Today I write my blog in memory of my Mom and the beautiful legacy she left.
It was always a comfort just hearing Mom’s voice and the wisdom she had – I so miss that! Words of wisdom like; “You don’t have to look far to see people with worse problems than you have, dear.” There is good in everyone”, Keep your chin up”, “They wouldn’t tease you if they didn’t love you.”
Mom was in her 80’s when she was an honorary member of the craft center. After her and Dad retired from farming she was determined to keep her hands busy. Despite the pain and numbness of arthritic hands she did; upholstering, sewings, huck weaving, twilling, tin punching, glass etching, pine cone crafts, leathercraft, beaded embroidering, macramé, needlepoint, lace net darning, knitting, crocheting, making padded picture frames, crewel, black work, pillowcase dolls, rosemaling, grapunto, chair canning, making silk flowers, draping wise men, basket weaving, wheat weaving, corn husk dolls, quilting, pressed star in hop, raised point star in hoop. She was most known for her leathercraft teaching students for 50 years.
We are created by a creative God and he gives us each that gift of creativity that allows us to see the good and see the new possibilities. I survived the years of caring for my sick children by escaping into being creative whether it would be reading, writing, arts and crafts, or gardening.
My Mom was a teacher before she had six children. She shared her talents and gifts all her life. Even in the Assisted Living she lived she was called on to lead activities. She entertained the residents with stories of her life that they could also relate to. When she was in her 90’s she learned how to use a computer and recorded a lot of her life stories and family recipes.
She cooked for our large family with recent visitors especially during making hay time. Everyone expected her famous poppy seed cake at a family get together. We still have it in her memory.
Mom shared her memories of attending a Welsh church and sitting as a family in their box pew. I heard stories about some of our furniture that came from Wales. We were told, “You kids be careful by that old clock that came way from Wales!” We weren’t and it fell over one day
I remember sitting between my parents and grandparents at Gymanfa Ganus (Welsh Hymn sings). The Welsh are known for their rich rich music tradition. I love knowing I have ancestors from Wales and wonder about them and the legacy of faith that has been brought to me.
Mom loved her family and loved to have us next to her in church. The loving nurturing and memories I have as a child were what made me want to be a wife and a mother when I grew up.
My Mom’s life exemplified the Proverbs 31 woman. Her eyes radiated the love of our Heavenly Father in all she did.
The Message Version Proverbs 31:11
A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises. She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day. She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden. First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking. She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor. She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks. Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers. She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops. Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile. When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly. She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise: “Many women have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them all!” Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God. Give her everything she deserves!
Spring and fall housecleaning was a must when I was a child. One day cleaning the cupboards that was full of antique dishes, I thought how much she treasures these antiques. “Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19 (NIV) I wondered, Lord, are we not to treasure family heirlooms? As we worked, I enjoyed hearing the stories behind the old depression glass of the 1920s-1940s. I learned they were given as promotional items to retain loyal customers during the recession.
My grandma’s ruby dish was carefully washed and put away. One dish struck my interest and Mom told me it was given to her from an estate of a lady she used to help. My Mom was a server, always helping others. The Lord showed me instead of antiques these dishes were my Mom’s trophies, she earned through a life of servings others. My mothers example to me was as Christ’s humility.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
One week before Mom turned 100 the Lord called her to share in His glory! She had many trophies from this life to lay down at the feet of Jesus.
I have some of these earthly antiques pieces in my buffet in memory of her. The most important is the treasures I carry in my heart- the things my mother instilled in me. “Don’t quit” – the attitude of keep on keeping on!
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for the mother you choose for me! I pray I can be a servant like her to others doing nothing out of selfish motives or ungodly incentives. I pray I carry on a Godly legacy to my loved ones. “For I would have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
1 John 1:4 NIV
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