Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Celebrating Mother's my small group!

We had a special Mother's Day brunch at my small group.  Today was a good day for me to be thinking about and celebrating Mother's Day.  It was the 37th Anniversary of the day that I became a mom!  Gwen's birthday!  This is a kind of fuzzy and a bit outdated (2014) picture of Gwen and I that was actually taken by one of the kids at a family gathering.  Usually Gwen and I are the ones that have the cameras in our hands and do the picture taking.  So we don't get many pictures of us together!   Happy Birthday to my wonderful, sweet Gwen.

My friend had a great idea for this morning's meeting. We  each got to pick a pretty tea cup and then we all filled up these cups with affirmations and blessings for each other!
We had spent some time thinking about and praying about our own mothers.  It was interesting to hear others talk about ways that they felt they had not appreciated their moms. The exact thing I was thinking about on my way to the meeting this morning.  It was a so good to forgive our mothers and to forgive ourselves for all of those times we failed as mothers.   We prayed for our children (31 plus 14 spouses of our kids) and grandchildren  (23 grandchildren). When you list these numbers it suddenly doesn't seem like a "SMALL" group!   As I have said before, this group is really a life line for me and I am so thankful for all of them!  What a meaningful and powerful time to stand together as mothers and bring our generations to Jesus!  And then we each got to fill up our friends cups with thoughts and prayers and blessings.   

I spent some time this afternoon meditating on each of those little pink pieces of paper in my cup.  Words have great power and even a few words on a little card can really have a big impact.  I also thought about the words that I had put on each of those papers in my friends cups.  Why is it that we don't take a moment to affirm each other more often?  If I learned one thing today it was how important it is to encourage and bless each other.  I am so thankful for these friends and I am thankful for my friend Jesus.......
What a Friend We Have In Jesus
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

This old hymn is one of my very favorites from my childhood and was also one of my mom's favorites.  Recently I encouraged Gwen to teach this to her kids.  On Monday when I was helping Ellie with her school work, we got to sing this song together.  It brought back so many great memories of my mom and was a good start to my mother's day celebrations.   I especially like the last few lines of this song..... and I think of my mom and so many others who are in that bright and glorious place of endless worship with Jesus.  What a great comfort and peace that brings.  

So be encouraged today in the love of Jesus.  Celebrate your mother and affirm her with your words of thanks and praise even if she is no longer alive.  And take a few moments and affirm your family, your friends and your neighbors.  

Jesus, thank you for today.  What a blessing it is to share your love with others.  Holy Spirit remind us all to affirm those around us.  Give us words of grace and power and blessing to share.  Thank you for songs that touch our spirits.  And Jesus, thank you for Gwen!  Amen


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