On Saturday May 18th, my home church here in Germany, held a Mother's Tea. It's a lovely idea, each table has a host and each host can decorate their table any style they'd like. It turned out perfect, with four different hostesses all decorating their table differently. We shared a wonderfully fancy potluck lunch and had a guest speaker, Alice Burge, missionary and wife of missionary Gene Burge.
I volunteered to open with a devotion about my mother and motherhood in general. I will share my devotion on my next blog post, but first I want to share something profound that occurred to me while I was getting ready for the tea.
I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror (we only have one, and it's a medicine cabinet mirror so I don't know why I need to state 'bathroom' mirror as if to differentiate between multiple mirrors in my home! ha) trying to put on a necklace. This necklace was given to me just one week ago by my husband and daughter. They gave it to me Saturday, May 11, on my birthday, which was one day before Mother's Day. My birthday present hadn't come in yet (this is typical w/ mail coming to Germany) so my husband decided to give me my Mother's Day gift on my birthday. (yes, it was a celebratory weekend for me! not to mention Friday May 10th was mexican mother's day and since my husband is mexican and therefore my daughter.. i think i can cash in on that one too!)
So, there I was, standing in front of the mirror trying to put my necklace on. I say trying because it has a tough clasp, the opening is at a weird angle and the opening is small. Every time I had put the necklace on in the last week, I had to get the chain under my hair and around the back of my neck (I have very long 'tangly' hair as my daughter calls it because of the movie 'Tangled' - aka curly) then I have to squinch my face to look down and try to clasp it in the front. As I stood there putting it on I thought, you know, this has been going on for a week now, maybe I should just get a new chain.. keep the charm but replace the chain. But then I stopped in my tacks and smiled and thought.. awww, how could I replace any of it? This was a gift given to me in love, by the adoration of my child and spouse. They didn't give it to me hoping to make my life difficult. They gave it to me to make me happy, to tell me they loved me. So now, every time I put the necklace on and it gives me an ounce of trouble, I will stop in my tracks, smile and think of how kind their gift was.
That's when the epiphany hit me. How much more does my Father in Heaven love me! More than my spouse loves me, more than my daughter loves me, He Loves Me. He gave me this life as a gift. He gave me the roles of spouse and mother, among others, as gifts. He gave me these gifts because He loves me! Is it difficult sometimes? It sure can be difficult to be a spouse, an Army spouse at that. And it sure can be difficult to be a mother. But the Bible tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV) God clearly doesn't want to harm me! He didn't give me this life BECAUSE it was difficult. He gave me this life and these roles as gifts. He who formed me in my mother's womb, He who knitted me together and He who knows the plans He has for me, to prosper me and not to harm me, He Loves Me! And when things get difficult, that's when I can stop in my tracks, refocus my gaze heavenward, thank God for my gifts and ask Him for guidance, renewing my faith and strength in Him.
Then I thought to myself.. isn't it amazing... when I'm in the word every day, reading my Bible every night, spending time in prayer each night and welcoming, err BEGGING, that the Holy Spirit come into my life, guide me and reveal things to me... that God answers my prayers. He does not turn His face away from me... and very regularly I face epiphanies, where new things are revealed to me, by Him, through the Holy Spirit.
God is great, and to Him I owe all the glory! Thank you God!
Keeping the Faith... Rachel
the girls praying
Miss Rose (pastor's wife)
Alice Burge (our guest speaker)