The Most Influential Women in the World

I am able to trace back my maternal genealogy an impressive distance. My personal experience and knowledge begins with my maternal great-grandmother, Ruthie Mae McDonald Smith. I am glad to have known her as a young girl. I have glimpses of who she was, who she became. Recently, I feel that I’ve grown to know her more intimately as I’ve begun in depth research preparing for a historical narrative I am writing. 

Here is a photo of her with her husband, my great-grandfather and her five oldest children. The oldest girl, is my own grandmother, Alvis Yvone Smith (later to become a DeMoss). 


In this photo as I study my great-grandmother’s face, I can imagine she was so proud and probably so tired. Life was hard, physically hard nearly a century ago. She could not have seen what the future would hold, the tragedy, the grief, the heartache and surely the nightmares. She could not have known that three of her children in this photograph would become part of history, part of the worst school related disaster our nation has ever known. 


The New London School Explosion would destroy more than a building. It destroyed lives, families and the hopes and dreams of many mothers. Only moments before dismissal a gas explosion claimed hundreds of children and many of their teachers. 

I didn’t know her before of course, but my grandmother told me that her momma was never the same again. She never quite recovered. And yet, she continued to mother. She would birth four more children and live a long life. She would become the woman I remember, always appearing a little melancholy. 


Today is Mother’s Day and I’m thinking of Ruthie Mae McDonald who knew the greatest heartache a mother can have   I’m thinking of her eldest daughter, Alvis Yvone Smith DeMoss who had children of her own and one of them my mother, Genevieve DeMoss Roberts. I’m thinking of them all and my heart is thankful. 


I’m thankful to have known the most influential women in the world, in my world. I am thankful for the rich spiritual heritage that they passed on to me and that I will pass on to my daughters. Today I celebrate them all! Happy Mother’s Day! 

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The Hope of Easter

Today is Easter and we’ve celebrated with egg hunts and even a Passover Seder. Today we will gather with family and friends at an Easter Service to celebrate once more. Why all the celebrating? 

Well, let me assure you, it is much more than colored eggs and bunnies. We are celebrating the miracle of life. 


A precious ‘son of my heart’ posted the following words a few days ago. He blessed my hear with his words. 

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Galatians 6:9

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
I am living proof, that if you invest Jesus into someone, as little or mundane as you might think it is, that seed will grow. That flower may only need to break through loose, fertile soil. Or in my case, it might have to break through red Georgia clay that’s under a foot of concrete. But be patient and continue to water it, and oh how sweet and beautiful it is once it blooms. 
To all of those that invested in me, I say thank you. And now I pay it forward, investing Jesus into other people, planting my own seeds.

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This is the miracle of new life, eternal life that we celebrate. This hope was made possible by the most important moment in history. That moment was when Jesus Christ, Yeshua, our Redeemer, defeated death, and gave us hope of new beginnings, fresh starts and forgiveness. 


If I told you more of my what Gary had faced, experienced and been through you would be amazed that just before Easter he was baptized as public proclamation of his faith. If I told you about his life, some of his choices, some of his struggles you would rejoice with me that he has come home spiritually. If I told you of the hundreds of prayers and years of waiting, you would take courage as you pray and wait for your own prodigals. 

So, yes, today we celebrate the hope of Easter! And today as Gary posted this picture of his wife and precious daughters, I know the miracle will continue. The hope will grow in the lives of his children. The hope of Easter changes everything. 


So, from my family to yours, I wish you a blessed day and the hope of Easter! 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Celebrate Your Momma!

How do you celebrate Mother’s Day? Do visions of Hallmark commercials dance before your eyes? Do memories of yesterday cloud your vision of today? Do you have high expectations? Do you determine how your day went with a measuring stick of comparison? Do you want to honor your mom but feel lacking?

Let’s think this through together and be honest about it. Heck, let’s make a list.  

Ways to celebrate Mother’s Day

1 – TIME 

Take time to call, to visit, to give a hug in person, to play a board game, to eat a meal together, to sit on the porch and chat, to show her she is important, appreciated and loved. 


2 – Adventures

Go somewhere together. Visit the museum and laugh at the funny art. Go to a botanical garden. How about the zoo? Attend a concert or take an art class. Pottery? Painting? How about ballroom dancing? Even a day at the library could be great fun. 


3 – Gifts

She deserves it but make sure you make it personal. Put some thought into it. Believe me, that’s what moms are longing for, a thoughtful gift. If she’s on a diet, don’t buy her a box of candy. If she just started yoga, get her a gift that says you noticed that. Do not buy her something that the household will use. That’s not a gift for her. Live flowers that I can plant and enjoy all spring and summer make me happy and my kiddos know that. What do you know about your mom?


4 – WORDS

Say I love you! Tell her in words that she made a difference in your life. Buy a card or post it on Facebook or Tweet it or make a call. Speak up and say it right out loud! “Thank you Mom! Thank you for loving me, trying your best and giving it your all.”  Let her know that you are praying for her, that she matters and that she is loved. Even retell a funny ‘mom moment’ and laugh together about it. 


For those who can not celebrate their mom, I want to say something special to you. If your mom was not there for you, didn’t try her best, made costly mistakes and bad choices, please hear me clearly. This is not a reflection on you or your value or your worth. It is a reflection of her brokenness. If you can find it in your heart, forgive her, even if you can’t have a healthy relationship with her, even if she doesn’t deserve it, this Mother’s Day, celebrate by setting yourself free from bitterness, resentment and anger. If you are that mother that made a mess of everything, forgive yourself and embrace hope for a better tomorrow.