Do you ever wonder if the time you spend being a mother is hard, long and without obvious results? Take heart. I want to tell you that what you are doing not only matters, but it is one of the most important jobs on the planet.
Today I had lunch with Pastor Jeremy. I told him some stories about my mom, Shirley May Winquist (1929-2015.) He encouraged me to consider writing about my mom to encourage mothers, grandmothers and all women who work to nurture and benefit others.
Today I want to start with three things. 1) Mom’s email address, 2) The connection of her email address to Psalm 23:6 and 3) The last email I received from her. She died five days later at age 86.
The story I was telling Jeremy was about how my mom would work to save money. She was always looking for ways to save money, but it wasn’t because she was a miser or did not trust God. Often her goal was to have extra dollars to give to a family member, to someone who had a need, to help support a missionary or to take a friend to lunch. Here is an illustration: Mom had resisted computers and email for many years. But then the United States Post Office raised the price of the first class stamp effective January 8, 2006. The price was increased from $0.37 to $0.39. She was aghast. She sent out many letters to family, friends, missionaries, friends in Belize and to prisoners. Each email could save her $0.39. That adds up. Three letters is $1.17.
Mom got a “Mail Station.” It wasn’t a PC and it didn’t handle pictures or attachments. But then neither did her letters. Her letters were words from her heart.
Mom’s email address was strategic too.
It was email@example.com. That was because she believed Psalm 23:6 (ESV), which says “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” She lived for today, but she was living as if forever mattered more. I learned that as I listened to her and watched how she made decisions and treated others. Her example is burned into my being. She wanted her minutes and hours to count. How do I know that? Because her last email was an echo of most of the email messages I had received from her from 2006 until the week she died. Her last email was only twelve words and it summarized her life:
Feb 22, 2015 at 6:16 AM “rejoicing and trying to redeem the time, prayerfully, joyfully, with love, Ma”
Five days later mom went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus. I seek to honor her by living with that same resolve to rejoice and to redeem the time. Redeem the time with your children and you will be teaching them a wonderful lesson. Mom’s heart stopped beating, but her example lives on.