Good Celebrating

I love a good celebration – especially when it is for and with people I love. We just celebrated my mom and her birthday. She has had a good number of them, but since you wouldn’t believe me if I told you how many, I will refrain. There is no greater lady in my world to celebrate than she. My mom shines Jesus’s light so bright that there is a noticeable positive change in the air when you are with her!   She emulates the Proverbs 31 woman:

  •     She is a “wife of noble character…
  •     worth far more than rubies. 
  •     Her husband has full confidence in her…
  •     She gets up while it is still dark (to have her time with Jesus before the sun and the family       awake)
  •     She provides food for her family (lots of GREAT food!)
  •     She sets about her work vigorously (she has never known a mountain that can’t be                  climbed, no matter how arduous it seems)
  •     She is clothed with strength and dignity…
  •     She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue…
  •     She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness        (she is in perpetual motion!)…
  •     Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also…
  •     Many women do noble things, but (she) surpasses them all. 
  •     CHARM IS DECEPTIVE AND BEAUTY IS FLEETING; but a woman who fears the Lord is        to be praised.

We had a great party for her. I got to have her and my dad all to myself. We sat at the kitchen table in my grow-up house and had filet mignon (her fav), asparagus, black-eyed peas (she is a southern girl), pretzel bread, chocolate-chocolate ganache cake, and fudge swirl ice cream and then watched our Atlanta Braves in the World Series together. We laughed, we caught up on everyone – we cried for some, we “happied” for some. We were full as ticks with food and love and the joy of being together. In all the goodness, I realized much has changed over these years…as things do.

Proverbs 31 mentions that beauty is fleeting My mom missed that memo as she has a timeless beauty that radiates. However, as we watched the baseball game, the camera operator honed in on a couple with a sign that said, “We were here in ’91, just younger and thinner.” Ha! It served my point that the beauty of this world, encased in the packaging of today, becomes a relic. Bodies change, minds change, politics and governments change, technology changes, family situations change. For example, when I started eating and celebrating at that (same) kitchen table almost 50 years ago, there were 4 of us: mom, dad, my brother, and me. Now, when the stars align and all of the kids and grandkids, and significant others are all present at the same time, there are 13 of us! The school and social and family situations that we waded through at that table seeming so significant at the time are mostly faded memories if they are remembered at all. Scripture says that “Everyone who strives to master things…does it to obtain a perishable prize, but we do it to obtain an imperishable prize.” I Cor 9:25 Trophies and accolades don’t seem to mean much as you age. As heaven gets closer, we realize that is the true goal because it has eternal value. A few months ago I found a box of trophies and medals from my childhood swimming years. I no longer wanted them, and no charity wanted to take them – so I threw them away! The value they once had is no longer there.

Athletes and musicians, artists and politicians that were so prominent in former years have either become legends, fallen from grace, or may not even be remembered now. In all of the changes that come through life, God does not change! He “is the same yesterday, today and forever“! Hebrews 13:8 The character of God is steadfast. It is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, just, and loving. He is not swayed by the current culture. He is above it. He tells us that His ways may not often be understood by us, but rather His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours. So although things in each of our individual worlds change, the God who is over all of them does not. I’m sure this is why He admonishes us: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt 6:19-21

My mom’s heart, as long as I have known her, has never been wrapped up in any trophy, but rather in the Lord and the love and the legacy that she leaves through Him. Therein lies her treasure and her heart. It is beautiful. And contagious. That is why I want to be just like her. So that when people celebrate me, they will celebrate Him and His unchanging nature, that is continually changing me to be more like Him. Happy Birthday Lil’ Mama! I love you!

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