Some of my favorite memories from childhood - and I have lots of them, Lord - are the times I had earaches - I had lots of them, too. That was before the days of putting tubes in children's ears. It isn't the pain I enjoy remembering. It is the memory of sitting on Mama's lap in a squeaky old vinyl covered rocking chair. She'd iron a towel to get it warm, fold it and lay it on her shoulder. Then I'd lay whichever ear was hurting on the warm towel. She'd hold me, rock me, and sing hymns to me. I don't think that process ever really helped my ears, but it sure helped my heart and my soul.
Thank you, Lord, for my Mama. You, and I, and she, all know she was a long way from the perfect mother. She wouldn't measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman. But she has some wonderful traits and philosophies that she has passed on to me and my sisters. By her positive example she taught us some good things, and by her mistakes, some things to avoid.
She showed me how to live generously by sharing what we had with other people - even our family itself. I think we always had company at our table and wounded people in need of refuge in our home. She taught me to open my heart to people in pain.
She taught me to care for the poor by giving to who were poor. She taught me to comfort people who mourn by taking me to funerals and by being among the first to minister to the physical needs of those who grieved. She has taught me compassion by tirelessly caring for those who were ill.
Mama taught me to love church by taking me there and by going with me.
She taught me the joy and the wisdom of holding children, touching them, hugging them, rocking them, soothing them when they are hurt or sick. She has taught me to give, and give, and give to them.
She taught me to have fun and laugh by finding any excuse she could to have a party.
Yes, there are things I learned from her that I should NOT do, should NOT be. But I choose to dwell on the positive things she has taught me. Thank you, God, for my Mama's example.
No one has a perfect mother. That's because you are all fallen people born with a natural inclination to sin. It takes deliberate effort to live positively. It takes effort to be a great parent, a great husband or wife, a great sibling, a great friend, a great son or daughter. Now you're the mama. You're the grandma. What are you passing on to your children?