A Look Back at A HERstory of My Mom

I wrote this story 2 years ago.  My Momma was still undergoing chemotherapy at the time.  Her story is an Easter story, one that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, so it came to mind for me this weekend.  I wanted to share it with you again.  Tomorrow I will publish an update.  Today’s post will be a great way to appreciate the progress.  Praise the Lord for all He has done in her life, both before and after cancer. 

Momma-HERStory

Mom grew up on a farm in the Deep South with crops, over 600 acres, and 250 head of cattle, horses, a herd of pigs, some chickens, and dogs lying under and on the porch.

She loved t0 ride the tractor with her Daddy, George. She had a soft spot for him (still does). He was a dimpled, blue-eyed farmer who had been a pilot instructor in WWII.

Her momma, Mary, had served as a nurse in “The War” too. Then she served cornbread and collard greens to her family.

Mom’s baby sister was just 3 years behind her in school and she liked to tag along behind her like little sisters do. Her name was Peggy and she loved to laugh — still does.  She is known for getting the giggles at the worst times.  Aunt Peggy cracks me up.

Momma loved school, and her family, and softball. She was a pitcher — in fact, she was THE pitcher. This was because, yes, she was that good and, plus, did I mention the town was really small?

One time in the schoolyard, her arm came forward to deliver the ball and caught her skirt (yes, they wore skirts most of the time back then) and she heard a boy laughing as the hem flew up in the air. She decked him.

When she was in high school she attended a summer program for math and science at a nearby university.  It confirmed in her the love of science. After graduating high school with a class of 18 others, she left the farm and went to a small state university 90 miles away and majored in Medical Technology. That’s where she met my Dad. He was a “Yankee” from Staten Island, New York. His roommate set them up on a date and the rest is history.

My Daddy served in Vietnam as a Marine Corps Tank officer. After that, he was hooked. He loved the Corps (still does). He retired in the 80′s after 21 years; but you know the saying, “once a Marine always a Marine”. Marine Corps life for him meant Marine Corps life for her as well. They started out with no furniture, no money, and she was married in a borrowed wedding dress. She lost her own dear daddy to heart disease not long after she was married; and oh how they all grieved. He was an honorable, hard-working man with a sense of humor. He left his mark on that small town and that small family.

My Momma has the most beautiful blue-gray eyes; but after she’d had two little brown-eyed girls, she left that world she’d always known and set out on the great adventure that became her life. My family was stationed in several places throughout the South and lived in Spain for three years too. In time, Mom returned to her work as a Med Tech. She was 35. She was older than the others who were just starting out, and her resume was cooked meals and folded laundry, but her first boss saw something in her that made him take a chance on her. He was not disappointed.

She worked for over 20 years in pathology labs. She worked in a hospital at first, managed a small satellite lab for a time, and worked in various departments in a major national laboratory. She wrote procedure manuals and passed inspections. Along the way she prayed for (and with) the patients she cared for and her co-workers too. She learned new procedures and tests, while more and more computers and machines were being incorporated into her job. She worked day shift, swing shift, night shift. All this time, she prayed for us and encouraged us with scripture and she loved us. She was not perfect, but she did the best she could. My Dad and sister and I are all the people that we are today because of how the Lord used her in our family.

I heard about her cancer in 2011, on my son’s 7th birthday. We were eating dinner when I got the call, and I could tell she had been crying, but she was upbeat, as usual. She’d had surgery two weeks before, a hernia repair, and they took some fatty tissue from the area — it turned out to be ovarian cancer. It was surreal and seemingly impossible: she…a non-smoker, non-drinker, with no “female” cancers in her medical history? To say the least, it was a shock.

But the most amazing thing was the story she told me. The week before, when we were all oblivious to CAT scans and chemo, Momma couldn’t sleep. So she was praying. She heard her name and she thought of Samuel, who’d heard from the Lord as a child, and she answered, “Yes Lord, your servant is listening”. She keeps a pad of paper by the bed and she wrote down what she heard: I am about to do something BIG in your life so that you will be starting a new ministry and have a great opportunity to glorify Me. So be ready. What we saw, when we talked about it, was how kind the Lord was to administer comfort and assurance to her even before she got “the news”. It was the promise that we already knew; that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

Not long afterward, during my devotional time, God gave me a scripture. When I shared it with her, she told me that had been standing on the same Words! I had run across the story of Mary and Martha and Lazarus. When Lazarus was sick, and things looked bleak, Mary and Martha called for Jesus…the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When He heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:3-4).

By the way, we don’t believe in coincidences in my family. In fact, all this happened around the same time that God used my daily devotional time with my two kiddos to encourage the three of us to bring Momma to Him in prayer. God’s Word has been such a strong encouragement to all of us. It reminds us that the medicine, the doctors, and the prognosis all belong to Him. Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You (Jer 32:17). The story of my Mom’s life, HERstory, is not finished yet. But I will keep you all updated as it continues to be written…by the Author of Life (Acts 3:15).

Tune in tomorrow to read about Mom’s life after cancer.  God has used this difficult situation to shape her in amazing ways!

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Memory Verse Monday: 21 April

Prov 2.6-8

Good Friday

1John4.10

Face to Face Friday: Building God’s House

A Video Bible Study:
Elizabeth George’s “Putting on a Gentle and Quiet Spirit”
Lesson Eight

quiet

Today’s Passage:

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,

“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”
and
“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

1 Peter 2:4-8

In today’s video, we explore the Hebrew context of the word “believe” and we talk a little about the significance stones/rocks in the Bible. There are many more references to stones in the Bible than what I discussed, like…if the disciples were forced to keep their testimony quiet, then even the “stones would cry out” (Luke 19:39-40), how Moses got water from the rock in the desert (Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 20:1-13), and of course, the stone that was rolled away to reveal an empty tomb (Luke 24:2; John 20:1; Mark 16:4; Matt 28:2)…I skipped all of these because I had to stop somewhere!  So maybe you can guess what I said about stones?  Or just watch.  Ok, so just watch either way.  And let me know what you think!

Have a super weekend!  Happy Resurrection!

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Tracy: Love is Responding

My dear friend Tracy really sees the poetry of life, she seeks after Wisdom and she loves the Lord. I am so glad she shares her heart with us. Won’t you make her feel welcome by posting a comment below?
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Consider the multiple modes of communication which bless our eyes, ears, and fingertips.  Words with family, friends, and acquaintances are a cybersecond away.  Alexander Graham Bell would be quite astounded and impressed.

Are we utilizing this gift of communication in a way that pleases the Lord?  In a way that builds and grows our relationships with Him and others?

Recently  a friend sent me a fairly long email.  At the time when I received the message , I was simply scanning over messages, not lingering.  Naturally, I made a mental note to return to the message when I had more time to respond.

Webster’s defines time as “duration considered independent of any system of measurement.  The sample sentence from his classical dictionary is by Chaucer…”The time wasteth night and day.”  “Wasteth”.  Britta wrote a post on procrastination which described me quite well, unfortunately.

Due to my delay, my friend’s email message was now overcome by a plethora of others and slipped further and further off of my page and in turn, out of my mind.

Two weeks later, I ran into this friend, who had deliberately crafted a message for me.  She was concerned she had offended me by the text in her email.   The one I didn’t read.  Oh, how I cringed with regret and apology.  And my neglect of her disturbed her sense of internal peace.

Studying how God calls us to respond in relationship to Him
might unlock clues to our relationships with others.

 
In order for growth to occur, God requires response.  In Hebrews 4:2, we see that the good news reached the people of Israel, but it did not benefit them, “because it did not meet with faith.”  They did not respond.

We see in Hebrews, chapter 11, where God requires a response of faith….”But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him ”  (Hebrews 11:6).

Paul cries out to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 6:11-13, ” O Corinthians!  We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open.  You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.  Now in return for the same, you also be open.” Respond!!!

God is represented in Scripture as pleading with men:

  • “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 1:18)
  • “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden , and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28_
  • In His conversation with the rich young ruler Jesus says, ” If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, follow Me”  (Matthew 19:21).
  • In John 5:6, when Jesus saw a man who had not walked for 38 years, He said to him, ” Do you want to be made well?”

God requires our response.

Our intentional, deliberate Lord initiates the fruits of the Spirit with “love , joy, and then peace”.  I wonder if I might transfer this to our relationships with one another.  When someone reaches out in love, the response we give in return produces JOY and in turn provides peace of mind for the sender.  She /He is not left to question and wonder about possible offense.  1 John 4:19 declares,”We love Him because He first loved us.”  Love will not reach you, unless you respond.

Once again, I am placed in an opportunity to grow.  There will be no progress unless I respond to Him and others.  I am reminded  to “widen my heart” and consider others first.  The offering of peace in relationship might be concealed in something as simple as an offering of response.  How would you respond today?

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