Yesterday, I was standing in the line at Stop ‘N Shop, paying my bill, and heard myself asking the cashier if she would wait until I checked to see if I had change. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have been in stores behind people (mostly seniors, of which now I am one) or worse yet, my own mother, while they carefully emptied the contents of a change purse on the register belt and counted out the exact change. My words to my mom were always something like, “Just give her an extra dollar so we can get going.” My mom would give me this sweet smile and tell me, “Don’t be in such a hurry. I want to get rid of some of this change.”
So as I am walking out of the store, very pleased with myself, might I say, for “getting rid of some of my change,” my mom’s words came to mind and I stopped short, thinking out loud, “I have become my mother.”
Now there would have been a time in my life when I might not have been totally pleased about that. But I am older – and perhaps wiser – now and as I look back at my mom and my relationship with her, I realize that becoming like my mother is truly one of the best things that could ever happen to me.
I was always close to her, but after my dad died and she was left alone, I grew even closer as I spent more time with her, driving her wherever she needed to go (she never learned to drive after she ran through a fence and killed a cow on her first – and only – driving lesson), or helping her with housework she couldn’t quite manage any more, or just sitting with her after dinner perhaps watching “Jeopardy” or “Wheel of Fortune” and talking about the day’s activities.
My mom loved the Lord and had a very simple, but strong and deep, faith that whatever God sent her way she would deal with it through His power in her life, whether it was losing my dad after 62 years of marriage, or developing several types of cancer, or just growing older and becoming more limited in what she could do. Oh, there were times when I’d come home to find the stepladder out and ask her what she thought she was doing. I’d get that same little smile (from the cash register discussions) and she’d say, “I think I can still paint if you’ll watch the ladder.” She knew she had limitations but tried to keep going – at something – as long as she could. She was a card writer and sent many, many notes of encouragement to her friends sharing what God was doing in her life. And when the time came that she knew her earthly time was coming to an end, she left it with the Lord and said that she was ready to go home whenever He was ready for her.
Proverbs 3:5-6 were her life verses, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
Her favorite hymn was “Day by Day,” and she truly did “find strength to meet [her] trials here.” So as I think about my mom and her Christian life, I hope I do find, more and more, that I am becoming my mother. Her faith and trust in her Savior and uncomplaining spirit are things I pray God will create in me as I put Proverbs 3:5-6 into practice in my own life.
Written by Lynn Randall: Lynn is the Director of Human Resources at America’s KESWICK. She is active in her church and is a gifted planner and organizer. She has a real heart for people as evidenced by her care, concern and practical encouragement.