Year 8-Day 112: Today, I am grateful for my Mama Ina Mae’s Birthday.
"When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you" -John 15:10-12
Her joy overflows! Not grief, or disease... or life’s tough stuff can steal her joy. She is Proverbs 31.
She grew up with one glass of milk a day, because milk was for the babies and she was the oldest of seven born in ten years. Some become selfish. She is the most generous person I know.
She taught me "necessity was the mother of invention" and "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." She taught me the opinions of the masses don’t matter but you had better be true to the Lord.
She taught me to serve in love or it doesn’t really count, because God knows your heart. She was an example of serving with expectation of reciprocation. She served with a heart full of gratitude because she had something to give.
She taught me that God gave us wonderful plants and teas for healing. She taught me that God designed our bodies to heal themselves... we should let them try and seek medical help if they can't. She modeled respect for the ways of other people and cultures, always believing we can learn from people who are different than us. She was right.
She taught me music! She was harder on me than her other students... so she would teach me from another room correcting my mistakes with her sharp ear. It worked. When I surpassed her, she advocated for me with my Dad for lessons at Olivet. She wanted my teacher to be her old friend, Dr. Ovid Young. I ended up with another professor teaching me, because Ovid was too busy, but I will never forget her fierceness for the cause. Mama had to teach three lessons in her home music studio to pay for one of my lessons at the college. I am sure, in my teens, I didn't always appreciate her sacrifices on my behalf.
She provided an amazing example of a Godly wife and mother. I am still a work in progress.
She taught me to be bully proof when I was hurt by fickle friendships. She said, “Oh Valerie, Be thankful. If they are picking on you, they are leaving someone else alone.” In other words, “You are strong enough to face hard stuff and I believe in you.” She built us up in ways I didn’t understand.
She taught me that reading was a gift, even though it was hard for her. What she read, she remembered. Smart... just not fast. She put Nancy Drew in my hands in second grade and took me to the Library whenever I was out of books. She taught me the most important book was the Bible, because it is the one I would be help accountable for reading.
She is a gem... rare and priceless. 7 decades of refinement have only made her more special.
She’s my Mama. Her birth was a gift to the planet. Love you, Mama.
Today, I am grateful for my Mama Ina Mae’s Birthday.