My mom is the most amazing person I know. There is no way I could ever repay her for all that she has given me, and I am not just talking about material things.
Every parent gives their child gifts, not physical gifts, but gifts of character, personality and even habits that will last them a lifetime.
I wanted to share seven gifts that my mom gave to me, some of which she received from her mother.
1. A strong Faith
The question was never asked in my home, "Are we going to church?", it was a given. My mom faithfully serves in her local church and always encourages me to do the same.
But what made the deepest impression on me was her personal, unwavering and devoted walk with God. My mom is not embarrassed about her faith and boldly witnesses wherever she goes.
All of her Co-workers know that she is a Christian and respect her for it. Without my mom's example of her steadfast walk with God and encouragement, I would not be where I am today.
I've never once doubted my mom's love for me; it was always evident by her words and deeds. We have never once hung up a phone conversation or parted without saying "I love you" first. Something I feel that is very important. Her love for me was always a reflection and illustration of Christ's love for me.
My mom's name is "Petra", which means "Little rock"; a true reflection of her nature. She is solid in her faith, steadfast in her walk with God and true to her character. You can depend upon my mom and know that her word is to be counted on.
4. Hard work
My mom taught me the value of hard work and to be thorough in my task. You never did a so-so job when my mom was around. I am so thankful that she did; this gift has served me well throughout all of my jobs and really in every area.
My mom, though she has gone through much in her life, never became bitter but instead reached out with forgiveness. She never allowed hurt to become hate and never held a grudge.
My mom never taught me to give God 10%, it was always more. She also sought to meet the needs of those around her. I watched ,so often, my mom give from her own belongings to help someone else, never holding back. She's never worried about money to pay her bills because she knew that God would meet her needs just as he promised.
I have witnessed many people go through trials, sufferings and heartaches. Many times these people lose their ability to smile. I am very grateful that my mom never did. She never allowed her joy to be stolen from her and I am grateful that she didn't!
Just in case you're wondering, my mom is not perfect but she has, through her example and faithful walk with God, blessed me with these and many other gifts that I will cherish forever and I will seek to pass them on to my children.
I am so glad that God gave me the mom I have and I am proud to call her my friend!
I love you so much, Mom!!!
Time, it's probably one of our most valuable tools, yet there never seems to be enough of it!
I heard a friend of mine recently say that if you live to be 70 years old you will have used two and a half billion seconds! That was really surprising and very thought provoking to me personally. I am 25 years old and I thought it would be interesting to see just how many seconds I have used....to my surprise almost 800 million! My next thought is, what have I done with them? Have I wasted them on frivolous activities and things that in the end won't matter?
I came across a story once that deals with this very topic; I would like to share it with you. It's entitled “1,000 marbles”. I hope it will be a blessing to you as it was to me and very eye opening.
“The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are the most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles.” I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.
“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's 'dance recital' he continued. Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.” And that's when he began to explain his theory of a 'thousand marbles'.
“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1,000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help you get your priorities straight. Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time. It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 year old man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!”
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.
Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast.” “What brought this on?” She asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."
I realize that I am relatively young, but I want to make the most of the time the LORD has given me. I don't know if I will live past 70 or even make it to 70. The psalmist asked the LORD to teach him to number his days in Psalms 90 verse 12 and the apostle James reminds us that our life is but a vapor. I read a saying once, “Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish but you can only spend it once”.
C.T. Studd wrote a poem entitled, “Only one life, twill soon be past” which inspired the hymn, “Only one life.” I would like to close this article with the two final stanzas of this poem and this thought: I only have a short time here on earth to prepare for all eternity therefore I must be always in the center of God's will because in doing so my life will count!
Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.
Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,"Thy will be done”;
And when at last I'll hear the call,
I know I'll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.
I remember my last year of teen camp very well. I learned much there and had a wonderful time. I enjoyed many games and activities, one of which stands out vividly in my mind.
All of us girls meet in the chapel building which also doubled as a gym since it had ample space and a concrete floor. We were divided into two groups and sent to opposite sides of the room. Once there we noticed that a large grid had been made on the floor using blue masking tape. We were told that there was a path through it which we would have to find by trial and error. O, did I mention that we could not say a word(which is very hard for girls, especially a whole group!) though it was permissible to nod our heads up and down or shake it from side to side(what a relief!) Of course our team was eager to win so we were determined to stay silent! The race began and slowly we started to make our way through the invisible maze. One girl at a time made her way forward, each time she stepped into a box she looked at our leader to see if he nodded yes or no. The rest of us lined one side of the grid doing our best to guide and encourage our team mate. Over the course of the game though a strange thing happened. To those of us on the sidelines, the “path” was crystal clear but when one of us would go to take our turn something interesting occurred. After we took our first step into the grid the path, so clear before, disappeared! This happened to every girl; quickly they would look to us for guidance and help. We in return offered the help and encouragement needed to get them through. You know, I don't remember if we won or not but the principle of the game has stayed with me. What principle? In fact, what's the point of this story? Simply put, its much easier to see the truth from the outside of a problem then when your in it.
How often have we, as believers, thought “What were they thinking?!” when we saw or heard of a decision a friend of ours has made.
Let me give you an example:
There is a young girl, perhaps preparing to start college soon, and she is pregnant. This news reaches you and also that she is considering an abortion. It would be very easy for us to say, “What are you thinking?; are you crazy?; How could you ever consider such a thing!” But is that how the Master would want us to respond? I doubt it. Immediately judging someone for their wrong and forgetting to show love could easily drive them away.
It's very easy to judge someone or to give advice when they are in a trial or hardship. The obvious answer to the situation may not seem so obvious or easy to them as it is to you. When it was my turn to go through the maze, I couldn't remember the way or we could say the “truth”. I needed the help of my friends. There were pressers of time which clouded my thoughts; I was so glad for the encouragement of my friends. They were right there when I needed them; eager to help and offer their encouragement. Without them I would not have made it through.
We are to be that for our fellow believers and indeed to anyone else the Lord sends our way. Galatians 6:2 speaks of this, “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” What is the law of Christ? I believe the answer is found in John 13:34 - “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Also Galatians 5:14 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
To love is to have compassion on others and to do what's best for them. There is no room for criticism or condemnation.
Christ gave us an example of this when He dealt with the woman caught in the act of adultery. He simply told the woman to go and sin no more. There was no berating or lectures. Jesus simply and gently told her to sin no more. I believe she did just that.
What if the roles were reversed and you were found in the same situation as the young girl I mentioned earlier? Galatians 6:1 mentions this: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
We are not immuned to sin and were it not for God's grace and the influence of good friends and leaders we could be facing the same problem, sin or temptation.
The girl contemplating an abortion? Maybe we should put ourselves in her shoes and imagine what she's facing. Her parents are no doubt furious, the father of the baby is most likely no where to be found and her dreams for the future are altered drastically no matter what she chooses. Yes, what she did was wrong but we should be encouraging her and helping her to make the right choice. At this moment she is in that first box; she is unable to see the truth clearly because of all the pressure she's facing. She knows the truth but is having trouble acting upon it. That is where we, those of us on the sidelines, come along and encourage, help and strengthen her. Assist her in bearing the burden and seeking to lift the weight any way we can.
Who is to say that we can not be used of God to help guide someone through the “maze” of their problem or trial and restore their relationship with God or even bring them to a saving knowledge!
People are going to be more proned to listen and accept the advice of someone who shows that they genuinely care about them. Most of all, pray for them!
I want to be used; I want to have a compassion that makes a difference. I pray that this is the desire of all our hearts.
“And of some have compassion, making a difference:” Jude 22
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I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.