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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