Life for a seventeen-year-old girl in a small southern town could get a little BORING, to say the least! I never could understand why the stores in a small town always started closing down early afternoon on Saturdays and wouldn’t re-open until Monday morning. What was a teenage girl to do in a town where nothing “cool” was happening? However, that actually turned out to be a blessing. I was forced to be around family and friends who treasured time spent together at family reunions, High School activities, picnics and special celebrations that gave us an excuse to just “hang out.” Mother taught me how to enjoy life, friends and family and to be content and grateful no matter what. I learned the importance of stability, faithfulness, loyalty, encouragement, education, doing for others, church, love of family and how to be domestic from my mother’s example. She is now with the Lord, but I remember her as such a wise and proud Southern lady who adored her family and would do for them and others before herself. Mother had a high moral standard and expected us children to live up to her same values. Of course, that was not always possible and yes, she would get her heart broken because of it. She had the ability to give wise counsel when needed with a lot of just good ole’ “common sense” intertwined in her advice. She was my biggest encourager, supporter and promoter growing up and especially during my teenage years. Was our family perfect? Of course not! We had major family crises and difficulties like all families. But I never knew it because my mother’s love and protection would cover us as children. Also, she clearly let me know that real friends are those who, when you’ve made a fool of yourself, don’t think you’ve done a permanent job. She knew how to take the sting of hurt and disappointment out of my heart when it was needed. I always wondered what I would be like when I grew up. But I never realized what God’s “Life Compass” really was until decades later in life!
An encounter with God doesn’t always have to be some dramatic life-or-death crisis. It can occur as a dawning awareness of His consistent and loving guidance throughout life. Because of the inseparable bond between children and their mothers, the Lord can gradually influence a child through a godly mother’s example. Dads are essential in a child’s life, but there is no love, comfort or security like that of a mother. Children learn by observation, watching their parents’ actions and listening to their voices. They follow the pattern of their lives and are directed by the “compass” of parental character. Children who are guided by godly mothers and fathers are blessed beyond measure (Prov. 6:20-22). They have God’s Life Compasses instilled in their hearts.
Fifty years have come and gone and now I’m a Grandmother! As I look back on my teenage years, I realize what a powerful “Life Compass” the Lord gave to me through my mother. Often I look in the mirror and her reflection is looking me straight in the eyes. Being a wife, mother and grandmother isn’t a chore for me. It’s a calling! I recognize my mother’s character in me and I smile in amazement at how much of her I see in my domestic abilities. Being a “Stay At Home Mom” for nearly “12” years was the most wonderful decision I ever made as a young mother. I instilled in our daughters the same type of character qualities and domestic abilities I learned from my mother’s example. She lives on in me, our daughters and now our three little grandchildren. That standard of love and value of God and family are top priority in my life. I can’t seem to get enough family time with them. Years ago I didn’t realize that I could love grandchildren this much. They’ve stolen my heart away. I’ve learned over the years that godly character is a heritage and a Life Compass from the Lord. When children and grandchildren are exposed to godly parents and grandparents, they too can aspire to the highest and best qualities that make them great and successful in life. I thank the Lord for my mother who was the HEART of our home. From her I’ve learned how to be the HEART of my home as well. Now our children are Life Compasses for their children.
I like the way Prov. 31:28 describes a virtuous wife: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”