Monday, March 26, 2012

40 Days of Virtue: Praise Her!

Missing My Mother
"Her children stand and bless her... 
a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise."
Proverbs 31:28, 30-31

"She had the nicest personality of any resident I have ever taken care of since I've been a caregiver."
She was a great lady.”

“She was independent to the very end.”

These were words spoken by my mother's caregivers after her passing. It amazes me that these people who had known her only a few short months spoke so profoundly into her life and mine. 
I felt like I was blind, but suddenly I could see!  I saw how much she meant to me, how much she did for me, how much she taught me, and how much of the good in me was modeled by her. I saw her strength. Her commitment. Her perseverance. Her sacrifice. Her unspoken love.

She was a virtuous woman, as described in Proverbs 31 of the Bible.

These final verses of Proverbs 31 serve as an epitaph at the end of the poem. It's as though this woman's life has come to an end, and this is the legacy she has left behind:
  • Children and grandchildren who celebrate her worth, who see her value in having shaped their lives and pointed them toward God.
  • Deeds that flowed from her devotion to God, and left a mark on the hearts of the many lives she touched in her community, in her world.
  • A lifetime of living love, not just speaking it.
As we come to the end of our journey with this woman, I think of the devotions that have been penned from these verses by our Woven Women. Many have reflected on the legacy of their mothers and grandmothers, godly women who have paved a pathway of living a life of love.

For me, these verses provided a way to publicly praise my mom before friends and family at her funeral. As I gave tribute to my mother, I asked everyone to stand and together we applauded my mother for the great things she had done and for the legacy she had left behind!

I regret that I did not praise her enough before her passing. I did not honor her in the way that I would have liked to. My eyes, my mind, my heart, were covered with a veil of my wants, my rights, my unmet needs. She may not have been the mother I would have chose, but she was the mother God chose for me. It seemed I was so consumed with what was lacking in her, that I could not see what was lacking in me. "Mother, forgive me! Abba Father, God, forgive me!"

  • Are you wearing a veil over your heart today?
  • Do you see the good in others? Or are you too focused on their faults?
  • What is filtering your view, your perspective of others?
  • What is preventing the light of God's love to shine in all it's glory through you?
"But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor. 3:16-17)"
  • Will you turn to the Lord today and ask Him to identify the veil that covers your heart, your spiritual eyes?
  • Allow Him to heal whatever wounds are there, so that you can walk in the freedom He offers through His Holy Spirit.
  • Take this time apart with Him to pray, read scripture, journal, and listen for God to speak into your heart and life.
    "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (IJohn 3:1NIV)"

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