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A godly mother sets a day-by-day example for her children

            My Mother's Hands

            Such beautiful, beautiful hands!

            They're neither white nor small;

            And you, I know, would scarcely think

            That they are fair at all.

            I've looked on hands whose form and hue

            A sculptor's dream might be;

            Yet are those aged, wrinkled hands

            Are more beautiful to me.

 

            Such beautiful, beautiful hands!

            Though heart were weary and sad,

            Those patient hands kept toiling on,

            That the children might be glad.

            I always weep, as looking back

            To childhood's distant day,

            I think how those hands rested not

            When mine were at their play.

 

            Such beautiful, beautiful hands!

            They're growing feeble now,

            For time and pain have left their mark

            On hands and heart and brow.

            Alas! Alas! The nearing time,

            And the sad, sad day to me,

            When 'neath the daisies, out of sight,

            These hands will folded be.

 

            But oh! beyond this shadow land,

            Where all is bright and fair;

            I know full well these dear old hands

            Will palms of victory bear;

            Where crystal streams through endless years

            Flow over golden sands,

            And where the old grow young again,

            I'll clasp my mother's hands.

                        --Author Unknown

Mother's Day brings a pang to my heart, as my mother is gone from this life. As I think about Mom, I always think of her hands. They were always busy, from morning until night. Even after the day's chores were finished, and we were gathered in the "front" room, she would be patching overalls or stringing green beans or darning socks.

I never saw my mother take a nap unless she was sick. Busy all day long, and sometimes up in the night, she was working at something. After she grew old, and wasn't able to work at anything, she would read. Sometimes she would look up from her book and say sheepishly, "I feel so guilty reading all the time." I would try to reassure her by saying, "My goodness, Mom, after working all your life, I think you've earned it!"

Sadly, after Alzheimer's took its toll, she lost her ability to concentrate and wasn't able to read even the newspaper. I think of her wrinkled, careworn hands, fumbling with a book and finally dropping it in her lap. God, in His tender mercy, looked down and saw her poor, aged body and took her on home. Oh, but I miss her!

I miss her the way she used to be. She had a sharp sense of humor and always had a quick answer. After I broke my leg and had to put her in a personal care home, she retained her wit. After an electrical storm, lightning came in and knocked out the air conditioner there. There was a young repairman working on the unit, and he noticed Mom trying to get up off the couch. She had previously broken both hips, and couldn't get up without help.

He went over and pulled her up by the arms, then asked. "Where did you want to go?" She smiled at him flirtatiously, and said, "Wherever you want to take me!" Even though she lost the ability to feed herself, she still retained some of the old poems she had memorized in her mind. Just days before she died, she recited to me a few lines of one of her favorite poems, "The woman was old, and ragged and gray, And bent with the chill of the winter's day . . ."

A good mother is a precious gift. When we are small tots, she is the comfort and nurturer whom we need. As we grow older, she fills many roles. She is a nurse when we are sick or hurt, applying band-aids and love abundantly, and soothing our fevered brows. She is a disciplinarian, correcting our behavior and sometimes meting out punishment. She is a counselor; the one we run to with our woes and hurts, and our comforter when we suffer a broken heart.

A mother cooks our meals, launders our clothes, and makes the home a pleasant place to be. King Solomon said it perfectly in the 31st chapter of Proverbs, when he described a virtuous woman, "Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

"Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excelleth them all. Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates." (Proverbs 31-25:31)

There are many seminars on parenting, and books giving advice to young mothers. This is all well and good, but I think that a godly mother who sets a day by day example to her children is more valuable than all the advice that is available. I had such a mother.

I have a poem written by my late Aunt Addie Dawson that I would like to share. Now that I am 77 I can relate to it.

                        LIFE

            Seventy-seven years of life and what's to show?

            Has it been a happy life? Or just a lot of woe?

            Love and joy; sorrow and pain.

             A lot to lose and a lot to gain,

            You fight like a devil and pray like a saint,

            Sometimes you are strong; sometimes you ain't.

 

            Five little heads lay in my arms,

            Five small ones to protect from all harm.

            Times were hard, and the going rough,

            At times we hardly had enough.

            No money to spend, so I couldn't buy,

            Sometimes I'd hang my head and cry.

 

            But God provided a roof over our head,

            Rags on our backs and some sort of a bed.

            I'd get on my knees, ask God to take care,

            I always felt better after a session of prayer.

            Now my knees sometimes wobble,

            And I stumble a bit,

            Sometimes now when I pray, I just sit.

 

            Now that I'm old and nearing my rest,

            The question arises -- have I done my best?

            Then I thank the Lord for His guiding light,

            And He lets me know that things are all right.

            Then I thank the Lord for all He has done,

            But most of all for the gift of His Son.

May God bless and strengthen the mothers of our land, who are guiding their children in these troubled times. The Lord is your help.Contact Alyce Faye Bragg at alycefaye@citlink.net or write to 2556 Summers Fork Road, Ovapa, WV 25164.


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