Nancy's Notebook

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Honoring Moms

Just a few years ago I learned something about my mom I never knew before.  At five years of age my mother was cooking dinner most nights for her entire family.  

Her mother (my grandmother, "Bombo," the first grandchild's attempt to say "grandma!") was often bed-ridden with a debilitating heart condition.  Mother's older sister, Elizabeth, was a severe diabetic who died as a teenager. Most days "Bombo" was either ill in bed or nursing her fragile diabetic daughter. 

So my five year old mother looked after her two baby brothers, Buddy and Tom.  And when dinnertime came, mom dragged the step stool over to the gasoline stove, hopped up on it, lit the flame, and cooked grits and eggs for the whole brood.  It was Depression era, and most nights my Granddaddy got home from the two jobs he worked just in time to tuck all the kids into bed.  Mom shook her head as she remembered how the flame from that gas stove shot straight up to the ceiling, "It's a wonder I didn't burn the house down!" she laughed.

Mom told me that story as a funny reminiscence.  But it was a huge eye-opener for me.  I realized that as a five year old--and all throughout her childhood--my mom had to carry far more responsibility than any little child should have to. 

What about your mother?  She very likely experienced her own burdens, or emotional wounds and injuries growing up.  Maybe she didn't feel loved or nurtured, maybe no physical touch or empathy was expressed to her growing up, and she couldn't give to you what she didn't have. 

Maybe when you were a child she was ill or depressed, or had other problems you didn't realize at the time.  Perhaps her marriage was a mess, or your other siblings' problems consumed her, or maybe she had challenges or responsibilities with her own parents and family members.
As the old saying goes, if we haven't walked in someone else's shoes, we have no idea what they've gone through or what they're dealing with.  If you think about some of the stressful times in your own adult life, and then imagine having a child at that time with all that was going on, you can have a little better understanding and empathy for what your own mother was going through when you were a child.  You can release her from your unmet expectations of her; you can forgive her for what she couldn't give you.

To try to understand your mother's past and current life circumstances, even her frailties and weaknesses, and accept them, is to begin to love her as she is. Understand where she came from, what she's been through, what the demands were on her life . . . and you'll find it easier to relate to her, accept her, and more fully appreciate her.

So this Mother's Day, if you're able, ask your mom about her own life.  It can be pretty enlightening.  You'll start to see her, not just who she is in relation to you, but actually get to know her, to discover and appreciate more and more who she really is.

And by doing that you honor your Mother! Happy Mother's Day!

For those of us blessed with wonderful and loving mothers who came from such challenging backgrounds, it's so easy to take for granted all the privilege and yes, luxury of life we know today. I have the honor of knowing Nancy's beautiful mother and like my parents she remembers "tough times" with humor and wit.

Nancy is right. Take time to spend with your mom and dad. They will positively amaze you -- and perhaps become your own personal hero or heroine. It's easier to "Honor Thy Father and Mother" than you think. Just give them a call.

Happy Mother's Day
With love from
Rhonda Crocker
Rhonda, you are such a dear heart! YOU indeed honor my mother so beautifully with your love and sweet visits to her! She loves you....and so do I!
This post hit home for me. I'm just so glad I know my mother is in heaven singing praises to God - and when I get there I can thank her for doing the best she could through her long illness. What makes me more grateful is knowing her lifelong suffering was not pointless - that God opened her eyes to the truth about Jesus. Instead of physical pain and spiritual oppression, she has eternal life in Him. Once she was in darkness; now she rests in His wonderful light. For this I can't thank God enough.

Happy Mother's Day to all the ladies out there who read this -God Bless you all.

Stacey, so true! Great insight....And what comfort for all the 'daughters' out there who's moms now reside in heaven. While we miss them here and now--it's not the last time we'll be together! That's worthy of celebration!
Nancy, I so appreciated your comments. My mother struggled with depression, but she always had time to give her children and those around her love and support. She was amazingly creative and left us lovely paintings and poetry, but best of all, the legacy of love and a very close family. That was always so important to her. She's been with the Lord these past 15 yrs., but I carry her with me everyday. We are fortunate enough to still have our father, who is 90 and still going strong. God is so good. Thanks for your ministry, Nancy. I recently saw you in Green Bay,(you signed my book...well, your book). I've been reading it daily, along with my bible. It's changing my attitude towards life. I'm so glad God is working through an amazing woman like you. Happy Mother's Day. Beth C.
Beth, what an amazing mother you had!! And what a beautiful legacy of love and creativity she left you! Thank you for sharing about her. I so enjoyed the time in Green Bay!! So glad we met, Beth!
love, nancy
Nancy being the person God has created her to be, has a wonderful gift and a way with words. I am always so encouraged not only when we are together but also from coast to coast threw her newsletters. Everytime I am with her mother; my aunt Marcia, (not often enough) I learn something new about my family as well. I love going to South Florida to visit family and share stories and see the smiles on everyones faces. I, this mothers day, think about the wonderful line of women I come from. I was so blessed to have met my grannys mom (mawmaw) and have her in my life til I was 8. Of course my granny and my mom and my step mom. Then there are the 5 langley girls and what a crew they were (so I have been told) :) I have been surrounded by bright, smart, hard working, loving....the list could go on and on. I see these women in myself and sometimes I giggle a bit. Thank you lord, for placing me in the company of these great women.

I hope you all enjoy your Mom! I still have my mother here but we do live a bit apart and I have loss several "mom" figures but whatever your case is, I hope you honor her (or them) on this special day.

Love to you all!!
thanks darlin' Nikki....all of us Langley girls love you!!!
Dear Nancy, My mom came to the Lord at age 94 and the change in her was so amazing. She died less than a year later. Isn't the Lord wonderful for allowing her to stay just enough to accept him and receive his salvation. The former memories were painful and scaring, but now we have new memories with honor, dignity and glory...Praise Jesus!! Thank you for sharing. Marvel Christian Smith
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