During this time of self-isolation, I continue to write, but I also stop to paint when I truly want to relax. My art is nothing like a professional, but I love the freedom it gives to paint whatever is in my mind. Usually it has something to do with God’s nature…a flower, tree, or anything beautiful. As we sail along on this time of testing, we know that life will continue.
Nothing ever stands still…not time, events, or even our own living breath. Each moment we live is different from the last. We will move forward and it will be ours to find the peace God wants us to have. It may be in reading our favorite books, working in the garden, painting or sewing some special thing. We should also make this time to sit down to read God’s Holy Scriptures, an inspiring book or to be consistent in praying. We have the choice of how we will face these times.
One of the things that my husband and I have enjoyed has been the ability to travel. We may not be doing much of this in the time to come, but we remember with fondness some of our favorite trips. Going to Japan ranks very high on the list.
First time I went to Japan was as an educator, invited by the Japanese government. The second time was with my husband who had at one time been to Japan as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. It was great to return together. Being a part of another culture has always intrigued and delighted me. There is so much to learn. Perhaps the thing I come away with from getting to know different parts of the world is how much we are really alike. We work, play, and often make our faith a honored part of living.
I’m sharing with you a video by the artist, Akiane Kramarik, who has an amazing God-given talent. Akiane has taken her art around the world and in doing so, as a young woman has gained insight into the beauty of all people. It is even more true as we know that the whole world is trying to rise above the difficulties of the time. As we have heard many times, we are in this TOGETHER.
On this trip, she talks about visiting Japan and what it meant to her. She stresses that we have a need to SAIL FORWARD…even before she had any knowledge about a world-wide pandemic about to happen. You will notice that the people of Japan are going about their daily business in large groups. Such were the “good old days.” Go with me now on a tour of Japan with Akiane. At the end, she will demonstrate her incredible artistic talent.
This blog post is also presented as a gift to all Mothers around the world and especially those who have found it difficult to see family, whom they love, during the coronavirus…and especially on this MOTHER’S DAY!
In Honor of my Mother, Alta, who died at age 93.
Here I am with Mother when we were both young!
Video: Turn up the sound
It is hard to describe what it is like to be a Mother. A Mother carries the new life with her for nine months. There is the anticipation of a life time of love and joy between her and this new human being. Many times this happens and the Mother is blessed, but for some Mothers there is disappointment and sadness. Nevertheless, a mother is always the one who gave life to this child and without her there would have not been life at all.
Her hopes and prayers never fail that this little one that was and is so much a part of her will experience the best things that life has to offer. She presents her child to God and prays He will look over this one as he or she grows. When the child is no longer young and needing her care, she is proud of accomplishments and prays, as she grows older, that this special child will know her love has always been there and will always continue.
Recently I received an email from Dave Davis who shared this with me about his dear Mother and Grandmother. He has given me permission to print it here for my readers. I think it is very special for Mother’s go through many situations when rearing a child.
My gentle Mother loved me through all the trauma and all the heartaches.
Special Music for all Mothers:
Mother’s Day will be here May 12th.
Mothers all over the U.S. will look at that day in different ways. There are so many memories in just the word “MOTHER”….like giving birth…(oh, that was fun!) and taking on a new role in life. There were the adjustments to constant care of this little one. Some face this with better grace than others, but somehow it happens.
We begin to see this little crying, burping person become a personality all his/her own. It has always amazed me how children who had the same parents, fed the same food, given the same of most everything…can be so different. Another thing that amazes me now is when I see a Mother who has a 14 month old toddler and a new-born…juggling both…and yet, that is exactly what I did when I had my two oldest sons. (Talk about “super human”!)
After bringing three children into the world, I remember my neighbor telling me that one of my sons was “up a tree….in the very top! “ He would also be the one who would fly jets after he grew up. He would also be the one to break my heart…but that is another story. Mothers who think they are doing all the right things…or mostly…and find that there are some parts of life that crying is the only way to mend the heart….so that they can once again laugh. I have come to believe that it is a decision we make because life does move on. Who wants to cry all their lives? Even medicine tells us that “laughter” is a cure. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that hearts don’t ache now and then. Control of a situation is one thing that is not built into being a mother’s life. It may be something we want, but we find that “Letting go” is much harder.
My other son ,who was not in the tree with his brother, was sitting quietly in a corner reading a stack of library books we went to get each week. He still reads or listens to books as he travels around the world in his job. I’m proud of the man he has grown to be with patience that astonishes me at times. He has never seen a stranger with friends around the world. My step-son, another fine man, has given us two beautiful twin girls and we have joy in seeing them grow and thrive.
We often hear that Fathers and Sons bond over common interests. I think that is true, if there is a father in the home. If not, they often find a father-figure that they can emulate. Being a mother to a daughter can have the same bonding effect. Learning how to be a female is complicated at best.
We, Mothers, may worry more about our daughters. Why? Because with boys, we feel that they can take care of most things that hit them in the world….like the day the bully on the school bus kept hitting my oldest son on the head. He finally just turned around and gave him a punch. Needless to say, when my school was called (as I was a teacher), I knew that he was suspended off the bus…but the bully would not bother him again.
With a girl, we worry that someone will take advantage of her. She might need more protection but with the right amount of freedom. She will grow up and have her own hard knocks and sorrows in life that we could not protect her from. In most cases, she will learn how to “stand up” for herself!
My daughter is my creative one looking for new ideas to make things better. She will always make her own decisions, whatever they may be, because just as I did not like my mother telling me what to do…neither does she. I think we call that “the chip off the old block”. Yet, I find myself still watching the ceiling some nights …and praying…and trying really hard to give all things to God. That is how we mothers do for all our children. We cry…but as I said it is best when we decide to laugh. Somehow, I think God would have it that way.
One must not forget the Grandmothers, who so often today raise the children they did not bring into the world. They give the love that a child may be without unless the Grandmother cared.
My mother, who died at 93, was one of those Grandmothers who gave generously to her grandchildren and I will always thank her for that. I hope for all the tears she may have cried that she is in heaven laughing …for she deserves it.
The big, beautiful sunflower at the top of the page is for all Mothers…. new mothers; mothers with teens; empty-nest mothers and grand-mothers. They will need you and they will cling to you….until they don’t. Rejoice in what you were and may their world be a better place because you were their MOTHER.
This Sunday we honor Mothers on a special day. Not all Mothers will be appreciated, but most will be. I am one of the lucky ones for out of four children, I have three that will say nice things and it is so appreciated.
What is it to be a mother?
Not only does a mother wait for the birth, but afterwards her life is never the same. To give a count of all the things that a mother does in one day might be impossible. For instance, how many meals does a mother prepare for hungry mouths in just one year? Does anyone keep track? How many beds has she made or dishes has she washed….maybe even after a long day at work?
Just thinking about the food preparation, for some Mothers it is not easy to feed everyone the way she would like. We know that our food pantries have had many visitors during this recession. “Flying off” to get something to feed the family could be monumental. Ask any robin if you can slow her down long enough in her busy schedule.
Many things that mothers do over the years are largely forgotten, but probably not by her. I remember when I was a single parent with a good education, but barely making ends meet for three children. Sometime around Halloween, I started thinking about Christmas. Yard sales were a good place to find something almost new, like a record player or a doll. Hidden until wrapped, these special gifts were new to my children on Christmas morning. No one was unhappy. Today they are grown and have no idea that this was the way things were then …for times are so much better now.
I also remember the first time that my husband and I realized that we were alone and “our nest” was empty. There had always been so much activity and voices around our house.
I watched a bird prepare a nest outside my window last spring. She flew in and out with a different twig in her bill. Finally, the eggs were there and she sat for hours protecting and warming them. Then one heart breaking moment came, a snake crawled up the tree and ate the eggs. Life is like that. Unpredictable, sad, but we mothers keep on working regardless until the nest is no longer needed. Perhaps the robin in this video below felt as much surprise when she found all her “darlings” were gone! Where did those years go?
Thanks to Fred Margueles, who patiently took this video, we can see a real mother who faithfully did her work even until the day she was no longer needed. (Turn up your sound)
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO MOTHERS EVERYWHERE.
You deserve a special day!
(Note.: ignore highlighted words…Wordpress is trying to advertise)
Women come in all sizes and in a range of intelligence. Sometimes they choose homemaking as their profession. Others reach into the “male world” at their peril. “Can a Woman do that?” one may ask.
Women have moved out in front when no one else would.
- They have led armies (Joan of Arc)
- Led women of mercy to the poorest people on earth (Mother Theresa)
- Heads of governments (Margaret Thacher of England and Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany )
- Built homes and families in challenging places (The Women of the Wild West)
- Kept homes together and children happy. (Single, Widowed, and Divorced Mothers)
- Minority women had to break through barriers.
When I was teaching in Mongolia, I asked the women that were part of my class, what did they want in a man. They mostly talked about wanting someone who was sober, clean and loyal. Women have at times picked up the burden when men had addiction problems, rendering a useless contribution to the family. (I am certain that this has been true of men in the reverse.)
Now, I will have to admit that I depend on my big,6′ 5″ man for many things. He is not only supportive emotionally, but is great at reaching high places that I can not; taking lids off jars, and much more too many to mention. We, of course, are not talking about the physical things that many women also accomplish…but of a woman’s acceptance in this world. Preconceived ideas have not given her credit.
If I had to relive some of my formative years, I think I would have studied architecture rather than education. That is if my math teachers had not been the coach who sat on his desk talking sports instead of teaching math. It was accepted in my youth to think of being a nurse or teacher…not a doctor or scientist.. Nonetheless, I did have someone tell me recently that their daughter was now a teacher because I was her teacher in middle school. That, of course, made my day. My congratulations to a young woman named Erin, who is most talented in music, for heading this Fall to college to study mathematics. Yes, Erin, you can do it!
Congratulations also to women who still hold onto dignity, sobriety, and making life worthwhile for the family around them. Follow your light…never look back or think something is too hard. Where there is a will there is a way, as the old saying goes.
I would like to introduce you to Gail Harris. She hung in there to achieve great things for her gender and her race.