Sunday, October 2, 2011

Exceeding Abundance

October 2nd
Sorry I have not written for so long, but what can you say when a writer is too busy to write!? Actually I have been busy writing poetry (my passion), and got some published on line. Meanwhile, my Blog lay dormant... But plenty of activity has been going on in my family. On the upside, my daughter just graduated from College with a Bachelor in Fine Arts.
Sadly, my Mom passed away on January 24th. I miss her so much, but her love lives on, and I am living proof that "God is near to the brokenhearted." Below is a tribute I wrote for her, and had the honor of reading at her funeral. I have called it "Exceeding Abundance," because of the exceeding abundant ways God has blessed me through my Mom.(see Ephesians 3:20)

Exceeding Abundance

I never wanted to say goodbye, but I have countless beautiful memories of my precious Mom.
From my earliest days, I remember the feeling of being wrapped in the blanket of her unselfish, unconditional love. She was constantly quoting scripture in our home. From the time I was three or four years old, whenever my sisters and I used to fight over a toy, I remember my Mom patiently repeating to us that Jesus said we should be kind to each other, and then -- her favorite quotation of all -- "This is how they will know that you are my disciples, if you have love, one for another!" (John 13:35) (Paraphrased)

I think my Mom passed on to me a love of God’s Word. It was obvious that she just cherished the words of Scripture, by the way she said them -- the reason being, of course, that she knew and loved the Author.
When I was seven years old, I rushed home from school one afternoon, clutching my little scripture memorization book, so excited to recite for my Mom, my newly learned Psalm 19, only to find that she already knew it! And ever since that day, we shared a love of Psalm 19:--

"The Heavens declare the Glory Of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands...
The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart;
They are more precious than gold --
yea than much fine gold...
Moreover by them is your servant warned,
and in keeping of them , there is great reward!" (Paraphrased)

And I am certain that my Mom is, right now, enjoying that great reward for keeping God’s precious Holy Word for so many faithful years!

My Mom helped to fulfill my childhood dreams.
As a six-year-old, my Mom knew that my deepest desire was to have a little kitten to play with. So she ploughed through newspaper ads. for weeks on end, in search of the perfect little cat!
And when the long awaited day came, after what seemed like an endless bus ride, we climbed the steps of a lovely old Georgian house and rang the bell.
And my Mom knew that behind that door lay my dream...
A kind wrinkled-faced lady welcomed us in, and handed us the adorable brown tabby who was to become our beloved family pet for many years. The plan was to zip her up in a big brown two-handled bag, in anticipation of the long bumpy bus ride.
Well the bag miaowed the whole way home. My sisters and I smugly giggled and smiled in reply to the surprised stares of fellow bus riders.

Then one seemingly ordinary day, around my tenth birthday, my Mom told us she had a surprise for us after lunch. So she took us out to the garage -- and there, under a wooden table, in a box of old newspapers, lay our little cat, Dinkey -- who in our eyes,was still our "baby" -- feeding her four tiny newborn kittens. Well it was the most precious thing I had seen in all of my ten years. My Mom used this and many other instances to demonstrate to us, the existence of God, and His power and wisdom as Creator -- how He could create and re-create these gentle felines...

God also used my Mom to give me endless encouragement in my christian walk. When I’d been married about eleven years, and we had four young children, we were stationed in Oklahoma, and had been promised a house on the Air Force Base. Well we arrived at the housing office only to be told that this house did not exist.
"Sorry," we were told, "but we do not have a house for you and besides, the waiting list is eleven months long."
And since our assignment was for only ten months, it was not even worthwhile getting on the waiting list. Now this was going to be a huge inconvenience for us. It meant we’d have to rent a house outside the Base -- our children could not attend the Air Force school, and we would not have a grocery store, shops, library and church, all within walking distance as you would on an Air Force Base. We only had one car.

So next time I talked to my Mom on the phone, I told her of the predicament.
"Well, she said, "I’m going to pray for a house on the Base anyway!"
I tried to explain to her that it was impossible -- "The waiting list is eleven months long."
"Oh, that doesn’t matter," she replied. "I’m still going to pray!"
You see, she had not forgotten, that we serve a God who is not limited by logic or human weakness, but a supernatural God. And we, as Christians, have been called to a supernatural life. And to help us live it, God has given us the mind of Christ. So my Mom prayed in faith, and sure enough, three weeks later, we were in a house on Base. And not just any old house, but a big spacious house, on a cul-de-sac, where our four children could safely play. A house with a school, church, supermarket, shops, swimming pool, library and park, all close at hand. So here was God, once again, doing "exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think!" (Ephesians 3:20) Another of my Mom’s favorite verses.

And I wish I could have been there to hold my Mom’s hand , on that dark Winter evening on January 24, as she slipped away into Eternity. But that’s okay, because I know Jesus was there, and I am convinced that He was holding her hand. In fact He has been holding her hand every day, as she walked with Him for the past eighty-six years -- ever since that day when as a little eleven-year-old girl, she committed her life to Jesus, and began following the Creator of the Universe, the One who has built storehouses for the hail and the snow, the One who controls the waves of the sea, who says, "Thus far you shall come, and no further!"

This is the kind of God who has been walking with my Mom all these years, and this is the God who is taking care of her right now, and will keep her safe for the rest of Eternity.