Do you remember sitting around the table when you were a kid, listening to the adults telling and retelling old family stories, laughing and reminiscing? Maybe you weren’t that kid...I was. I always loved hearing the stories...I still do... What is it about family reunions, Christmas gatherings, birthday celebrations that make us want to crack open the photo books, reminisce and share old stories? Memories of days gone by...I love listening to people’s stories. I think...no, I know I get this from my mom. It’s my sweet Momma’s birthday and as always, I have to share a story or two...It’s this thing I do...you too?
Oh yay! I’m glad I’m not the only one! Like I said, I know this is where I get my love for stories. She has shared many times that she was that kid too…that kid that would hang out with the adults, listening to their tales instead of running around with her sister, cousins or friends. I have so many childhood memories of visiting family and listening to the greats and grands share their adventures of days gone by, retelling stories of those I had never met yet who had so much to do with the fact that I was there in that room and at that table. I have so many memories of Mom and later my Daddy loading us up in the car and traveling North, South, East, and West to go visit family. Memories of her sitting at the table with our kinfolk listening and learning over a cup of coffee. Coffee and sharing stories...Darren and I were having a quiet little Christmas dinner the other day with my parents when I asked what their favorite childhood Christmas memories were...oh the stories! I love hearing the ones I’ve heard a thousand times, but when I get to hear one that I don’t recall hearing before...so sweet, so special... I found myself doing what I’ve watched her do so many times...take time to ask a question, then listen and learn.
Another favorite of mine…My Mom has always had the knack to turn trash into treasure, what others would see as useless she could find a way to make it useful. We give her a hard time about this😂 bless her heart! When I was young and it was just the three of us - Jerry Lynn, myself and Momma - we were living in a small two-bedroom house which meant my brother and I had to share a room. She had been given two metal twin beds and decided that she would refinish them and turn them into a bunk bed so that we would have more floor space to play. I remember her working on this project out in the carport painting, refinishing, and repurposing. I love this about her! When Darren & I were first married, I put a simple little daybed together for our spare bedroom. I remember feeling accomplished and quite proud of myself, but then thinking back on how she worked days to turn those two heavy metal beds into a bunk bed for me and my brother. I’m not sure how she did it by herself… I can be quite handy and resourceful, and although I’ve had lots of influences in this area, my mind always goes back to watching my mom in that carport making something useful and special out of things no one else wanted. She has that gift with people too; taking the time to engage in conversation with people that most would pass by and overlook.
Perhaps the thing I love most about my mom is her love for the Lord and His Word. I love how she will somehow find a way to share the gospel, the Good News, in the shortest of conversations, even with perfect strangers. I remember as a young teenager and even as a young adult seeking my mom’s advice and how she would always point me to God’s Word. And, I am ashamed to admit, I remember on more than one occasion telling her, “I don’t want to know what God thinks about this, I want to know what you think.” Thank goodness for HIS grace and mercy! She will be the first to tell you that she’s not perfect, and that she has made so many mistakes. She will be the first to admit that she sometimes lets her passion, independence, temperament…get the best of her. She has never been too proud to apologize. Even as a kiddo, I remember her coming to me to say, “I’m sorry.” Once, when I was in my early teens, she came to my room, brushed my bangs back behind my ear with her fingers, took my face in her hands and with a quivering chin apologized…if I remember correctly, I had some apologizing to do myself. I’ll never forget something she said to me, “just when I figure out how to raise a thirteen-year-old, you up and turn fourteen. I know you’re trying to figure it all out, but please know, I’m trying to figure it out too.” Goodness…mothers and daughters…LOL! We’ve had our moments, but in the end, there is always Grace, Love, and Jesus. I am so thankful!
It’s been a tough couple of years for my sweet momma…tough for all of us, with my dad’s declining health and the loss of my brother Jerry Lynn last summer…no momma should ever lose a child…TOUGH! But then there is always Grace, Love, and Jesus…the “Blessed Assurance.” The gift and love of story, the gift of making old worn out things new and useful, the gift of being able to see past the surface to the beauty within, the gift of sharing the love of Christ…these are just some of the beautiful gifts my mom has in her pockets of life…beautiful gifts she so freely shares with those who cross her path…beautiful gifts she has passed down to me. I am so thankful.
Happy Birthday Momma! I love you dearly!!!
I am a simple and ordinary girl who loves to share meaningful stories about the extraordinary people and blessings, the sweet everyday happenings that make me smile. I hope you all have a beautiful day!