Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
Robert Fulghum’s 1988 New York Times bestseller, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten was on that prestigious list for nearly two years. He made valid points and stirred most of us to consider the kindnesses and stress busters we were introduced to in our first year in public school away from Mom.
However, most of the important things in my life I learned from my mother. Her cords of love have survived the years, and four stand out clearly this Mother’s Day—two don’ts and two do’s:
push your hair behind your ears—it makes them stick out.
put your hands in your sweater pockets—it makes them sag.
moisturize your neck as well as your face.
love Jesus more than anyone, even me.
Mother’s advice scored much higher than that of other wisdom merchants from my school years, earning a three out of four for accuracy. Not bad.
Number one was probably something she had heard from her mother. The women in our family all have very thick hair, but today we all know that hair isn’t what pushes ears in or out.
Number two is factual, proven by the old, comfortable sweater I wear around the house but never in public.
Number three is a bit of prophetic perception that is better followed than ignored. For as any woman over the age of thirty has discovered, there is no undoing of neglect.
And number four is the most precious of all gems Mother could have given me. It is the North Star of her guidance, the essence of what I hope I have instilled in my own children.
Mother was not perfect. We did not see eye-to-eye on many things. But over the years her words have comforted me—as have God’s.
The Lord and I first met through her tender nurturing, and for that introduction I will be forever grateful. For as she taught me to love Him more than anyone else, so I have learned that He loves me more than anyone else ever could.
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
A rancher like Hugh Hutton across the parlor from her, and all Mary could do was doze in a long unused sewing rocker, wearing a dress four times too big and her hair hanging in a lose braid. Mama would be horrified.
Her brother Lewis would be outraged, and her mouth pulled toward a smile at the thought.
The old chair carried her to her mother’s knee, where she’d learned to thread a needle and tie off a knot with one hand by rolling the thread between her thumb and forefinger. Aunt Bertie knew the same trick.
Heart pain spread to Mary’s face as her sore brows knotted. Again she wondered how she must look. Appearances had not been so important when she could see them for herself. She longed to ask her guard if he’d found her carpet bag and what had happened to the motorcar she’d rented. But propriety insisted she not mention the bag.
“Did you happen to see a green automobile at my aunt and uncle’s farm?”
“Yes ma’—. Yes. It’s here now, in the pasture across from the house where the flicker crew parked their rattle—their cars last year. I’ll drive it to Pueblo tomorrow.”
So he had found her bag. And looked inside. Gratitude warred with embarrassment but won the duel. “Thank you.” Hope Is Built
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