The month of September ushers in the fall. When fall arrives, everything pumpkin also arrives. The days get cooler and shorter, and we begin to hunker down for winter. For me, this month reminds me of my mom. She was born on September 6, 1935 (we think - that is a blog post for another time). She went to be with Jesus on May 11, 2011, and I am still learning from her. Her example taught me what sacrificial love looked like. I think I need constant reminders of that - I believe our world needs a reminder right about now as well. So, in honor of her, I am reposting a blog post from a few years ago about my mom Delta Louise Clements.
Delta Louise Clements.
I like to write her name, even though we wouldn't dare call her by her name. She would perceive that as disrespectful, and respect was a big deal to her. But for now, I think she would understand because I like to see her name in writing. I sure miss my mom. There are so many times that I wish I could ask her a question about her life or how she handled a difficult situation. The older I get, the more I understand her and some of her private struggles. I also can look back at how she lived her life and learn from her. She is still teaching me.
My sister and I have reminisced about the beautiful lessons our mom taught us and agreed that one of her strongest, most beautiful attributes was that of nurturing.
My sister says, "Mom was at her best when caring for someone."
Yes, I think anyone who knew Delta Louise Clements would agree. She excelled at nurturing.
1 Peter 4:10
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
She was a steward of God's grace as she took care of our family tirelessly. Even after she started working, she was always there. I know there were many days that she was exhausted but came home to clean the house and cook. Some of my fondest memories are of us hanging out around the kitchen, patiently waiting for the delicious meal she was preparing.
I think that was when she thrived the most; when her body was worn out, she was able to set her fatigue aside for other people. Serving usually costs us something because it sets aside what we want to mend the wounds of others.
One day when I was in High School, I was struggling - feeling overwhelmed and depressed. I went to the school office to call my mom. Somehow, she was able to leave work and come and get me. She didn't push or probe; she just showed up.
Isn't that what serving is? Seeing a need and just showing up.
Delta Louise and her servant's heart was a beautiful example of how Jesus sacrificed everything to be there for me. To know that someone would do everything in their power to be there for you is a beautiful feeling. It made me feel safe.
To rescue me, even if it was from myself.
When she wasn't working, cleaning, or taking care of her family, she served at the church and cared for other people. We lived near an Air Force base, and many times the Airmen were lined up in our dining room for a haircut and a good meal. Whatever the need was, she would show up.
After Larry and I were married, we had some lean times financially. Mom would show up at the door with bags of groceries. She would say that she "bought too much at the grocery store." Yeah, right, like someone buys 2 gallons of milk on accident. She didn't want us to feel bad.
When her grandkids came along, her nurturing went to a whole new level.
She would move heaven and earth to spend time with them, care for them, and often spoil them.
Every season in our mom's life, she would show up and serve. As our dad's health declined, mom cared for him tenderly. It was beautiful to see their love deepen during that special time.
Mom served relentlessly until her health slowed her down, which was difficult for her.
I thank God for her example. Most of the time, I feel inadequate when someone is in need. I don't know what to do or say, but if I think of mom's example - for her, it was just to show up. I'm sure there were days that she felt inadequate too. It's just that her willingness to serve outweighed her feeling of inadequacy. She put herself out there and allowed the Lord to fill in the gaps.