May 12, 2012

Saturday SHINE....

Happy Saturday, SHINE girls! 

Guess what? No reading on the weekends. However, if you are behind on reading Job, take this time to catch up. You can do it! We are cheering you on!

I have another awesome Mom story today here on SHINE. I met Melissa Martin just a few months ago. She has quickly become one of my closest friends!

If you know Melissa, then you love Melissa. Plain and simple. She's real, she's beautiful, and she is very wise. She has been such a gift in my life and to so many others.

Be blessed by her story about her precious Mother.

My Mom-by Melissa Martin

Oh, I have loved this week’s SHINE posts!  Wasn’t it Oprah who said that being a mother “is the hardest job in the world?”
  I went to my friend “google” to check my facts and found out that Oprah’s most famous quote on motherhood is “becoming a mother means you become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is.”   How true – there are little people looking up to MOMS, that “generation rising up to take their place” that Jill wrote about last week…and I have loved reading Erin, Ashley, Angela, Lisa and Ladona's  posts about the way their mothers SHINE in their lives!  I have never met Erin, but her Monday post really touched me.  I have several friends who lost their mamas this year and they need our prayers this week!  Join me in lifting up all of those whose hearts are heavy this Mother’s Day, please.  My mom will be one of those needing our prayers…she lost her sweet mother on Palm Sunday of this year. 

 Proverbs 31:25-30 She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.  When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instruction with kindness.  She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. ..Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. 
I could write a book about my fabulous mom!  When I was little, all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a “mommy.”  Truthfully, I have always wanted to be just like her.   She was always the room mom, never missed a field trip, and made sure that we were the house where my friends liked to hang out.  She is always there for me and my friends and there has never been a time that she didn’t put everyone else’s needs and wants above hers.   God has gifted her with a sweet spirit and the biggest, most loving heart…and that’s what makes her SHINE so bright.  
My mom shows Jesus to the world without even opening her mouth.  She just “oozes” grace.  How?  Well, for starters, I have NEVER (seriously, never) heard her speak a negative word about anyone.  She sees the best in people, even those who are difficult to love.  Secondly, she ALWAYS shows up when someone is in need.  One of her biggest gifts is that of companionship…if she knows you, she’ll be by your side during the good – but especially the bad.   Romans 12:9-13 sums up my mom pretty well:  "Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them…Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality." 
I am eternally grateful for two specific gifts from my mother:  my faith and my friendships.  My mom was intentional about building my faith.  She raised me and my brother in the church – Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Children’s Choir, Youth Group.  We were there – that’s just the way it was.  But as we got older we understood that her faith was not our faith.  My brother and I were free to ask our own questions, visit different denominations, and encouraged to grow a relationship with Jesus that was our own.    Secondly, my mom has been a great example of how to be a good friend.  She values her friendships with other women and doesn’t take them for granted.  She is one of 12 women known as “the sewing group.”  They started out helping each other smock clothes for all of their children over 35 years ago.  But very few of them actually sew anymore.  Throughout the years they have supported each other through a lot…a child with cancer, an unfaithful husband, financial challenges and so much more.  They love each boldly and stick together through thick and thin.  They travel to the beach together, rent a limo (or the FurBus!) for a celebration, and laugh and cry through it all.  Seeing the sewing group lined up –taking up a whole pew- at my grandmother’s funeral a few weeks ago reminded me of what my mom has shown me all along:  going through life with a group of good friends can really cushion life’s blows.   
And so this Mother’s Day I am thankful…for my precious mom, for my wonderful girlfriends, for all of the SHINE GIRLS and our faithful leader, Jill.  But most of all, for my JESUS, from whom all blessings flow!

Mom with my boys

Mom's Sewing group!

My family:
from left: Charlie, James, Thomas, Me and Brian

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