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With Mother’s Day this Sunday, here are a few quotes I have enjoyed on the subject of motherhood. Both as a mother of six children, three of which are grown, two of which are nearly grown, and a preschooler (!), and as a grandmother of two (the second one is to arrive, Lord willing, in September), and also as a daughter, I have many thoughts on the topic of motherhood that are touched on by these quotes.
One good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters. - George Herbert
I long to put the experience of fifty years at once into your young lives, to give you at once the key of that treasure chamber every gem of which has cost me tears and struggles and prayers, but you must work for these inward treasures yourselves. - Harriet Beecher Stowe
My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.” ― Jodi Picoult
I know enough to know that no woman should ever marry a man who hated his mother. ― Martha Gellhorn
All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. ― Abraham Lincoln
A daughter without her mother is a woman broken. It is a loss that turns to arthritis and settles deep into her bones. ― Kristin Hannah
Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest. ― Debra Ginsberg
Mother, I love you so, said the child. I love you more than I know. She laid her head on her mother’s arm, and the love between them kept them warm. – Stevie Smith
Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.” ― Ambrose Bierce
Mothers can forgive anything! Tell me all, and be sure that I will never let you go, though the whole world should turn from you. ― Louisa May Alcott, Jo’s Boys
Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have seven children and only one theory: love them, especially when they least deserve to be loved. ― Kate Samperi
Gilbert put his arm about them. ‘Oh, you mothers!’ he said. ‘You mothers! God knew what He was about when He made you. ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams
This is what we do, my mother’s life said. We find ourselves in the sacrifices we make. ― Cammie McGovern
The clocks were striking midnight and the rooms were very still as a figure glided quietly from bed to bed, smoothing a coverlet here, settling a pillow there, and pausing to look long and tenderly at each unconscious face, to kiss each with lips that mutely blessed, and to pray the fervent prayers which only mothers utter. ― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom. – Henry Ward Beecher
Most all other beautiful things in life come come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, but only one mother in the whole world. – Kate Douglas Wiggin
The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. – Honore de Blazac
A man never sees all that his mother has been to him until it’s too late to let her know he sees it. – William Dean Howells
No matter how old a mother is, she still watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement. – Florida Scott Maxwell
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces that she never did care for pie. – Tenneva Jordan
A mom holds the hands of her children for a little while but holds their hearts forever. – Author unknown
This is the Hope Blog, and in coming days I intend to share more of the wonderful and hopeful things I come across. A woman’s story at Live Action is so beautiful and simply put. She had multiple abortions and was living in despair, ready to take her own life. Then God did an amazing thing. The abortion worker at the clinic where she was about to kill yet another baby intervened in a stunning way.
You can read the woman’s story here. Please share it with anyone who may need to know that God can heal and forgive women in the wake of abortions.
Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendor,
First begotten from the dead,
Thou alone, our strong Defender,
Liftest up Thy people’s head.
Jesu, true and living Bread!
Here our humblest homage pay we,
Here in loving reverence bow;
Here for faith’s discernment pray we,
Lest we fail to know Thee now.
You are here, we ask not how.
Paschal Lamb, Thine offering, finished
Once for all when Thou wast slain,
In its fullness undiminished
Shall forevermore remain.
Cleansing souls from every stain.
Life imparting heavenly Manna,
Smitten Rock with streaming side,
Heaven and earth with loud hosanna
Worship Thee, the Lamb Who died.
Risen, ascended, glorified!
Once in a while, Tom and I stop off at antique malls to just look around. Looking at the bits and pieces of living from the past tends to put time in perspective. Most poignant to me are baby things. Baby shoes, in particular, hold an attraction. Many times I have held up an old, worn pair and wondered about the baby who once wore them. Running a finger on the little scuff marks on the bottom made by feet long gone, I wonder, who was the child? What did they become? Who was the mother who once loved that baby?
The other day, Emmy was not able to sleep during nap time. She has never been a napper, but I make her stay quiet for an hour in the afternoons to give me a break and to see if she might fall off to sleep for a little while. She was restless on my bed, so I scooped her up (not easy these days as she is so big.) “I just want to rock you for a little while,” I told her. So she buried her head in my neck like the old days when she was smaller, and I stroked her hair, and we just rocked for a time while the world went by. I glanced over at my bookshelf next to the chair and saw the title of an old book I have called, Tarry a While. How fitting, I thought.
Babyhood becomes a distant memory so quickly. Emily will be four soon. Baby days are gone. The tighter you try to hang on to those days, it seems the faster they flee. Every season I pack away little clothes that will never be worn again, shoes that will never fit her feet. Wasn’t it yesterday I held her miniature feet in the NICU and wondered if they would ever be large enough to walk on?
Wasn’t it yesterday I held my first baby’s feet and marveled at how small they were? That was 26 years ago on April 14.
I get stressed out meeting the need of the moment, feeling exasperated at this or that with a preschooler’s constant chatter. But then I remember that it’s all over so quickly.
Sometimes we moms get so busy with the demands of life that we fail to notice how fast all our children are growing. Now I’m watching it happen with my little grandson who is growing so fast, getting ready to walk before we know it. This fall, we will have a second grandbaby!
Don’t rush growing up, Emmy. I’m not young, I’m not wishing you to the next phase. It will come fast enough. Today is precious. This hour is precious. Tarry a while, little girl.
Emmy put together her outfit for the photo. Her now tattered tutu has had much use. She is wearing what she calls her “Shirley Dimple” shoes. I can’t bring myself to tell her it’s “Shirley Temple” not “Dimple.” There’s time enough. These fleeting moments are so precious with our children. We have to savor them while we can.
I’ve seen some great posts in the last few days about Valentine’s Day, love, romance, and so forth. The common theme is that lasting love is ultimately not about pink hearts and cupids and romance. It’s about commitment and faithfulness and walking through all that life brings with someone who loves you unconditionally. It’s an important point to make, particularly in an age of media entertainment that portrays love as a feeling or a buzz or attraction to someone’s physical features alone.
But lest true love sound to young people like it’s nothing but slogging through life, fighting life’s battles without a single moment of romance or a solitary skip of the heart, let me say it doesn’t have to be that way. The truth is that my husband of nearly 18 years still makes my heart glad whenever I see him. On the rare occasions when we’re able to plan an actual date, I still look forward to it more than ever.
Tom recently came home after playing a wedding. When he walked into the room, it took me back 19 years to one of our first dates. Way back in late 1994, we went out for hot chocolate on a snowy night before Christmas. He had just played a wedding that night also and was wearing a dark suit and crisp white shirt. No time at all had elapsed suddenly. Same wonderful man. Same twinkly brown eyes. Same Tom. Same love.
What creates that gladness in my heart is the constant kindness, consideration and selflessness my husband shows. How could any normal woman not respond in kind to that kind of love? When a man sets the tone for marriage by caring for the wife he married, a woman can rest in that and trust him with her well-being, and that spark of gladness never has to die out.
So the truth is, cupids and hearts and real, committed love aren’t mutually exclusive. We may have more lines on our faces from the passing years, but I still fall in love with Tom Schlueter every time I see him. For me, as Snow White summed it up so well, “There’s nobody like him, anywhere at all!”
P.S. Emmy and Mary are making a heart-shaped cake for their dad. Chocolate cake, pink frosting. But it’s a surprise…
We had the supreme pleasure of babysitting for our grandson, Peter Samuel, this weekend. Aunt Mary and Auntie Emmy were able assistants. Uncle Will also had fun, and even Uncle Jonathan stopped by to spend some time with Peter. So far, Grandpa Tom wins the prize from Peter. He really likes Tom. Then again, anybody with any sense would!
P.S. This is my blog, so Grandma’s brag photos must now be endured.
You know what is missing from those who call themselves Christians? There is more than one right answer. But after seeing the inside of ministries, seeing what goes on among so many who defend “truth”, experiencing the hatred, malice and slander of those closest to us, I think the biggest answer is love.
Many things are more important to Christians than love: image, fear, territory, causes, finances, free goodies being handed out. The nightmare we have lived is a case study in the absence of love. My husband, who is the most loving man I have ever known, said to me the other night, “Know what has been missing from this scene? People with love in their hearts for us.” And Tom was right. There is nothing that has happened that could not be solved, healed and forgiven if there was love for truth and love for us. There simply is none from the leadership at VCY.
We have had love from others outside VCY America who have seen what has happened—love from those who know who Tom and I really are, not the ugly caricatures painted by others for their own protection. Thank you to the loving friends God has put in our lives. We’re richly blessed by you, and that is what helps us to keep going, past all of this.
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~ John 13:35
We often scorn little things in our lives, the mundane, the seemingly worthless things we do, day in and day out. The cleaning of a kitchen or bathroom, the changing of a diaper on a baby, shopping for groceries. Yet no act is meaningless when it is done in love.
As we often need to “preach to ourselves”, I re-read it today and was reminded of Christ’s example. Jesus, in his own words, told us He is “gentle and humble in heart.” He got on his knees to wash the feet of the disciples, setting the ultimate example of what it is to follow him. A little thing, yet of the most profound importance.
I hope this re-post encourages all reading it today that the small and unimportant things we often do, whether for husband, or children, or co-workers, or even the pets in our care, is never a wasted act.