I am truly blessed to have such a rich heritage – one filled with women of faith. Mothers who have selflessly and freely given. Women who have endured and triumphed over hardships, overcome devastating losses, cared for communities, and first and foremost, loved their families well.
My great-grandmother lost her own mother at a very early age, lived through WWI & WWII, raised children during the Great Depression, successfully battled breast cancer, lost a child and a spouse long before their lives were fully lived, and loved her family without limits. Her faith as her guide, she was a fearless fighter as she navigated her way through horrendous obstacles with dignity and grace. Susan Elizabeth was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and a fabulously fiery redhead to boot, before her spirit and mind moved to her heavenly home.
My grandmother, (Gram as she is affectionately called) Rosemary Elizabeth, is the most amazing woman of faith that I know. She has raised children during a war, lost babies, brothers, a grandson, a nephew, parents and spouse of 60+ years, along with most of her dearest lifelong friends; yet remains a loving, kind, gracious, giving, and godly woman. Her faith has sustained her through heartache and hurt. Her heavenly Maker graciously has given her gifts and talent that she willingly and humbly shares. Music, art, words. Each a glorious gift that she continues to give. Though her hearing and eyesight now impair her ability to sing and paint as she once did, her words are still as clear and profound as they have ever been. The wisdom imparted to her, gently shared with her beloved. Each visit, a treasure to hold in the hollows of my heart.
Sheryl Rose, my own magnificent mom, is the epitome of grace under fire. Abandoned by her beloved, yet lavishly loved by the Lord. Her hospitality and hugs embrace everyone who enters her home. She has the astounding ability to lavish love on the lonely. The motherless, can call her mom. The heartbroken hear His heart in hers. Kids cling to her kindness. Growing up, my mom was the mom that friends called “Mom” when they hung out in our home. Also, she is a selfless servant. She sees need where no word has been spoken, and simply serves. Rooms that once appeared as if a tornado had touched down, sparkle shortly after she masterfully moves. Never in my life, have I needed to question my mother’s love for me. Her words, her actions, her heart, all mirror those of our Maker. God’s heart and hands made tangible through my mom.
Somehow, I am additionally blessed with spiritual “moms”. Wise women of faith that know my heart and love me well, despite my desire to hide. These ladies encourage me to see beyond what is in plain view. Gently, they nudge me to crawl out of my corner and risk revealing some of myself – glimpses of who God has made me to be.
As I reflect upon this most recent Mother’s Day, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the glorious grace given by God. He has provided, embraced, educated, empowered and enlightened each of these incredible ladies that I have been so blessed to behold. Each woman demonstrating a life of love that guides the next generation to God’s goodness and grace. This path they have laid, manifesting footprints to follow.
Lord, may I too live a life of loving well…
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present