On this day, Mother's birth date, I decided to share some thoughts of Mom with all of you.  This week I have reread all of the sympathy cards and notes that we received form ones who knew Mother or us.  Many who knew her over the years, expressed what a great influence she was in their lives.  Some had sent us money to use in some way to honor her memory.  After much thought and prayer, I contacted Jean Ratzlaf Johnson.  Mom prayed for her and Sydney all those years while they were on the mission field, serving in India.  Jean loved receiving letters from Mom over the years and every time I would see Jean and Sydney, she would always ask about Mother, and especially after Mom stopped writing letters etc.
 
Jean shared with me about the persecution of the Christians in the church in Orissa, India and the need of funds to feed the refugees.  I sent the money there and got a very nice email from the pastor.  At that time, they had 30 refugee families that the church was feeding.  I know that Mom would be pleased to know that the money was used to help ones there in a great time of need in her memory.
 
As her children we have so much for which to be thankful.  Mom was always there for us at home when we needed her.  She prepared nutritious meals for us and I often have wondred how she did it on Dad's income.  I never remember us ever going without a meal or not having food in the house.  Mom kept a neat and clean house, which had to be no small feat with six of us growing up in what today would be considered a small house: one bathroom with eight of us !!  Laundry was a huge task with no automatic washer and dryer for most of the years that we were home.  I don't remember her complaining about it either, even after 10 days of camp meeting with about everything we owned needing washed.  Remember how the piles of dirty clothes were heaped all over the basement floor and how we used the neighbors yard to hang clothes as well as ours ?  Speaking of clothes, remember how Mom would give some of our clothes to families who needed clean clothes ?  I have often wondered how she did that with so many of us.
 
I am so thankful for being taken to church, hearing the gospel preached from the earliest of my memory, for seeing the importance of God's Word taught and read, and began reading it on my own.  Mother loved God's Word and read it often.  The one great treasure that I have is my Thompson Chain Reference Bible, which Dad gave to me years ago with one stipulation, "That I read it".  I told him, "No problem" and if you saw it today, you would know that is true.  If I heard a tornado or hurricane was on it's way and we were in the path, the two things I would grab would be my Bible and my purse, which I have done down here in Florida a couple times.  Paul can tell you that is true.  As long as I live, I want to have my Bible with me.
 
I'm thankful for the sacrifices that Mom made to see that we all had the experience of camp meetings.  Those are treasured memories, along with the Youth Camps.  I find it interesting that our old cottage was taken down last fall and is no more, about the same time of Mother's death.  I did get a picture of it, if anyone would like one, I will get copies made.  It had been remodeled and continued to be used over the years.  The floor went through and the decision was made to tear it down.
 
I went to the Women's Missionary meetings with Mom.  I started going at a very early age and have continued to have an interest in the work of missions around the world to this day.  At those meetings I learned who the missionaries were and about the countries and needs in them.  I would get out of school and go to the Missions Cnventions with Mom.  I remember many of the missionaries who came to the Youth Camps and the Camp Meetings.  My interest has continued to this day, even with all the changes that have taken place over the years and I attribute it to Mom and her interest.  I remember her speaking many times at church on a Wednesday night about a missions concern.
 
Then there was her love of children, teaching them in Sunday School and Children's Church.  Many of those she taught have crossed my path from time to time and they all speak so highly of her and her good teaching.  She touched many lives for God and are serving the Lord today because of her.  They are stars in her crown, I'm sure.
 
We all are so aware of the letters, cards, notes to SO many over the years and many have expressed how much they appreciated them.  She remembered so many on their birthdays, anniversries, etc.  If anyone has continued that on like Mom, it has been you, Wanda.  You have been so good to remember so many also over the years.  Mom was a good teacher for us.  Some learned better than others !!
 
I often think of the years of her life that she gave in care and concern for both Grandma King and Grandma Boyer.  At a time in their lives when Mom and Dad could have traveled, gone to camp meetings, etc. They were tied to the home in New Castle, but did it willingly and I know that God honored them for all they did for their parents.
 
I so appreciate how Mom adjusted to all the physical changes that she had to deal with and living in an Assisted Living Home.  She tried not to complain and appreciated every little thing that ones did for her.
 
I wish that we, as her children, had had a chance to share some thoughts like these at her funeral to honor her memory.  I do honor her and her memory.  She loved the Lord with all her heart and life and shared His love with others in so many ways.  Mother had a good voice and was able to play the piano.  She loved the hymns and Gospel songs.  I can almost hear her singing those in heaven along with all the others there and praising her Lord and Savior.  She is free of all that slowed her down and enjoying the rewards that God has prepared for her.
 
Thank you for allowing me to share these thought with you.  I treasure the memory of Mother, as I know all of you do.  I was thinking: this coming Sunday on Mother's Day, it will be the first time in my life that I will wear a white flower in honor of Mom.
 
I thank God for a Godly Mother !!  Proverbs 31:28 "Her children arise and call her blessed"   31:29"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
 
May god bless each of you as you honor Mother in some way.
 
Gwen