Family, Parents, Relationships, Women

A Letter From Mama

GUEST WRITER: EMILY SWANSON

 

How quickly time has flown. The yesterdays now far out-measure the tomorrows. But please don’t look at me with pity.

Inside me there is a little girl swinging in the sunshine, running through the fields and playing dolls in a make-believe playhouse on the dusty earth beneath a live oak in the yard. There is a happy teenager, giggling and sharing secrets with my best friend. Sometimes there emerges the memory of a new bride who has chosen to make her home with a special young man. They clasp hands and exchange knowing glances. The twinkle in his eye tells me I am still special.

“Precious memories flood my soul” of the children with whom I shared life. The joy and pain of giving birth was my special blessing from God. A large portion of my life is labeled “mama”.

Now the sands of time have shifted and the sand is nearly run out. The hourglass is turned upside down and once again I am become that helpless little child, vulnerable and trapped in this tired, used-up, adult body.

I know, my child, you grieve for me. It is hard for you to assume your new role as caretaker. I too, wish it did not have to be so. But the cycle-of-life dictates it to happen just this way.

When you were a babe I rejoiced when you were first put into my arms. My heart expressed wonder in my breast as I examined every tiny finger and toe. I marveled as you began to crawl and laughed out loud at your first word! There were times of great pain as I rocked you through the night with high fever, unable to administer the healing I wanted for you so desperately. I nursed you, nurtured you, loved you and enjoyed you. You were one of my special gifts from God. You are “mama” now. I’m sorry it must be so, for it takes a special grace for both of us to surrender our roles. But His Grace is sufficient.

Know that sometimes I am afraid. This is an unfamiliar path I walk. I have shown you how to walk many paths in life. I shall try to show you how to tread this one with faith and dignity. There are may old people who have to life this time of their lives alone. Thank God I do not walk alone, He is here and so are you! Do not try to be Him and take responsibility for making me whole and pain free. Do as I once did in that rocking chair so many years ago…acknowledge that He is in charge. Whatever transpires here is for just a little while and has great purpose in His plan for our lives.

When you come, bring gifts. Bring the gift of your smile and of loving arms to “hold me”. Bring the gift of reassurance that I am loved and I am hot a burden (for I fear that I am). Let us share meaningful words for time is too short now for trivia.

And when the Father calls me home, grieve for a little while. You will be lonely for a part of you will be gone. Mama and Daddy will both be away. (But you are not alone or comfortless, my child. You have family to whom you have given life) Grieve the loss. Talk about it. Then you can begin to remember the good times and the good things we shared in life. Those precious memories will far out-weigh the grief…in due time. Then your healing can occur.

There came a time, my child, when you wanted to leave home and fly on your own. I had to release you…thought it made me lonely. Release me, my child, and let me go home. I’ll wait for you there and the light will be on.

 

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Bible Studies, Devotionals, Women

Why Women?

Pam Ford Davis

The Lord God frequently does what we least expect! If we try to put His activity in a box He is sure to burst it open! Resurrection morning would not be scripted by any of the disciples.

Before complete daylight a close knit group of faithful women began a mission of love, for their departed Lord and friend. They reverently approached His tomb, laden with spices to anoint His body. They likely discussed the problem of getting in to perform their task. The large stone sealing His tomb created a barrier they needed to overcome.

The sight of His open tomb caught them by surprise. This development never crossed their minds, still numb with grief. The stone lay off to the side, giving complete access to the burial place given by a wealthy Council member, yet a follower of Jesus. The kindness of Joseph of Arimathea did not go un-noticed.

The women humbly entered the opening and nearly fainted in the discovery that Jesus no longer occupied the grave! Where is He?

Suddenly in their midst they encountered two men in clothing radiant as a bolt of lightning! The natural reaction of fright gripped the women and they fell to the ground in awe. Maybe this was all a dream! The men then spoke to the women with a penetrating question, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead (Luke 24:5b NAS)?” Before they had time to answer, the message continued, “He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:6-7 NAS).”

Yes, now they remembered Jesus telling them! It just did not seem possible; they saw Him die! Three days passed by and His lifeless body was sealed inside the tomb!

This was amazing! The morning skies now showed the glow of dawn and their hearts once cold moments before, now pulsed with reborn hope and joy!

Next we come face to face with culture, tradition and prejudice prevalent in the days of Jesus life and ministry. Women did not normally hold a place of authority or great influence. They lived in the shadows and did not expect many changes in their acceptance. In spite of the odds they were given the announcement of Jesus resurrection! Matthew said, “And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to report it to his disciples (Matthew 28:8 NAS).”

Do you read between the lines of scripture? If you do, side step briefly and catch sight of these frail women, lifting their skirts, and breathlessly running to tell the men, found cowering in fear!

That is not all; next they see Jesus face to face! It is true, ladies He is alive! Now, dropping to the ground and grasping His ankles revealed pure love, worship, and a desire to never be out of His sight again! In tender compassion The Son of Man, born of woman, talked to the select group, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to my brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they shall see me (Matthew 28: 10 NAS)”

Don’t lose track of the women’s prized privileges. They were the first to see the open tomb, first to hear an announcement of His resurrection, first to behold Jesus alive, and now first appointed messengers to carry the gospel, the good news of Jesus conquering death!

Did the disciples wrap them in arms of love and share their joy? “And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them (Luke 24: 11 NAS).” The men soon saw Him themselves through eyes of faith and rejoicing!

Jesus birth announcement came by a heavenly angelic assembly to simple shepherds, outcasts in society. The Easter story targeted women, in their lowly state. Jesus return will need no go betweens. Trumpets will sound and He will appear in the heavens! Every day is Easter! HE’S ALIVE!

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Christian Growth, Devotionals, Family, Friends, GUEST AUTHOR, Marriage, Women

God Has A Secret

GUEST WRITER: EMILY SWANSON


Romans 5:10

It was said of Abraham that he was a friend of God. What a marvelous statement about any person Think about what all friendship involves.

My best friend is my husband of 55 years. He knows more about me than any other living soul. Yet he still loves me, warts and all. He knows where I keep the coffee cups and the spoons. He knows where to put the dirty laundry. He knows that I snore. That is because we abide together. He knows my joys and my sorrows. He knows simple things; like I like to eat sandwiches of anything. These are probably things about me that others do not know…or care. We can spend hours together never uttering a word and then suddenly both say the same thing simultaneously.

There are other friends in my life who know secrets from my heart. We have laughed and cried together over events for many years. They, too, know my joys and sorrows. I may call on them at anytime for a cup of coffee, a visit, a prayer. We have even prayed over the telephone together as I cry and they pray. There are those who have given me little gifts (for no reason other than love) at no eventful time. They leave a small package on the seat of my car, or on my doorknob at home. What a friend!

Beloved, we all have such a friend. (Not one with skin on as the little boy is noted for saying). But we have a friend who loves to abide with us. What a privilege to abide with the Living God! He would like to walk with us in our garden as He did with Adam. He would love to call us friend as He did Abraham. Perhaps He would like to know us as a “child after His Own Heart” as He did King David. He already knows your our intimate secrets; but He would like to reveal some of His secrets to us.

Our Father wants to hear from us about the secret things of our hearts…our joys, our sorrows, our desires. He wants to know the simple things like our concerns over our children’s grades in schools, what can I do to stretch my time as a wife and mother or grandmother? He listens to our frustrations and our victories (say, Father, did You know my husband got a raise today; my child made an A in math. WOW) He can know these things from us because we choose to abide with Him. Abiding indicates quality time spent together.

He already leaves little gifts for us all over the place. What was that special hug from my child or that smile from my baby if it wasn’t a Gift from God? Who do we think arranges for those A’s in life and those raises that come unexpectedly? What was that beautiful day of sunshine shedding its light over the ountryside? What was that refreshing rain cooling off the parched land? What is that “Peace that passes all understanding” in a time of trial? Where’d that come from anyway?

We can spend much time together…never saying a word, just listening; and all of a sudden the Heavenly Father, the Creator of the Universe, speaks to my heart revealing His Heart and His plans for me. He reassures me of His love. He gives me glimpses of His secrets.

Dear Heart, Friends love to be together and to share. The mark of a true friend is their availability to us when we need, and their undying friendship regardless of our faults. We have such a Friend…and What a Friend He is. Enjoy Him

“Dearest Father, What a Friend we have in You all ‘because of what Christ has done in dying for our sins…making us friends of God’. (Psalm 5:11 Living Bible) Help us to take every advantage of that friendship by abiding in You and Your Word. ‘I come to the Garden alone; while the dew is still on the roses.’ Amen”

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