all day every day, as well as a number of other things. Here is the kicker: When I do that, I have found I’m trying to keep up. Keep up instead of living the way God wants me to.

Yes, my car is a mess with drip marks from random juice boxes. Yes, I am late to almost every appointment. Yes, I do envy those who get to shower daily. It’s easy to get sucked into the cycle of wanting to be who I was and have the things I had. But it is also very, very easy for me to look at what I have been given in place of those things.  I would never change the magical gift that has been given to me by God.

Being defined as my children’s mother is one of the best compliments anyone can give me. I hope you spent this Mother’s Day thinking remembering the person you used to be and loving the person you have become, a mother.