Mother’s Day Without Mothers

What’s a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips?

What’s a halloween party without a costume?

What’s hanging mistletoe without someone to kiss?

And what on earth is Mother’s Day when your mom isn’t here anymore to celebrate?

I know that I can still celebrate her legacy and her life, even though she is in Glory-but it’s not the same, you know? I want to get her a gift. I want to write her a card. I want her arms to wrap around me in a tight embrace that is better than any other hug I’ve known.

I know and believe truth. I know and believe she is in a better place, that God has purpose for all the pain, that he took her at the perfect time-though I don’t understand why. I know how fortunate I am to have had her in my life for 28 years and how grateful I am for all God did in and through her.

But it still sucks.

It hurts.

It’s sad.

I don’t like it.

So this motherless, Mother’s Day, I am going to feel the incredible weight of that sadness, with the soothing peace of that truth. I am probably going to cry, and that is sooooooo okay.

But, because of my faith in Jesus, I am not going to stop there. I want to be what he would want me to be. I want to have his heart. So I am going to pray to be used on Mother’s Day. I am going to pray that God puts on my heart and mind, other people who need encouragement or love that day. Mothers with children who are not emotionally healthy enough appreciate them the way they deserve to be appreciated. Mothers with children who are not older enough to understand the constant sacrifices they are making. And mothers who are mothers and grandmothers themselves, who, though months or years have passed, will still be feeling the still of missing their own moms.

Join me in aiming to love these women well, and let me know if you have any thoughts on Motherless Mother’s Day ❤ 

With Tears of Heartache & Gratitude for the Gospel,

Betty

Birthday Reflection Poem

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Today is my dad’s birthday.

And it kind of makes me want to cry.

He is such a precious gift to me.

And I am so glad that he’s alive.

 

Mom gracefully left the pain of this world,

and went Home 160 days ago.

It’s dad’s first birthday without her.

And he’s missing her fiercely, I know.

 

But he never complains, never questions,

On Christ the solid rock he stands.

He trusts God’s goodness and timing

Even in the darkest of lowlands.

 

He teaches and taught us kids & countless others

to laugh through tears,

To love through heartbreak,

And to serve constantly and creatively year over year.

 

What unconditional love looks like.

What commitment to the Church looks like.

What selflessness and humility looks like.

What a really clean kitchen looks like.

 

His gentle and patient responses

have molded me to see

the wisdom of being slow to anger,

and apologizing when you’re wrong-immediately.

 

Mom went Home-

“At the perfect time” says my faith-gently and with love.

“But so early” my heart mutters as it chokes back tears indicative of

The solemn reality that I am not guaranteed

any days in this life.

 

 

And so I treasure each one.

Each day, each sweet relationship

Knowing even this difficult side of eternity

is a gift worthy of rejoicing and worship.

 

Knowing God gave my dad to me,

Is something I’m grateful for-staggeringly!

He’s a comedian, a supporter, a prayer warrior and guide.

He’s a confidant, wonderfully nonchalant-knowing God is by his side. 

 

Today is my dad’s birthday.

And it kind of makes me want to cry.

He is such a precious gift to me.

And I am so glad that he’s alive.

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Quotes for the Afflicted

Though it may feel impossible today-the truth is that THROUGH CHRIST you are able to bear the burden in front of you right now. And my prayer is that in the midst of a good things being “robbed” from our lives-that the amazing gift of being God’s beloved becomes a consuming comfort and treasure.

“Indeed, our afflictions may be heavy, and we cry out, Oh, we cannot bear them, we cannot bear such an affliction. Though you cannot tell how to bear it with your own strength, yet how can you tell what you will do with the strength of Jesus Christ? You say you cannot bear it? So you think that Christ could not bear it? But if Christ could bear it why may you not come to bear it? You will say, Can I have the strength of Christ? Yes, it is made over to you by faith: the Scripture says that the Lord is our strength, God himself is our strength, and Christ is our strength. There are many Scriptures to that effect, that Christ’s strength is yours, made over to you, so that you may be able to bear whatever lies upon you,

Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

“Christian, how did you enjoy comfort before? Was the creature anything to you but a conduit, a pipe, that conveyed God’s goodness to you? ‘The pipe is cut off,’ says God, ‘come to me, the fountain, and drink immediately.’ Though the beams are taken away, yet the sun remains the same in the firmament as ever it was.”

Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

Love,

Betty

For Those Troubled & Distressed

A dear friend sent me this Puritan Prayer while I was in the hospital. I have come back to it time and time again, and I hope it blesses you the way it has blessed me.

“O God, most high, most glorious, the thought of Your infinite serenity cheers me,

for I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed, but You are for ever at perfect peace. Your designs cause You no fear or care of unfulfilment, they stand fast as the eternal hills. Your power knows no bond, Your goodness no stint. You bring order out of confusion, and my defeats are Your victories: The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

I come to You as a sinner with cares and sorrows, to leave every concern entirely to You, every sin calling for Christ’s precious blood; revive deep spirituality in my heart; let me live near to the great Shepherd, hear His voice, know its tones, follow its calls. Keep me from deception by causing me to abide in the truth, from harm by helping me to walk in the power of the Spirit. Give me intenser faith in the eternal verities, burning into me by experience the things I know; Let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel, that I may bear its reproach, vindicate it, see Jesus as its essence, know in it the power of the Spirit.

Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill; unbelief mars my confidence, sin makes me forget You. Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots; grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to You, that all else is trifling. Your presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy. Abide in me, gracious God.”

Love,

Betty

 

Two Spurgeon Quotes For Sufferers

I was surprised at the Passion Conference I attended earlier this week, with how much the speakers taught on suffering. They prayed we would thank God, and even one day cherish “the nightmare” he allows in our lives. Thinking about that [difficult] concept brought these two quotes to mind. I pray they bless you, and that God gives us eyes to see!

“I bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had have turned out to be my best days. And when God has seemed most cruel to me he has then been most kind. If there is anything in this world for which I would bless him more than for anything else it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things the richest tenderest love has been manifested to me. Our Father’s wagons rumble most heavily when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of his grace. Love letters from heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes. The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy. Fear not the storm. It brings healing in its wings and when Jesus is with you in the vessel the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.” ―C. H. Spurgeon

“No stars gleam as brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky. No water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand. And no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs through adversity. Tested faith brings experience. You would never have believed your own weakness had you not needed to pass through trials. And you would never have known God’s strength had His strength not been needed to carry you through.”
― C.H. Spurgeon