This week's devotional is a poem dedicated to my mother,

Christine Hanson, artist and author,  August 31, 1917- March 1st, 2008.

 As we grow older and look back at life, we realize mothers are human and make mistakes.  My mother was not perfect as or none, but she was made of very special stuff. May we each learn to love each other more every day, imperfections and all. 


What Are Mothers Made Of?


Little girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice,

According to a poem written long ago.

Little boys are made of things not quite so nice:

Dog tails - maybe even a frog leg, or toad?

Was the poet a mother of little girls?

Whom she always dressed in frills?  Or the mother of brawny little boys,  with rock-filled pockets. 

And even bugs that gave chills and squeals?


Did she perhaps have one or more little one of each gender?

Whom she wrapped her arms around and loved so tender?

She watched them grow and mature in all things that made them special and unique.

She watched them grow and go looking for life, and love, and many things to seek.

Did the mother shed a tear when she found a special rock tucked away in a drawer?

Did the mother’s heartbreak when she found a piece of ribbon lying on the floor?


If we could ask the daughter and son now after they are very old and gray,

Just one question, if we could ask it, what would they say?

What are mothers made of in your opinion my friend?

Are they made of sunshiny days or dark nights that seem to have no end?

Are they made of smiles and hugs, or tears and frowns?

Are they made of mourning garments or wedding gowns?

If we could look inside would there be a mix of good and bad?

Would we find a lot of happy with maybe a little sad?


The answer to the question we must each answer alone.

For we each had a mother, we didn't get here on our own.

What are mothers made of I ask you today?

Remember mothers are human, created not in rhymes.

Remember as you go and tell your mother you love her one more time.


Judy Parker



Mothers Know

Mothers are of a  very special lot.

They know when a tummy aches or when a fever gets too hot.

When those knees get scraped and elbows too,

Mothers know to simply give you a kiss and reach down and tie your shoe.

When your first love  leaves and your world seems to be ending,

Mothers know how to hold you tight, your very heart defending.

When someone tells you that you're just not good enough,

Mothers know how to convince you not to believe all that stuff.

When you find true love, happiness, joy, and peace,

Mothers know how to celebrate with you in a celebration that never seems to cease.

Yes, Mothers truly are a  very special lot.

If you have a Mother hug her tight and realize what you've got.

You have a defender, a confidant, a true friend to share your life with every day,

If you have a Mother you have someone to love you with a love that never goes away.

Isaiah 61:3
They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.(NRS)

Leftover Rose Petals

Last week was Mother's Day and there were a lot or rose corsages given to a lot of mothers.  Most mothers put them on and proudly wore them for the day. When the day ended what happened to those beautiful roses? One day really seems like a waste for such awesome beauty.

I can remember when I was a child, my own mother would sometime receive a corsage. She never wore them. She simply placed them in the freezer and said that way they would last forever. I believed her but wondered what was the point of letting the beauty live forever if it's shut away in a cold, cold freezer never to be seen or touched or smelled. I suppose she just kept them there so if she ever needed something to make her smile, she could go take a glimpse of the rose's beauty sitting dormant in the freezer.

This year I received a rose corsage for Mother's Day. I have been someone's mother ever since I was eighteen, which has been quite a while ago, and this was my first Mother's Day corsage ever.   It was a special gift given by someone special.  I wore the corsage for services at church. When I got home and took off the corsage, I touched the velvety soft petals and breathed the fragrant smell and laid it on my dresser.  I looked and thought of the petals that would soon wither.  I thought of my mother's frozen corsages from the past and thought of placing this one in my own freezer.  

As I got to the refrigerator I changed my mind. I noticed a very short stem on my corsage. I found a very small vase, filled it with water and placed the rose inside.  I sat the vase in my favorite spot where I, and others who passed by, enjoyed the rose's beauty all week.

Today I picked the leftover rose petals from the very short stem and placed them in a special place where I keep special things.  Now the beauty of those leftover rose petals has faded somewhat, but they now serve as a keepsake of a priceless happy memory well preserved and as a reminder that their time before they withered was well spent. 

As I picked off those remaining rose petals I thought of Jesus sometime being referred to as our Rose. I thought of how some who receive Him hide Him away hoping, I guess, to keep Him in a safe place where they know  He is if they should happen to need Him to bring some joy their way. They may even have a keepsake somewhere, perhaps a date written in a Bible, that helps them remember the day they first met the Rose  They see His beauty, experience the fragrance of His love, and feel the tender softness of His forgiveness that they know will last forever.  They then seem to fail to realize such beauty should be shared with others. They keep Jesus packed away, preserved.  If they happen to need Him, they know where they can go and retrieve Him.  They don't really put Him on and wear Him.   They never experience the joy of viewing His beauty every day.  Throughout their lives, they kind of pick off little pieces, little petals from the Rose, as they need Him.  They let a lot of the available beauty they could experience in Him just fade away as their own lives wither away. 

Today think about those beautiful rose corsages you saw on Mother's Day. Think of all the beauty they brought to that day.

Today think about the beautiful Rose you first saw at some point in your life, maybe very recently, maybe a long time ago.

Are you making the most of the time He is spending with you here?  Are you wearing your Rose? Are you wearing Jesus every day?  Are you displaying His beauty for all the world to see?

Have you only packed Him away in a safe place in case you happen to need Him to bring a smile your way?

Put Him On!!!! 

Make sure at the end of your life as your time here begins to wither that you don't have any leftover Rose petals stored away somewhere that you could have put to good use by sharing all  His beauty, all the tender softness of His forgiveness, and all the fragrance of His unending love with others.

Make sure you have made the most of every petal, every little aspect of Jesus Christ, in your life. Make sure His time with you  here was well spent time


Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.(RSV)

In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.  James 1:21-THE MESSAGE
Sunday was Mother's day. Sunday was a day when I thought back on a lot of different moments in my life.  For some reason, I thought of a Mother's Day long ago when I was about nine years old.  On that Sunday morning, I put on a blue Polly Flinders dress (a brand of children's clothing which was always decorated with smocking like in the picture to the left)  with white polka dots with a white ribbon sash.  I walked to church on the street I lived on as I did every Sunday. I sat alone in the sanctuary and saw a lot of other little girls with their moms by their side. The moms had on white gloves and corsages and some even had on frilly hats.  I knew this was a special occasion. I prayed really hard to have a mother like that and for her to walk in the door and sit down by me. She didn't walk in.
This Mother's Day I had the opportunity to be alone in the sanctuary at my church very early to pray.  I knelt at the altar and prayed for my mother who will be ninety years old this summer. I prayed for my children, (physical and spiritual ones) and my grandchildren.  As I was praying, I remembered the prayer from my childhood. I reminded God of the prayer as if  He might have forgotten it or something. I reminded Him of promises in His Word like He might have forgotten them.  His Word tells us He will grant us the desires of our hearts.  I asked God why He hadn't let me have a mother like I dreamed of as a child and have her to walk in the sanctuary that day so long ago. Why did He not grant me that desire? God answered.
He reminded me of scripture which tells me He knows the plans He has for me. His ways are not my ways.  His thoughts are not my thoughts.  The word "weeding" came to my mind very clearly.  I left my prayer time knowing I had heard God speak, but still felt as if I didn't get the answer I had expected.
Later in the day, I ended up of all places at Tractor Supply Company, a place I never go, what a way to spend Mother's Day afternoon.  We gathered what we came for and then some.  Just as we were about to check out, my husband picked up a huge container of Round Up Weed Killer-Weed Be Gone.  I ended up having to carry it to the check out counter because my husband was carrying a huge box of some important tractor something another.  I asked myself, "Why I am here?" As I set the weed killer on the counter I got my answer. The prayer from that morning came to mind and the word weeding I had heard.  The weed killer label said, "fast acting, effective, even kills the roots."
I began to think about my prayers and my wants and my desires.  I think God is a gardener. When we pray He does a little weeding and picks out the weeds. A weed is defined as something useless.  God picks out useless prayers.  He knows the plans He has for each of us. If the prayers we pray, as children or adults,  don't line up with His plan for our lives, why should He grant desires that won't help accomplish His plan?  He wants what is best for us.  He has plans for good and not evil plans to help us and not harm us. He does honor effectual (effective) fervent (containing a lot of zeal-tireless diligence ) prayers of the righteous, which availaeth (To be of use to) much.
I don't know why exactly God didn't allow my mother to walk in church that day, but I do know His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts.  I do know there were a lot of people in that church through my childhood years who reached out to me and became a mother to me. If my mother had been with me, who knows those people might not have poured as much into my life as they did. 
When we pray we need to help God out a little I think. Perhaps we need to be gardeners and weed out a few selfish prayers before we pray them. We all want our prayers to be something of use.  Think about each prayer. Are the wants and desires we pray for something that will line up with the plan God has for our lives? If we want our prayers to be fast acting and effective we need to get to the root of why we are asking God for what we are asking for in the first place. God answers all prayers, sometimes the answers just aren't what we desire them to be.