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! 


The Cost of Christmas

I’ll admit that I’m starting this day a bit exhausted, physically that is. The majority of mommas could probably say the same thing about this time on Christmas Day. My day will require a lot of me. My attention, my energy, even my patience will be in high demand. It will cost me. 
Mommas stretch themselves on days like today. We’ve planned and worked and wrapped and labeled and cooked and organized until we’ve just about come to the end of our reserve tank of energy. Even so, once again, we have managed to pull it off and pull it together. 

I’ll tell you one thing, if I could only tell you only one thing, about this Christmas. It will be good for my soul. My children gathered together under one roof at the same time, healthy, happy, whole. Y’all know it is my favorite place to be, together that is. It will be worth the cost. 
This year has been chaotic and challenging, breathtaking and beautiful in so many ways. There have been some heart-rending moments, some tears, some struggles, some unexpected changes. There have been some victories, some precious memories made and lots of opportunity for spiritual growth.  But here at the end of this sometimes tumultuous 2016 love has shown up, shown out and made my heart glad. 

No extravagant gifts, no expensive trips nor even any impressive decorations to speak of. But, oh the wealth we are blessed with. The wealth of seeing my children smile and hold them close when it was time to weep. The wealth of cheering them on at their best moments and reaching for their hand when they’ve stumbled and helping them to their feet. Such wealth. 

So, while this day will require a lot of me, it will give me so much in return. I’m so thankful that another momma 2,000 years ago, gave her all, more she she imagined she could as she delivered the greatest gift the world would ever receive. She was the first momma to pay  the cost of Christmas, the very first Christmas. 

Mommas Have Skills Too!

You know, I think it’s a shame that moms (like myself) who haven’t worked outside the home for a decade or two are considered to have no marketable value when they are ready to enter the workforce again. Mommas have skills too!
All morning long, I’ve made phone calls, scheduled appointments, provided pertinent information, rearranged schedules, consulted calendars and done it all in an orderly fashion. I’d make somebody a good secretary or whatever they call it today. Administrative assistant? 
Moms in general don’t get the credit they deserve I think. As a homeschooler for instance I plan field trips, referee student interactions, grade, review, answer questions, deal with disgruntled parents (ok, that’s me, but still) and plan lunch and snacks too. I’d make asomeone a good teachers aide or school counselor or something. 
What about managing this house and making sure no birthdays are forgotten? What about making sure everyone has clean socks and a pair of tennies that fit their ever-growing feet? What about menu planning, food-preparing and kitchen cleaning? I’d make someone a good short-order cook, restaurant manager, personal shopper or something. 
Don’t forget, administering meds, transportation to and from countless appointments and bandages on boo-boos (or finger splints). Do you know how many children I’ve nursed back to health from wisdom teeth extractions, appendectomies, broken bones, tonsillectomies and comforted through orthodontic braces? I’d make someone a good nursing assistant or chauffeur or medical aid or something. 

Oh, and I’m greatly experienced at promoting spiritual growth, encouraging scripture memory, listening to heartaches and heart breaks, comforting the grieving, inspiring folks to consider foster-care or adoption, leading small groups, marriage counseling and helping mommas like me through a challenging day. I’d make someone a good therapist, chaplain, preacher or something. 

I salute all you mommas who may feel unappreciated at times, whose efforts are often over looked, who may appear to be wasting themselves and their talents. You are valuable. You are making a difference. Hey, mommas have skills too!