A Gift From My Mom
My Dear Mom passed away two years ago this past Sunday. It was such a difficult day for me. So, I threw myself into some much needed office organization. I found several things I'd forgotten about. One was a beautifully written letter, that my Mom wrote to me about 30 years ago at Christmas. That year her finances were a little tight, and she felt bad not purchasing me as many gifts as she always did. (Even though I was a Mom myself, and with five children, my Mom continued to spoil me as though I was still a small child!) In the letter she wrote all of the things she wished for me instead of what she could give me. Things like grace in the face of adversity; strength when I was weak; faith when I wanted to give up; and love when I felt I was alone.
Yeah, she was a special woman!
And then I came across this gem. See, my Mom raised me from an infant learning about Jesus. And maybe this isn't the forum for religious speak, but on this blog, religion is spoken. And if you are offended by that, then I'm sorry, but you are free to go elsewhere.
My earliest memories are of sitting on my Mama's lap and her singing to me. "Jesus Loves Me", and "Jesus Loves the Little Children". Now for those of you who know, my Mama couldn't sing a lick. She was tone deaf. Literally. But she had the sweetest, angelic voice I ever heard! I couldn't have been any luckier than for God to send me to her!
When she wasn't holding me and singing to me, she was holding me and telling me Bible stories, in a manner that a child could understand. I grew up in the Garden of Eden! I was with Abraham when the three traveling angels heard Sarah laugh! I crossed the Red Sea with the Israelite children! I was in the lion's den with Daniel! I spoke out with Esther and her people were saved. I saw the dry bones come back to life with Ezekiel! I was with David when he threw the rock with the slingshot that killed Goliath! I traveled to Naomi's homeland with Ruth. I was with the shepherd's in the field when the sky was filled with the angel's announcing the birth of Jesus! I saw the wise men lay their gifts before Mary for the baby. I was with Jesus in the temple when he was 12. I was there when the water was turned into wine. I saw Lazarus come out of the tomb, still wrapped in his grave clothes! I saw the leper healed. I saw Jairus' daughter raised from the dead. I saw the cripple pick up his bed and walk away. I was there in the Garden when Peter cut off the soldier's ear, and Jesus put it back on! I cried when Jesus was whipped, and tortured. I sobbed as he hung on the cross, his mother standing before him. I was there when Mary found him in the garden after he arose! I heard Thomas doubt the risen Savior was alive. I was there when Jesus came into the locked room and proved to Thomas he was alive! I was with the apostles as he ascended into heaven!
When I was four, Mama started teaching me to read. It was the year before I went to Kindergarten. And when I did start to Kindergarten, the teachers were amazed, as I was already reading simple books.
And then, at the age of 5, Mama decided I needed a Bible to read as well. And on May 1, 1965, this is the New Testament and Psalms she had me read to her as my reading progressed.
Yes, it was read. And a lot! But it was treasured. That's why it is worn around the edges gently. I kept it on my dresser, and carried it to Sunday School and Church every Sunday until second grade when Mama got me a full Bible.
Here's the inscription in Mama's handwriting. (Yes, I spelled Cindy this way until I was in my late 20's. I changed it to Cyndi then. It didn't seem so important when I did it, because that is simply my nickname. Seeing it here, I wish I hadn't changed it now.)
As I grew older, my love for the Scriptures has never changed. I still study my Bible twice daily. Once, just to read, and once to actually study it.
Thanks to my Mama, on 2003 I was ordained as a non-denominational minister, and am licensed to perform marriages in the state where I live. Earlier that same year, my baby brother became a lay minister.
Mama's been gone two years now. But her legacy lives on. Her love for Jesus, and her pursuit of the Scriptures has fixed my own path through this life, by giving me the option to make some of the same choices she did.
This little New Testament and Psalms means the world tome. I treasure it more than I can ever say.
Oh, and that little girl who got that New Testament?
She looked a little something like this.