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But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:15

JESUS My Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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Prayerful Reflections of an ordinary day that stands out because of  valuable lessons learned about what is truly important.

I was born and lived in Boston’s South End at a time when there was row after row of old brick tenement buildings; certainly not the best address in town; often called the slums; today we would call it a ghetto. Instead of porches, patios and backyards…we had front steps, fire escapes, the street, alleys, and the roof.

They tore the buildings down years ago, but the memories remain.

Our family lived in a fourth floor cold-water flat in a melting pot of diverse cultures, religions, crime, and hope of new beginnings. Without the luxury of private bathrooms, we shared a hallway toilet with other tenants…and anyone wandering in off the street. We saw and experienced some things in the neighborhood that children should not. But it was home for that season.

The kitchen was the center of family life.

The big metal sink doubled as a bathtub for the little kids. My mother heated water on a coal and wood burning stove that doubled as a warm and cozy fireplace to sit in front of while our mittens hung on the door to dry after a snow ball fight in the cold New England winters. My mother cooked everything from scratch. I am still in awe of how she baked cookies, cakes, and lemon meringue pies to perfection in that old oven. Delightful memories also linger, of the variety of other wonderful smells drifting through the hallways at suppertime.

So often, our mother would tell us…

“It doesn’t matter where you live, what you have, or don’t have. We have soap, so you can always be clean.” We bathed nightly in that kitchen sink, and were always clean. “It doesn’t matter if your chair is broken; polish it.” Our furniture, though worn and somewhat tattered, was clean and polished regularly. “It doesn’t matter if your clothes aren’t new; just be sure they are clean and ironed, and sew them when they’re torn.” Our clothes were mostly hand-me-downs from the Saint Vincent-de-Paul, but they were clean, mended, often starched, and always ironed.

One sun-shiny spring day remains deeply etched in my memory.

My petite, Italian mother washed a mountain of laundry that morning, all by hand, as usual. I remember watching on tip-toe as she filled that big old kitchen sink with water she heated on the stove. It must have been so difficult for her to carry all of those heavy, wet loads up two flights of stairs to the roof, where she hung everything to dry. I don’t ever remember hearing her complain. I do think that particular day must have been extra tiring, because she washed clothes for all five kids, our father, her self…sheets and towels too.

On the rooftop overlooking the Boston skyline…

My brother and I played under the blue skies and fluffy clouds while our mother lifted, shook, hung, and pinned. I am sure we left little fingerprint smudges of this and that on the clean, wet sheets as we twirled in and out, and ran round and round through them as they flapped in the warm, sweet breeze. When she finished, every line was full with happy colorful clothes, tattered but clean towels, and sparkling white sheets and pillow cases.

Trusting the hot sun and gentle wind to do their assigned tasks…we left the rooftop to go on with a very ordinary day.

Later that day, just before dark, my mother went to the roof alone to gather the laundry. However, after just a few minutes, and much too quickly, the door swung open again. Ma’s strong smooth arms, which should have held the first basketful of sweet-smelling, sun-dried clothes, hung empty at her sides.

She just stood there looking at us…and said, “Everything is gone.”

“What?” we asked. “All of our clothes are gone?” My brothers, sisters and I clamored around her, all talking at once and full of questions: “Where did they go? Who took them? Let’s tell the police. What will we wear?” Though still stunned with shock herself, and probably pondering similar questions, our precious mother listened to all of our concerns; then she said…

“Anyone who would steal children’s clothes and sheets needs them more than we do.”

Though I am sure she was devastated, our mother used this opportunity of our loss to talk to her children of forgiveness, compassion for others, and remind us to thank God, for it was only clothing, sheets and towels that were missing, not us.

Our mother demonstrated a living example of forgiveness that I have never forgotten.

I really don’t remember what else happened that afternoon. I don’t think my mother ever found out who the thief was, or if he, she, or they were ever caught. I do however remember looking at people on the street the next day to see if they were wearing our clothes…but never saw anything familiar.

Though I have no real memory of when or how our mother replaced everything, I have a strong feeling she made many more trips than usual to the Saint Vincent-de-Paul…and that our local church probably helped too.

I have no idea what impact that blue-skied spring day had on my brothers and sisters. I don’t actually remember them talking about it after that day; at least not with me, as I was the youngest; only about four or five years old. For that matter, I don’t remember discussing it with my mother either. Unfortunately, she died long before I was mature enough to tell her how much that day, her insightful response, and guiding advice affected me, and still does today.

Thank you dear mother…

You planted seeds of compassion, thankfulness, and forgiveness on that ordinary day so very long ago. Because of your compassionate example, I learned very early, that even in the face of adversity, we can and should be thankfully gracious, compassionate, and forgiving…and that people are always more important than things.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/learning-forgiveness-compassion-and-thankfulness/ Bookmark and Share

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved Anastasia Diamond

https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

Bookmark and Share

My Beautiful Mother…on Her Wedding Day

I miss you mother…I miss you today

It has been an entire life time since I held you as you took your last breaths. My life has been forever tempered by your life…and your death.

How could I have known then, how much I would still miss you and love you now…after all these years?

Ours was a difficult relationship that ended much too soon. You were a hot-headed forty-eight, and I was a hot-headed sixteen. We clashed…and clashed often. Indeed, we argued that night so long ago, when you died of a coronary thrombosis.

Though we were different in so many ways then, I have grown to appreciate so much about who you were, and your day-to-day struggles to survive. We may have been more alike than different after all.

From a hindsight, 20/20 perspective, I eventually came to appreciate and acknowledge that we had a lot in common. We probably would have become friends…had you lived until I grew out of my rebellious years.

There were so many times I felt only anger and abandonment when I needed you…and missed you along the way. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I was able to make peace with the ghosts of the past. I completely credit my blood-bought relationship with Jesus for the mental, emotional and spiritual healing and forgiveness in my heart.

Today I know you did the absolutely best you could do…given the times, circumstances, and your family life history.

Thank you dear mother for all you did.

You provided a clean home, with good moral standards in the midst of difficult times. You set a spiritual foundation of attending church and honoring God. You had a ninth grade education, but possessed amazing wisdom and communication skills. You encouraged my inquisitive mind, and taught me to appreciate learning, philosophy, religion, politics, reading, poetry, writing, and art. I still remember some of our interesting kitchen-table conversations and debates.

You expressed your love and creativity with lots of the best freshly baked, yummy delights; pies, cakes and cookies. I am still amazed to this day at how you were able bake like a master pastry chef in that old coal stove!

Tender emotions were difficult for you.

You were not a ‘hugger’ and I do not remember you ever telling me you loved me. However, I will always remember the day you brought me my jacket in the rain.

I never knew the wise medical decision you made in my best interest until a bit over ten years ago when I contacted my childhood cardiologist with some questions. He sent me copies of my very old medical records and letters. I anxiously opened the envelope, and was completely surprised to learn that you probably saved my life well over 50 years ago…when cardiologists recommended I have open-heart surgery…and you said, No!

You were still coping with the loss of my father, just a few years before, who died on the operating table during an open-heart surgery when I was seven. You apparently were not going to take any chances with my life. Thank you mother. I am now 63-years old; I still have the same heart…and never needed surgery.

There are so many ways to express love…yours was a love expressed through wisdom and service to others.

I am now older than you were then…and still missing you. I love you my dear and precious  mother.

Addendum: My mother died June 7, 1963

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All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

You may also want to visit my other prayerful reflections for Mother’s Day which are also on this blog:

https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/mothers-day-reflections-and-prayer/

https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/happy-and-blessed-mothers-day/ Bookmark and Share

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

Bookmark and Share

The Many Faces of a Mother’s Love

A Mother’s Love is the Closest Thing to Unconditional Love

A mother’s love is the closest thing to unconditional love we will ever experience here on earth. The birth of a child is the beginning of a lifetime love affair for most mother’s hearts. That child may be her 1st or her 12th; no matter, a mother’s heart is big enough. For, there is no such thing as too many children for a mother’s heart to love. In a perfect world, every mother would fully manifest this capacity…being  that vision of love personified to her children, and her community. However, in the real world, though many mothers may aspire to this, many do not meet the mark – due to her current daily challenges, coupled with history of the unrepaired brokenness in her own life.

God Made Mother’s Hearts Expandable

Sometimes, mothers are blessed with children of her womb. Sometimes, mothers are blessed with children of her heart. Sometimes a delightful and/or difficult combination of both. However and thankfully, though their minds may accept they are not the biological mom, most mother’s hearts do not discern a difference between her birth children, adopted children, step children…and all of the others she gathers along the way who attach to her heart. Each one is a blessing. Each one has his or her own precious place in a mother’s heart. No one has to move over to make room for another. God made a mother’s heart expandable – with a special place and enough love for every child He gives to her.

A Mother’s Love is a Reflection of Our Abba Father’s Love for Us

To be a mother is a gift. To give a child the gift of a mother’s love is a reflection of our Abba Father’s love for us. However, that does not mean it is easy. To love, to truly love…is a daily choice…and can be a burden filled with sacrifice, carried for a lifetime, within a mother’s tender heart.

Praying for Mothers…

Father God, I pray this night for all mothers. I pray for mothers with a history of abandonment, abuse, anger, or broken relationships that may color their ability to more fully demonstrate love in a healthy manner toward their children. I pray for those mothers with mothers who were, or are broken in mind, body or spirit; leaving them a legacy of self-doubt about their own capacity to love. I pray for all of the mothers  raised in loving homes by parents who affirmed them…that they will now lovingly affirm their children. I also pray for every mother who grew up knowing Jesus…that they will now give their children the gift of introducing them to Him.

I pray for mothers with tiny newborn infants clinging to life on heart and lung machines. I pray for the mothers with children who do not have enough to eat, who are dying of starvation in her arms. I pray for every grandmother who is now mother to her grandchildren. I pray for mothers with children who have fragile bodies that are broken, or wracked with disease. I pray for mothers with bright, healthy children who require ongoing daily nourishment for their bodies, minds, and spirits to grow and mature.

I Pray for Mothers Who Do Not Yet Know You

I pray for mothers who do not yet know You dear Lord…and for those who are knowingly or unknowingly presenting their children with false teachings. I pray for mothers who are home-schooling their children, to ensure that You will be in the foundation of their education. I pray for mothers who have children with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and other conditions the world considers different and may not understand. I pray for every mother who never held her miscarried child.

I pray for the single mother who must be both mother and father to her children; may You give her strength and courage. I pray for mothers with young children who need Your guidance and right direction each day to fulfill Your promises in them. I pray for mothers with teenagers, that they will seek Godly counsel and not provoke their children to wrath. I pray for mothers with adult children, that they will reconcile their differences with forgiveness – and not abandon or be abandoned. Dear Lord, I pray for all of the daughters who must now be the mother and care-giver to their aged, ill, or incapacitated mother…who may not even know who she is any more.

I Pray for Every Mother Who Has Injured Her Child in Mind, Body or Spirit

I pray for every expectant mother as she prepares and awaits her coming child. I pray for every mother who has lost her child through her poor choices; resulting in imprisonment, abandonment or divorce. I pray for every mother with children who are lost, that they be found. I pray for every mother who has knowingly or unknowingly injured her children in mind, body or spirit. I pray for every mother who is left with so many unanswerable questions when her child died suddenly in an accident, committed suicide…or was murdered. I pray for every mother with a child who has taken the life of another.

I Pray for Mothers Seeking a Safe Place to Rest Her Head…and Protection for Her Children

Father God, I pray for homeless mothers, who wander, seeking a safe place to rest her head…and protection for her children. I pray for mothers with children who have been kidnapped, sexually abused, or exploited. I pray for all of the mothers who have aborted children from their womb. I pray for all of the mothers who have opened their hearts and homes to children through adoption. I pray for every mother who no longer has her own mother’s love to comfort her. I pray for mothers with children in battle on foreign soil in the service of their country. And, I pray for mothers with children in battle on our streets in service of their gang. I pray for mothers with children who act in ways that make her proud. And, I pray for mothers with children who act in ways that make her ashamed. Sometimes – it is just a different season with the same child.

I Pray for Every Mother Who Has Buried Her Child…Along with the Pieces of Her Broken Heart

I pray for the mothers who have not heard from their child today. Father God, I pray Your perfect peace for mothers, who at this very moment, do not know if their child is dead or alive. I pray for the mothers who are on their knees in daily prayer for guidance, protection, and salvation for their child; that they will make wise choices and understand the consequences of their actions. I pray for the mothers, who in whispers, tears, and pangs of despair…confide in You that it might be better if her child were dead, than to continue living a life of crime or addiction. Father God, I pray every mother who has buried her child, along with the pieces of her broken heart.

I Pray You Will Meet Every Mother’s Spoken and Unspoken Prayer

Dear Father God, I thank you that there is no life circumstance or condition of  heart that is beyond Your loving touch. I pray that all mothers will seek Your face and listen for Your divine guidance. For there is no request any mother can present to You on behalf of her child or herself that is too big or too small for You to hear and respond. I pray Your protection and covering over every mother’s heart. This night I pray in the name, power, and authority of Your Son-Jesus, that You, through the most Holy Spirit, will comfort every mother’s heart; increasing her faith, as You grant her wisdom and discernment in the thoughts of her mind, the words of her mouth, and the actions of her body. I pray dear God, that You will meet every mother’s spoken and unspoken prayer…not in my will but Yours I pray.  -Amen

You may also want to visit ‘Happy and Blessed Mother’s Day’ which is also on my blog at: https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/happy-and-blessed-mothers-day/

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