Paul writes, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” (2 Timothy 1:5)
Recently my eldest daughter and I took part in ‘A Celebration Day for Girls’ with three other local mothers and their daughters. This was a meaningful event in many ways, including when our facilitator invited the mothers to each speak about a significant woman in our lives. Although I also considered other females who are dear to me, I realised that I wanted to share a bit about my mum, Faye.
When I see the tea cosy in the cupboard, I think of Mum, and how it’s virtually the only time it is used, because she likes her tea as hot as can be! She of my family of origin travels to stay with me and my family of creation, a couple of hundred kilometres away. This in itself is an act of love, especially considering how often she makes the journey; she will carve out the time to see us and prioritise this trip when there is something causing extra pressure in our household. Mum is quite gifted at patiently listening while we talk over many cups of tea from the pot, kept warm by that sweet, knitted cosy.
Even when I try to convince her to just leave the dishes, she will cheerfully and generously wash them, saying, “It’s always more fun to wash someone else’s dishes.” I just have to chuckle to myself that she manages to find the novelty in this, and my smile of amusement evolves into a smile of gratitude because she generously pitches in and shoulders some of the load of the constant household burden while she is staying here. When the dishes are draining and the clothes are flapping on the Hills Hoist in the south-west Victorian wind, Mum pours her undivided Nana attention on her grandchildren – my children. My heart swells to see the love she has for them and, recently, how this was clearly reciprocated, when she needed to cancel her visit due to not being well enough, there was a chorus of disappointed “Ohh”’s from my children.
As well as the love, patience and generosity, I have reflected on my mum’s faithfulness, not only to my nuclear family, but also to God … the Christian faith. Her experience of being sent to another country to attend boarding school at the tender age of six (yes, six years old!!!) so that her parents could devote themselves to Christian missionary work, could have destroyed her faith. It certainly shook her faith, yet, through much healing, support and soul searching, she has come through stronger than ever. I am blown away by her faithfulness, and her commitment to growth. I am blessed to have a mother who is so fruitful and I am inspired to follow in her loving example. Ω
Reflect: How do you see fruit of the spirit embodied in an older family member or other elder? Give thanks to God for those who go before us and show us the way.
What is this? Lent is the 40 days, excluding Sundays, before Easter. Traditionally it is a time of reflection and pilgrimage. To help you on this journey, Sanctuary has put together 40 stories from people both within and beyond the congregation, with associated questions for reflection and prayer. A reading will be uploaded every day of Lent. This year’s theme is Fruit of the Spirit. Why? Read this. #Lent2022. Real People, Real Stories: 40 Readings for Lent © Sanctuary, 2022.
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