Years ago, in a little one-room country schoolhouse, 18 children, ages 5-14, sang this song:
M is for the million things she gave me,
O means only that she’s growing old.
T is for the tears she shed to save me,
H is for her heart of purest gold;
E is for her eyes, with love-light shining
R means right, and right she’ll always be,
Put them all together, they spell MOTHER
A word that means the world to me.
As the mothers sat there, (my dear mother included), the tears flowed. At the time, I didn’t understand nor appreciate what all of the lyrics were conveying until I became a mother and grandmother.
Mother’s Day is a day of mixed feelings for many of us as we grieve our mothers and mother figures who have passed. Some women may be grieving because of issues with infertility, while others grieve the death of a child or ones lost to addictions or the challenges of parenting as a single mom or nurturing a child with special abilities.
This past Sunday, Pastor Greg eloquently shared with us the blessing of those children that require our unconditional love and acceptance. For many years, my father was on the board of directors for the Martin Luther Home, now known as Mosaic. The home was first established in 1925 to provide support and a home for those with special needs. Each December, our family drove to Beatrice for their annual Christmas party loaded with gifts donated from our church. I still remember the palpable sounds of joy and shouts of glee as my older brother and I handed out the gifts and they unwrapped them.
My family was again blessed to foster two older residents with Down syndrome from MLH to work at the nursing home in Gothenburg. They helped with the daily laundry and became valued, cheerful employees. Every Sunday our family brought them to church with us and tended to their financial and everyday needs. They taught us how to love and live in the moment. Their smiles and hugs at our wedding still linger in our hearts today.
In Romans 8:28, we read: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Shirley and Joyce loved God deeply and joyfully accepted the call according to his purpose.
Good and gracious God,
Thank you for all mothers who so generously and freely give love, comfort, and guidance to their children every day. Bless them for the sacrifices they make and touch them with your grace. May each mother be reminded how loved she is and that she, too, is a child of God, who loves her dearly. Amen
Written by Janece Nelson
Janece and husband, Mike, have been members of Sheridan for more than twelve years. Janece is a retired mathematics instructor teaching at the middle school and college level. They are blessed with two children and three grandchildren.
Janece finds her greatest joy in spending time with her family and friends. Her passion is writing devotions for patients in hospitals and rehabs she sees every Monday as a Sheridan hospital visitor. As a Teammate she also mentors girls at Boys Town. Janece credits Faith Builders and Companions in Christ for her spiritual growth.