Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Mother’s Day Blessing of Gratitude

Yesterday I’d been pondering about the necessity of blogging for Mother’s Day. After all what writer or blogger would not seize the opportunity to tell a heartwarming or heartwrenching story of a Mother’s Day memory or some other poignant reflection. But writer though I am, I couldn’t think of anything interesting or different to say that any other blogger hadn’t already said and I vowed to myself when I began this process that I would never blog for the sake of blogging. Then there’s the other issues I have on the eve of Mother’s Day; the first being that my mom is in New Jersey, more than 900 miles away. She received flowers and a new Christian Fiction novel from me, but sending a gift is not the same as being there. Truthfully all I want to do is give her a hug and take her out for a nice dinner after church and I haven’t been able to do that on Mother’s Day for many years. Then there’s issue #2. I kinda dread the idea of going to church on Mother's Day. I know you’re gasping, what Christian mother doesn’t want to go to church on Mother’s Day. "Me", mainly because there’s a fifty percent chance the pastor will talk about that Proverbs 31 woman who’s perfection continues to elude me, but that's another post for another day. Shame on me. So you see the day holds no real excitement for me. What will be different about it, than any other? God answered that question in the wee hours of the morning and humbled me in a way that I’ll appreciate for many Mother’s Days to come. Here’s how it went:

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to the sound of pouring rain and whipping wind outside my bedroom window. I looked out and couldn’t believe the weather. When had Fox 5’s meteorologist told us to expect this? I went to the nursery to look in on my toddler, instincts told me to pick him up and bring him close to me, which I did. We returned to my bed just as the power went out. I thought “No ceiling fan and I can’t open the window because of torrent going on outside. I hate when that happens because now the room will get warm.” I climbed back into bed and managed to fall asleep. An hour later my cell phone rang and I looked to find my writing buddy, Dee Stewart ( calling. Her words were “I was just checking to make sure you were okay, a tornado touched down over there. We’ve been in the bathtub for an hour, because when it left you it made its way over to us.” I sat up with a jolt; the clock radio wasn’t flashing, so I knew the power was still out. I told her to call me if she saw any other bad weather coming my way. I got up, checked on my sleeping 16 year-old and pulled back the curtain on his window which faces the front of the house. All looked well in my neighborhood. I breathed a sigh of relief and whispered the words, “Thank you, Jesus.”

Hours later, my power has been restored and I’ve returned to my seat on the bed. I’m fully dressed now, having returned from a close friend’s subdivision, just up the road from me, where the tornado touched down and destroyed almost 20 homes. While my friend's home was untouched, my heart goes out to her neighbors. Wood and wet clothing everywhere, picture frames, mattresses, parts of appliances, it’s just horrible. Like everything else in life, television can not depict the true horror of a scene like this. You have to see it with your own eyes. There’s a miracle here. No one was hurt. Things although valuable, can be replaced.

The power in my home comes and goes. During one of the on times, my 16 year-old prepares the perfect Mother’s Day breakfast of bacon, eggs, pancakes and toast and sent me back to bed to receive it. My 2 year-old leans on my shoulder with his thumb in his mouth still sleepy from having to endure a night in my bed and a ride through destruction. Being the fatalist that all mother’s occasionally are I can’t help but think about what could have happened if the tornado hit a half a mile north in my subdivision. Twenty-two people died in tornados in Oklahoma and Missouri just last week. Would I be looking in the precious faces of the children God blessed me with right now? Or had we survived, would we be standing outside inspecting our damage? Would I be thinking, I hope my computer is in tact so the novel I’m working on could be retrieved? What would we have lost?

God is gracious. While I know others are hurting, I appreciate the gratitude that has been planted in my heart this Mother’s day. The most precious gift in my life is these children and while I may be initimidated by the Proverbs 31 woman, I realize that I am a praying mother and that's what God has called me to be.

When I close this laptop, I'll slide into my bed for five more minutes of prayer and reflection with my Savior. A cool breeze fills the room as the sheer curtains fly and flap, but even if I couldn’t open the window, you can bet I wouldn't complain about it being warm.

Happy Mother's Day to All You Mommies and Blessings for Many More Years With Your Children!




Dee S. said...

Hey, girl. I finally woke up after calling you. God is good. I was feeling down, because my baby is not here. She's here with my mom and so I'm not feeling all motherly. Thanks for the post. Now I don't have to post. I can just send people to you. Let me know if your neighbors need anything.

It's a mess over here in fair Covington a few churches got hit, but we're good.

Happy Mother's Day
Had fun yesterday

Book Manaic said...

It never seems to amaze me of the things that the Creator does. Thankful that you are ok and praying for those that have to deal with the damage.

Shelia Goss said...

There's nothing like God's grace and mercy. I'm glad that you and your family were safe from the storm.