It is a beautiful Spring day today, Oh I forgot to mention it is November 18, and it is 78 degrees and sunny. So I am sitting outside enjoying the weather as long as I can. As I have sat here and prayed and meditated on the word, I find myself getting nostalgic.
As you know my (Sherry) mom has been declining in her health for some time and as the days progress into winter she seems to be slipping away from us. Not physically, but her mind is getting a bit confused these days. It is like a long good bye. Each day I wake up and wonder if I will be spending it with my old mom or the new one. Now mind you, the new one is as sweet and funny as the old, but sometimes our conversations are rather basic due to her condition. I love when she is searching for a memory of some conversation we just had and she announces with a twinkle in her eye, darn that short term memory. I don't think I could handle this if her sense of humor was not intact. God is so gracious to us.
I was thinking back over our lives together. My mom was one of those moms who poured herself into her family. I was an only child and when I was 10 my dad died suddenly. I remember as a little girl how unsettling that was, but mom was a rock for me during that season of life. Even with her own pain she always had time to spend with me and take such good care of my needs. We would talk for hours about all the good times we had with Daddy and it would somehow make it seem like he was still with us. She eventually married again to a wonderful man named George who had two kids. So I went from being an only child to a middle child. Oh my what a change. But mom was always there for me and we loved our new family.
Mom always worked during the school year as a secretary, but arranged her house so she was home when we were home. And the best part she made sure she had her summers off so we could be together. We like so many families have tons of memories and most of them are good.
Mom was there for me when I had trouble at School, or was sick or when I got married and was having problems and then when our daughter was born and I knew nothing about kids, mom was there. Always with good advice and stability. And she was and is a fabulous Grandma and Great Grandma. Ask any of our 5 Grandchildren.
After mom gave her life to Christ she got even better. Her life was spent serving others and caring for those God brought across her path. She loves to evangelize even now and so no one got away without hearing the gospel at least once. She started a blog a few years ago title The Granny Grams where she continued to share what God was teaching her and also the need for each person to give their lives to Christ.
But I have realized that as mom changes, if I am not careful I look at her each day and wait for the old mom to show up and if she does not it makes me very very sad. So I said all of that to say that the Lord has shown me how important it is to do as Paul said in Philippians 3:13: Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;but one thing I do, FORGETTING WHAT LIES BEHIND and REACHING FORWARD TO WHAT LIES AHEAD, I PRESS ON TOWARD the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
As I tuck her in each night her last words to me are always, I love you and thank you for taking such good care of me. What a precious memory to add to my list of things I love about her.
So what I am learning, note I said learning, is to celebrate each day for what it is and not look back always wanting things to return to what they were yesterday or last year or farther back. This is the season God has me in and it is to be celebrated. It will not be wasted with what ifs and I wish we could go back. This is an opportunity for me to give back to mom all the love and care she gave to me for years without ever complaining. This is my opportunity to model to others how a believer in Jesus shows honor to a parent and handles difficulty. God will not give me more than I can handle. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
So as I say my long goodbye to mom I will mediate on what the Psalmist said in Psalm 33:20-22 My soul waits for the Lord; He is my help and my shield. For my heart rejoices in Him, because I trust in His holy name. Let your loving kindness, O Lord, be upon me. According as I have hoped in you.
I hope this has been an encouragement to you to look at your life and see how you are handling the season God has you.