Gifts and Blessings!

I have been thinking of my Mother a lot this morning, and as I do, I can feel my eyes misting over. How blessed I was to have been given the gift of that particular woman as my Mother and my mentor! I feel lonesome for her company today and I wish so much that we could sit and visit for hours on end as we once did. She and I used to talk about all sorts of topics, family, religion, morals, politics, and also frivolous things like recipes, gardening and decorating. I cannot wait to see her again. Someday we will meet in heaven and when we do, I will put my arms around her to give her one long and loving hug!

From time to time I come across things that have her handwriting, a lot of them book type gifts from her to me where she would mark the year and put my name on it with “From, Mom” at the bottom. Yesterday, I was cleaning out a closet and was setting aside books to donate to the library, when I came across yet another book in which she had inscribed a note to me. When I saw her handwriting, I brushed my hand across the surface of the page on which she had written. It was done in the form of a caress, and as I did this, her image appeared in my mind and she was smiling at me. I wonder if she knew how many times her little gifts would nudge me with a “hello daughter” at a much needed moment in time?

These are such dark times in America where we see evil at work all around us. There are people who are seeking to destroy an ideal that was formulated and put together by our forefathers. The Declaration of Independence was signed 234 years ago by people who envisioned a new world where people would be free to live and work and worship in a free society because they knew, firsthand, the hardship and grief of living in oppression under a tyrannical regime. Many of our ancestors faced fear and persecution and death in the pursuit of this new ideal which was described as a Republic and was represented by a flag. Many lives were lost in pursuit of this dream where they thought man should be able to make his own decisions on how to live, guided by God and laws that would protect all of us.

We have seen the moral decay taking place in our country for many decades and have allowed many uncomfortable changes in the name of “inclusion”. We became “politically correct”, not wanting to upset any of the special interest groups. Our lives were comfortable and many of us attended church on Sundays and prayed for the world but we were insulated from the reality of evil and danger that has existed in so much of the worlds societies. Our country has been under assault for a long time, but we were not aware of this because it was happening underground, out of our sight.

But, now, it has become a horrifying visual as we watch our cities being destroyed, looted and burned. We watch as churches are closed down and we are asked to comply. We are having our protectors in the name of the police departments disbanded and degraded. We see people hurting each other and yelling profanities in one place while our rights are being taken away bit by bit in another place. We see Bible burnings and flag burnings! How is it possible that so much hate could exist in a country that was founded “under God”?

Daily, I read about what is happening politically and it just takes my breath away, so much so, that I go in search of Gods word and promises. Is this the end times? Will Jesus be making an appearance? Many Pastors are talking more and more about end times which also makes me take pause, PRAY, and take note of my belief system. As a country we have to go back and remember that this country was deliberately formed as one nation under God! I wonder what my Mother would say if she could see what is happening and I can imagine her and I talking about it long into the night.

The Pledge of Allegiancee needs to be put back into the schools so our children learn to love and respect our country once again. Prayer needs to be encouraged in schools as well, each student praying in their own way. They were in place when I was in school. When did they go away?

I believe that there is life after this life, and it is a much better life than we can even imagine. It is a place where evil does not exist. There will be no more sickness, pain, hurt, or fear. We will all be in the presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. There will be celebration and joy and singing. We will be surrounded by angels and loved ones who departed this earth long ago. We will be standing among other Christians and we will understand that we did not buy the ticket that got us there. The golden ticket to heaven was bought and paid for by God himself in the name and form of His chosen Son. Heaven is our gift from our Heavenly Father. How much better proof could He give us of His love for his creation, which includes each and every one of us?

He knew us before we were even in existence. You and I are not some quirk of nature. We were planned and created by God in his own image. If you are walking around this earth right now, you can rest happy in the knowledge that God chose YOU to partake in His Kingdom one day and all you have to do is say “I accept your gift, and I thank you!”

I like to imagine my Mother there in heaven. She and I used to debate the idea of when do we go to heaven? Is judgement right away after we draw our last breath, or is it when Jesus comes back? My Mother said, “Well I believe that it is one and the same, because when we die, it will be like going to sleep at night where you lose all sense of time. When you wake up in the morning it seems as if no time has passed at all because we were not conscious of the time that passed during our slumber.”. We talked of her death and mine too, and how and when we would meet again. She said to me, “We will meet again, of this I am sure! When I die, do not feel badly because ‘I will see you in the morning'”. Oh how I loved that visual being presented to me. Even now as I imagine her slumbering, I know that when God returns, she will rise up, and at some point our eyes will meet and she will greet me with “Good morning dear daughter. I had such a good sleep! I hope you slept well too!”

“Anita…Mother….I miss you so much, but what makes this separation bearable is knowing that we will see each other again under much better circumstances and in much better company!” I am glad you are not here to see what is happening in our world. You would feel so badly, knowing that your father and my father risked their lives when they fought to protect this countries freedoms!

I pat your written name one more time and then close the book. The first prayer you ever taught me goes through my head.

“Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep! If I should die before I wake, I pray the lord my soul to take. If I should live another day, I pray the Lord to guide my way. I love you Jesus, Amen!”

I’ll see you in the morning! I hope you are having a well deserved rest!

jjb/8/12/2020

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