A tribute.

Tuesday night. Tomorrow is July 20, a special day because it’s my mother’s birthday. Last year, I drove over to Atlanta from NC to spend the week with her. Besides enjoying a Rhodes Bakery birthday cake together on her special day (the birthday cake in our family while I was growing up…), Cousin Peggy brought over homemade peach ice cream — so yummy! While I grieve that we can’t have a repeat performance this year, it was such a blessing that she lived to be 86. Unfortunately, her final years were very difficult — but what an amazing example she set, remaining steady and grounded, upheld by her strong faith, not giving up because she knew she had a family who loved her. I miss her constantly, and would give most anything to hear her voice….

My mother loved her family, lived with care and concern for others, greatly valued her home and enjoyed decorating it with beautiful things. Yet, when she had to move into a nursing home (her final 2 1/2 years), she graciously accepted the situation. We didn’t talk a lot about it — it must have weighed heavy on her heart, yet she remained steadfast and quietly resolute, accepting a fate that she definitely would not have chosen.

We never know what effect we may be having on others as we live out our lives. I’m sure my mother wasn’t going about living her difficult days thinking that she needed to serve as an example, but she was, and an excellent one at that. Her loving concern was always there — and somehow I still feel it. Her sage counsel stays with me; often it came in the form of reassuring me that I would make the right choice. She didn’t pretend to always have the answer, yet she seemed to point me towards the right answer, time and time again, often encouraging me to seek the answer in prayer. Plus, she just had good common sense! Her love, understanding, and unwavering support generated strength in me in a way that is hard to explain. For all these things I am eternally grateful.

In the end, our treasures are not what we accumulate but the ones who love us and whom we love. My cup runneth over with glorious treasures, and I pray that you, too, have them in your life! (My youngest treasure is flying back to TX tonight — please, Lord, watch over her and keep her safe.)

Job 28:17-19, 23-28 Wisdom is more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold. Coral and jasper are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above rubies. Precious peridot from Ethiopia cannot be exchanged for it. It’s worth more than the purest gold.
“God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens. He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”

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