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Amazing Grace
I have felt much more peace this year after posting about my mother two weeks ago. This upcoming Friday it will be three years since she passed away; it will also be my 41st birthday.

When I found out I was expecting my eighth child, I was stunned: it didn't seem possible that I could be having another child with my mother not here. Obviously my body was not aware of this complication, but my mind was. There were times when I would think, "Lord, why did you give me eight children when my mother is gone?" You see, my mother was always accessible, concerned, and involved in my life. When I had a really tough day with one of the kids and was at the end of my proverbial rope, all I had to do was call Mother, explain the situation, and put her on the phone with the errant child. After much silence interspersed with "okays" and "yes, ma'ams," I usually saw much behavioral improvement. My mother had that kind of effect on people. She asked my dad once why everyone in the family asked her opinion on things that didn't involve her, and he explained that she was very wise and everyone respected her opinion.

Having your mother pass away on your birthday is not an easy thing. On the first anniversary of her death I was in a funk all day, sort of aimless and unfocused. My oldest son kept telling me to call a friend to meet me, or just get in the car and go do something (I think I was making him a little nuts). You know what happened though? My aunt and cousin sent me absolutely gorgeous flowers and my husband surprised me by coming home early from work and taking me to the movies. Last year, the second anniversary, I had a surprise party for my 40th birthday at an Italian restaurant. My church sisters really did a great job planing this, because I was completely clueless (maybe that's a state of mind and not a circumstance).

One thing that really sticks with me is this: shortly before my birthday last year a friend emailed me and said, "Your mother would want you to be happy." Nothing could be more true. Instead of my birthday being just another day, I have seen that people are especially kind because they know the significance the day holds for me. If you think about it, stop by and say hello this Friday!

When I wrote the post about my mother, I couldn't walk away until I'd finished. My husband and I were almost late to the movies; we saw Amazing Grace on opening night. Speaking of amazing grace, I'm thankful for a Saviour who said, "My grace is sufficient for thee," a Saviour of whom it was said, " And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." I am thankful that verse did not say, "He shall facilitate the saving of his people from their sins," or "He shall initiate the saving of his people from their sins." I cannot be trusted with something as small as making sure my kids have shoes on their feet (my dear friend Trina can confirm that our family attended a talent show/spaghetti supper last night and two of my children arrived without shoes). What a blessing to know their salvation is in my Lord's hands and not mine. I serve a big God, a powerful God, a God who doesn't need my assistance to accomplish His will--a risen Saviour who declared, "It is finished." Put your trust in Him and rest easy in that promise.

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Blogger Gail said...

AMEN, sister! Grace is a powerful thing. New to the Primitive Baptist teachings, I just remember telling Bro. Ken one evening that I was just thankful that a friend's salvation didn't depend upon my words as they are never completely adequate. It is God's gift to us, not our gift to him, that saves us. As for accepting Christ's sacrifice ... that was made TO God, FOR us ... it is not ours to accept, but to Thank God for His magnificent grace in acceptance. Pretty humbling, but very empowering nevertheless.

Thanks for my daily dose of "what's good in my life."

Love you!

Blogger Doris said...

Amen! Throughout the last part of your post I kept thinking, He said "It is finsihed", and thus it was. You ended your post with that very promise. I am so thankful I serve a MIGHTY God. Very sweet post, Dawn.


Blogger amber said...

Amen sister! I, too, am so abundantly thankful that my salvation does not lie in my own hands. Wonderful words you wrote! I couldn't agree more.

I love reading your posts, Dawn. Don't ever stop.

Blogger Donna said...

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see. I thank the Lord that I didn't have to find him, but that he found me, a lost sheep, wandering around in the mire and the mud, and in need of his love, grace, and salvation. May we thank him everyday for his love and grace usward, and may we walk in His way. Love in Christ, Donna

Blogger Barb said...

It has to be very difficult to have your birthday be the anniversary of your mom's death. Sad. But your friend who emailed you is right - she'd want you to be happy and celebrate your life and her life and not dwell on her death. After all, your birthday was a pretty special day for her, too.

Blogger janiswrites said...

Your mom would want you to be happy. I can tell just from your words how loving and kind that she was and how much she loved you. She would want you to celebrate her life, rather than her death. God gives us the grace to make it through even the deaths of those closest to us. It is not easy, but with God, all things are possible. Praying for you. Blessings!

Blogger Crew Mom said...

Dawn, loved your post...and yes, having grown up Catholic, I didn't hear about salvation by grace until I met my husband...and God opened my eyes to see the fact that Christ's work on the cross IS FINISHED and that because God's children were saved then, it leaves our eternal salvation TAKEN CARE OF...and THAT in turn, gives us the desire to do good and serve Christ here on earth. The fact that when most people say they were "saved" is when we believe that we were "born again" of the spirit to receive God's blessings on earth, and that it's God's timing not ours, is such a comforting thing! And still that our eternal destiny was determined a long, long time ago! How great to know that even people who never hear the gospel, or menatlly challenged people, or babies who die can leave the earth can still go to heaven --GRACE is full of God's POWER and gives Him all the glory! What better doctrine to believe?

Blogger queen shenaynay said...

You know, Dawn... Judy would probably get a twisted kick out of the fact that she was reborn in heaven on the very date you were born here on earth. In fact, I think I hear her chuckling over it. I'd know that snicker anywhere...


That's a lot to celebrate in one day...

You know, I am so sorry for you and yours -- and for all of us -- that Judy is not here, but I am always so happy for her that she is free from all the pain that wracked her little broken body. I can't even imagine that moment when she forsook all the heaviness of this earth and, weightless and free, flew to Jesus!

Blogger Trina said...

AMEN and AMEN! What wonderful truths you have told.

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