Sunday, May 8, 2011

You Gotta Have Faith

It's Mother's Day! The one day a year we can relax, kick back and enjoy ourselves...right? For the most part, that was true for me. I got to go to church, go see my mom in Ocilla and eat lunch there, take a nap and then come back to reality and get everything ready for Monday. I definitely consider myself to be highly blessed. In church this morning, my very intelligent and good-looking pastor asked two important questions. (Disclaimer: said pastor asked for favorable adjectives the next time I mentioned him.) The first one was "What part did your mom play in your salvation?" I grew up in a Christian home with parents that are still married today. My mom plays the piano in the church and my dad leads the singing and serves as a deacon. I also had my aunts, my mom's sisters, who lived a block up the road and were very active church-goers as well. These people were in the church LITERALLY every time the door was opened. I mean, we actually had a key to the church! My sisters and I used to devise ways to get out of going to church on Sunday nights. The plan usually involved one of us faking being sick and the others staying home along with the afflicted one. When all else failed, we would just beg and plead. These ploys usually did not work. I can remember sitting with my Aunt Jerrie because she would give us Aspergum to chew (oh the horror!) or Vitamin C tablets that tasted like orange candy....hmm, maybe that's why the 3 of us never did get "really" sick. My Aunt Ment would rub or scratch our backs for us during church. Now, if we sat with our parents, our mom's favorite thing to do to get us to stop whispering during the sermon was to pinch us REALLY hard on the thigh. Now, in my day, if this happened, you had to sit there and endure the pain. Plus, it showed her that it really didn't hurt (right). I tried this technique once during a church service on my then 5 year old son. He whispered, I pinched, and...he literally yelled, "Why did you just pinch me, mama? That really hurt!" I. Was. Mortified. Needless to say, I no longer use that technique on my own children.
The fact that my mom and aunts went to church was a good thing, but more importantly, these women walked out their faith and love for Jesus and His teachings in their everyday lives. They were kind to everyone, always willing to help people who needed it, gave to the church first and they prayed about everything. They were some Titus 2 women. Don't get me wrong, they weren't perfect and didn't claim to be. They loved Jesus and everyone around them knew it.
My mom's mother, who I called Mimi, was 70 years old when I was born. She "kept" us when my mom went back to work and I loved her dearly. She was what I like to call a "fruit-bearer". She radiated love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. She had a quiet strength and people were drawn to her because of this. She passed away when I was 21. I sure wish my children could have known her.
The second question my pastor asked was "What are you doing to spread her faith in the world?" Gulp. Breathe in, breathe out. This is a BIG responsibility. I couldn't even master the "pinch on the thigh move"!! However, I know that I am a daughter of the most high God, and I am raising my children to know that God loves them no matter what. Once you are His child, there is nothing you can do to make Him love you any more or any less. They know that I am not perfect, just like they are not perfect. I try to teach them to love God with their hearts, minds and souls, to be "fruit-bearers" and to love their neighbors as they love themselves. I don't just talk about it, though. I try to walk it out in front of them. They sometimes see me stumble or fall down, but they don't ever see me stay there. They might see me confessing my sins or asking for forgiveness, but they won't see me giving up. I am forever telling them that the only reason you "can't" achieve a goal is because you quit trying.
By walking out my faith, love and other fruits of the Spirit, I don't just want to show His life-changing love to my children, but to the whole world! I pray each morning that God will show me who HE wants me to love that day. Sometimes it isn't who I thought it was going to be or who I wanted it to be, but I am learning to submit to His plans for me and not my plans for me. I try to spread a little bit of my mama's faith every day. I hope that my children will do the same.

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."

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