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Instruments of Love

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Mother’s Day 2018

 

            So much depends upon being a mother, even though none of us have had official training. We suspect the old proverb is true, that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Mothers have power.

 

Mother’s Day—layered mile-high like a coconut cake with longing and loss and unfulfilled expectations—can be a tough holiday. We keenly miss those who aren’t here. We just can’t help it. Or we feel we have failed as a mother. Or, maybe we are not a mother and the day reminds us how much we want to be one.

After all, so much depends upon mothers! We suspect the old proverb is true, that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Mothers have power. And yet none of us ever gets official training on How to Be a Good Mother. We just learn on the fly.

We learn by watching our own mothers, grandmothers, and aunts and other women who seem to have the love thing down pat, forged through trial and error. And there is not a perfect mother in the world, as much as Hallmark would like you to think otherwise. But the mothers in my life—my own mother, Harriet Pearson; my mother-in-law Betty Carmichael; my mother-in-Jesus, Dorothy Book—did something wonderful: They made homes. They were home-makers, in the truest sense of the word. They loved their families with a fierce and unconditional love. They were there for the family, no matter what.

My beautiful daughters-in-love, Brittni; Carly; Jami, Michelle are now mothers and I am learning from them. And my daughter, Amy is a new mother to her baby boy, William. My daughters are imaginative, creative, and work hard. They see the potential in each of their children and help them achieve it. Most of all, their love their children and create homes for them. (Well done, my sons, in finding such exemplary women! And thanks Eddie, for loving our Amy!)

Last week I cleaned out my dining room hutch and I was amazed to see how many platters, ladles, napkin holders, pie and cake servers I possessed—some from my mothers.  I thought of all the people they’d served. The dear, loved people around the table. Laughter. Talk. Family chaos. Deep, good conversations with friends (Oh, I don’t want it to end!). Pie. Whoever has pie anymore, at least on a weekly basis?

 

As I filled the Goodwill box, I thought, These serving utensils are holy instruments. Because they remind me of Home. A safe place. Unconditional love. A listening ear. An interested heart. A mother who will keep confidence, who will pray. Who serves her family, and believes for the best, no matter what.

I had that. And I still have it, because love never dies. And I’m doing my best to pay it forward. (Just want you to know…I’ve saved a couple of pie plates and servers, because it’s possible I may need them.)

 

 “To me, ‘twas not the truth you taught—to you so clear, to me so dim;

               But when you came to me, you brought a sense of Him…”

                        Thank you, Mom.

 

 

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About the Author

Nancie CarmichaelNancie lives in a tiny mountain community in Central Oregon. She has written many books including "Selah" and "Surviving One Bad Year." She speaks at a variety of conferences and retreats. She and her husband Bill are publishers and parents of five grown children and 14 grandchildren. Her book, "The Unexpected Power of Home" will be released in the Fall of 2018.View all posts by Nancie Carmichael

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