Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Mom

My mom died Christmas day in the year 2000.  Though she is gone from the earth, I continue to learn from her.  Strangely enough, I’ve been thinking about her funeral.  There was a gigantic picture of her family displayed in the front of the parlor.  My brother Richard officiated the service and drew everyone’s attention to the picture as my mother’s “Magnum Opus,” which translates into Great Work.  This is what she gave her life to!  She was steady in a shifting world.  Richard talked about how she raised 10 children on a single income of a mill worker; how she taught us all that liberty is the freedom to do good, not a license to do evil; she held tightly to the 10 Commandments, the Lord’s prayer and the Apostle’s Creed and tried to teach us all to do likewise; she lived in a complexity of relationships and responsibilities including her husband, 10 living children, the memory of her departed son, her siblings, her parents, her neighbors, and her parishioners; she was amazing at the daily task of stretching pennies into dollars in a frugal but not miserly way; she had the reputation of praying for every child and grandchild by name every day.  I'm the youngest of the eleven children she gave birth to...she was tired by the time I came (go figure!), and I sadly grew up resenting that, but looking back I give thanks to God for my mother who gave everything she had left to give to raise me.  By God's grace, I am a part of my mother's Magnum Opus.   And by God's grace, our relationship in the latter years of her life were very sweet.

God has prepared good works for me to walk in...I do not know in advance all of what that will entail in the time He grants me on earth, but I do know HIM.  I love Jesus and want to follow wherever He leads me.  And whatever the picture of my life will display when loved ones gather to say their good-byes as my body is laid in the ground, I know right now without a doubt WHO I want my life's work to magnify.  I want more than anything to see Jesus face to face and to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.  Enter into the joy of your Lord."  THAT goal is foundational to the choices I make...and all those choices will play into what the portrait of my life will be.  

One of the simple chorus type songs we sing as a family has these lyrics:
Fill my cup, let it overflow
Fill my cup, let it overflow
Fill my cup, let it overflow...let it overflow with Love.

I was listening to John Piper this week as he talked about love being an overflow of joy in God.  That is what I want to be about...I want to be a vessel through which the joy of God is overflowing through me in love to others.  

My mom died the day before my first child was born...but sometimes I think she's still around because I hear her voice coming right out of my own mouth.  The fruit of her life carries on...thanks Mom!


  1. We sing that song at camp- LOVE IT!

    A mother's Love is soo important!! Hmmmm.....that is why fighting for the orphan becomes so important!

    May our lives be that beautiful picture!

  2. Very sweet and heartfelt, Connie. God is good!