May 19, 2012

Devotional by Linda Beall

Signs of life...Mother's Day Reflections 2012

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary."
Galations 6:9

josh and kerin's girls on tractorAs I walk around this amazing house that the Lord has given us, there are signs of life everywhere! Not too many years after we finally de-cluttered and discarded or gave away the high chair, baby swings, toys and other accouterments that come with raising young children, finally certain that we would not be raising any more of our own, we welcomed the first grandchild! Along with that began a re-entry of those very things into our home, to accommodate the grandchildren when they visit. Sarah's dolls, long put away, are again being toted around and played with by little girls. Children's books abound; just about every room contains a basket or bag full of them. We recently hung some swings from our deck, and they are a huge source of fun when the girls visit.

Although I do like order and cleanliness, and was liking the more trimmed down look of our home, now, after the girls have been here, the things scattered all around actually make me smile. Dress-up dresses and high heels here, baby dolls and doll carriages there, little children's dishes and cups in the sink. I am confident I don't have the mental or physical energy to care for these little ones full time, but to have nearly weekly visits and sleepovers every few weeks really is fun, although rather exhausting, too! :)

In these latter years of my life, I am so happy I can have the joy of knowing these precious little ones! Children are a lot of work, but the eyes of a child see things so enthusiastically and with such innocence; it really brings new life to my heart and mind to be with them and to see and experience the world with their energy, curiosity, and abandon. Although they are not my own, and are being raised so competently and so amazingly well by my son and his wife, somehow they are just as dear to me!

abbi's violin recitalI had the best Mother's Day ever this year, celebrating both Saturday and Sunday, with my adult children treating me to two nice dinners out. First, on Saturday, we had a dinner that included the granddaughters and Josh and Kerin, as well as Christina, Aaron's Fiancée. It took place right after Abbi's second violin recital which we all enjoyed together! Abbi has improved quite a bit, and her performance on Saturday was the best I have heard her play yet!

Sunday was just the five of us after church with Christina, and it was equally fun. I really enjoyed their encouraging notes, including a precious note from Daniel, the wonderful food, and the fun time with family. And what celebration would be complete without chocolate? My wonderful and amazing daughter could not help but include a gift of four yummy pieces of hand crafted chocolate. :)

aaron and christinaI must say that in addition to my own wonderful adult children, I have the best daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law-to-be that I could ask for! God is so amazing to bless me in this way! You never know where in the world God will take your children, and so many times they end up being far away, (and that is of course fine if that is what the Lord has for them!), but I am so grateful that God has seen fit, at least for now, to have all of my family located close enough to be able to see them frequently. I realize this may not last forever, but I can be grateful for it while it is true. :) Other 'signs of life' that I love right now, is the frequent 'occupancy' of our basement apartment by Christina! :) It is so nice to have this space for her when she spends many of her weekends here.

Happy sigh... :) God takes us through many hardships and difficulties in our life journeys, but there are always also so many things we can be grateful for! And this Mother's Day I wanted to express my gratefulness to God for my precious family. Other Mother's Days have not always been so great! My first one after Josh was married was kind of rough, but this one was truly on the other end of the spectrum.

grandmother beallAnd all of this makes me admire Bernie's Mom even more; we saw her briefly Sunday also. She is the most amazing lady, almost at her 75th birthday, now a widow, but still mothering as she raises her own youngest granddaughter, Julia, who is now 12. Although Julia is quite bright, and not a difficult child, and Julia's father helps and is very involved in raising Julia, it is still quite stunning to me that Bernardine is doing this so well! She also keeps quite busy with church work. She continues to accomplish so much! She is an astounding, and persevering woman.

That is just a few grateful reflections for Mother's Day 2012! I hope everyone reading this also enjoyed honoring the mothers or mother figures in their life who have loved, encouraged, trained and influenced them. Being a mother can be a tiresome and thankless job, but when we don't grow weary, the fruit can be immeasurable.

Prayer Request!... On the topic of mothering, we ask that you pray for the Lord's protection over Kerin and baby Evie, whose entry into this world should be some time soon! That makes 5 girls!! Wonder what the Lord has for them all? We are already scheming about a quintet...hmmm...let's see...the Starsign Quintet??? Starshine Quintet? Just kidding...that is up to God to bring to pass if he wants it!

God bless you all immeasurably much!

~ Linda for the Bealls