Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Deu 5:16)
Today, Friday the 12th of May, is my mother’s birthday and she is 120. She has been in Heaven 33 years. I’ll see her again, soon. She’s still here, strong. In the 1948 picture she sits on my pony, Daisy, in typical fun-loving fashion. She was at home on horses and mules. In her early years, a horse threw her off onto her head and shoulders and slowed her down for a while but that didn’t stop her. She rode side-saddle when it was the fashion and that was an unstable and insecure way to ride a horse.
We only get one mother and yours’ is the best, I know. I thought it good to share a few things about my mother as you remember your mother.
First, let’s think about the young mothers who are busy right now nursing at the breast, picking up toddlers and wiping noses and trying to soothe one with a fever or cutting teeth. Not even an office secretary confronts as much demanding detail as mothers. Then, there’s nap time and a few minutes to rest while baby rests. The toddlers need mother’s humming and singing and cooing and need pictures and reading and a good Bible story book with lots of pictures.
It takes a lot of mothering to grow a child. God bless our dear mothers who go in a run and sometimes not appreciated as they should be. You are the greatest! The most important job! And, I hope, it is the most satisfying thing you will ever do in your whole life. God bless our young mothers today who are giving their all to their God-honored profession.
I think a lot about Hannah, the mother of Samuel, and the instructions of the wise mother of King Lemuel in Proverbs 31. Mary, the mother of Jesus must have invested heavily in baby Jesus and as the song says: “when you kissed your baby, (did you know) you kissed the face of God?” It was this Mary who suffered the greatest at the foot of the cross when Jesus hung there, bearing the sins of the world. She watched as he bled and wore down and felt a solemn note of finality as Jesus, in His rationed breath handed His mother off to John, to be taken home by him.
We may look at sunsets and the beauty of spring when it drapes itself in splendorous beauty, but nothing is as grand and beautiful as a loving and faithful mother fulfilling her creative role. Many mothers must go into the workplace to help with the finances and resume their motherhood when they return home, tired.
And what of the professional women who left mothering to be a lawyer or banker and found it so empty they found a way to go back home and bear children to satisfy the deep craving for motherhood? Ah, I tell you, God knows how to make the heart and yearnings of a mother!
My mother carried me to church in her womb and I’ve been going to church ever since. Her favorite song was: “Hand in Hand With Jesus” and we sang it together. She was a productive gardener and preserver of food. She began teaching me gardening responsibilities when I was five and that dies hard. When she was peeling peaches to can, she watched me lest I eat too many and “get the scours.”
Our house had bullet holes in the dining room ceiling from the Civil War. Mother always turned the bed covers back to make sure there was no snake in the bed. She killed a rattle snake in the kitchen one morning before breakfast. She didn’t have time to call in the dog. Anyway, he and the snake would have made a mess out of the kitchen by the time it was over.
Mother learned all she could at home and makeshift schools and went to live with Grandpa Singleton in Livingston, TN who was the high sheriff. There she finished the eighth grade and got a certificate to teach school in her community school. She had studied McGuffey’s Reader and the Blue Back Speller. I later tested high school students on the speller and they did not do well. It was used through the 8th grade and was….robust!
Mother managed to subscribe to the Nashville Banner newspaper, which we received by mail. She read it through and saved the paper for wallpaper, glued to the wall with a paste of white flour and salt. You could get a new Chevy car in 1939 for $749 or deluxe for $849. I read the ad many times in the afternoon at nap time.
Mother was responsible and industrious about everything. Her wood-burning kitchen stove was a marvelous production center of country-good food at breakfast and lunch and for supper when the stove had cooled off we had left-over cornbread made with double-yoked eggs (if the hens were on the job) and Jersey cow milk brought in from the spring water box.
The depression limited our wardrobe. Mother’s Singer sewing machine was busy a lot. She was good at re-making clothes out the parts that weren’t worn out. She made my first nice suit when I was eight, out of somebody’s discarded trousers. We ate well during the depression. Our gardens knew nothing about the depression.
The mules plowed good, everybody worked hard and we ate good. Two hogs gave us all the heavy meat we needed. We had eggs and plenty of milk and butter and corn meal made from our own corn. On Sunday we had fresh fried chicken by snatching up a young rooster in the back yard. That was part of motherhood in those days. I wouldn’t swap my mama for any other mama I ever met, out of all the other good mothers that were around. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MAY 12, 2017 – FRIDAY
A.M. 2Kings 4-5 P.M. John 4:1-30
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (Luke 24:44)
Song for Today:
‘Hand in Hand With Jesus (2:43) (Gaither Group)
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