The Heart of a Mother

I’m going to tell you a story that causes me shame whenever I think of it. I’m reminded of it, because today is Mother’s Day, it involves my mother, and I recently told it to my siblings when we met to spend time with my mother in February. I’ll begin by giving you some backstory.

My dad was a busy pastor when I was growing up and my mom was as involved in ministry at the church as he was. I remember practically living at the church. I’m pretty sure there was no one save church-g739d330aa_1280the janitor that spent as much time at the church as we did. My dad had to prepare two different sermons a week, one for Sunday morning and one for Sunday evening, plus a mid-week Bible study and adult Sunday school class. He was also the youth pastor and sang in the choir, which my mother directed. And, of course, there were lots of meetings, hospital and home visits, potlucks, weddings, and funerals. It was the 60s and early 70s. Dad provided for the family and Mom was responsible for our home and the care and feeding of the children. She also worked as a school teacher, a successful Avon Lady, and a college fundraiser, over the years, to supplement the family income. She was probably as busy or busier than he was, especially when we were young.

The backstory continues. I remember it being an issue that we, their three children, balked at picking up our toys. My dad liked things tidy. Mess was a source of stress for him. I remember my parents fighting about this and Dad telling Mom she needed to discipline us. If you know mybaby-g3a8630712_1920 mother, you know she’s a big, ole marshmallow, as sweet as sugar. She was on the permissive side of things, as far as parenting goes. She was too busy to argue with us and she didn’t like confrontation, either. She was a pushover because she was a peacemaker, always trying to smooth things. I don’t remember doing much around the house ever. Unlike my husband’s family, where the children were required every Saturday to do set chores before they were allowed to play or leave the house, we did very little. I emptied the dishwasher, set the table, and did my own laundry as I got older, but nothing more involved than that. Onward to the cringe-fest.

When I was in high school, my mother was planning a party. My parents were hospitable people and we had groups in regularly. She was busy preparing the food and cleaning the house and she img_2881told me to clean the downstairs bathroom, the one my sister and I used. I had never cleaned a bathroom before. I flatly refused. An argument ensued, but I was, at the time, a rebellious, depressed teenager and I knew there was no way she could make me do it. I won the argument and stormed out of the house, leaving her dumbfounded, I’m sure. I came back later and headed downstairs to my room only to find her stooped over in the bathroom, weeping, as she cleaned the toilet I’d refused to clean. I turned away, went into my room, and shut the door.

I did this. I was disobedient, I disrespected her, and then ignored her pain. I can’t recall if I ever said I was sorry. I can think of other instances like this, as well. I had a rather rocky adolescence. In other homes, this kind of ongoing, rude behaviour may have caused permanent harm to the relationship, but not in our home. You see, my mother is probably the most Christ-like person I’ve ever known. She met surliness with gentleness, meanness with kindness, and offensiveness with grace. She lived outimg_2882 the two greatest commandments. She loved God and loved people with all her heart. My dad’s success in ministry was due in no small part to her. I was a fortunate recipient of her love and grace and she lavished it on me through all my crying, whining, arguing, general messiness, mood swings, friend troubles, school skipping, and growing pains. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow me as I follow the example of Christ.” My mother could say this, though she never would because she’s far too humble and, while I’m still not much of a bathroom cleaner, I do my best to draw near to God every day in the hopes I’ll become more like Jesus and, yes, more like my mother.

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Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram. Take a peek at my Redbubble store Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

Chocolate and Other Notions of Love

Love is not about chocolate
Though it’s a sweet for the soul
And the taste can bring on ecstasy
Love is not about perfume
Though it’s more heady and intoxicating than the finest, most costly scent when it’s new and all-consuming
Love is not about jewels
Though it’s the shiniest thing on earth
If it’s real and true
Love is not about presents
Though it’s about presence
About friendship, thoughtful attention, commitment, and often, sacrifice
Love is not about candlelight, heart-shaped pizzas, sumptuous meals, sentimental serenades, silky, lacy, racy, lingerie, romantic rendezvous, or rapturous intimacy
Though it may include all these things
It’s not a random, mushy, gushy feeling, but a patient, continuous choice
Real love abides in the raw and gritty
Real love stands firm in joy bubbling up and tumultuous trouble
Real love soldiers on through the mind-numbing mundane and the most wretched grief
Real love stays, affirms, celebrates, supports, serves, and forgives
Real love lasts
If you know this extraordinary love
You are blessed above all
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Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends! Thanks for reading! The feature pic is a combination and edit of three of my photos. Footer from Pixabay. Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram. Take a peek at my Redbubble store Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com and my clothing design page on Le Galeriste. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

God will not Forget You

For my mother, Sharon Mayforth, in honour of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

You may continually misplace your keys

Misfile your favourite recipe

Drop a word or two or three

You may lose all track of time

Or lose your way on your way home

Or not recall you’ve told that story once or thrice before

You may forget to water plants, to feed the fish, or put on pants

Yes, there’s a chance you will forget to bathe or brush your teeth or comb your hair

But more than this, I’d be remiss, if I did not mention that amidst these small and trivial things, much greater matters will give way

You’ll lose your very sense of self, your independence, and your health

Confusion will become the order of the day

You’ll wander through your muddled mind and find the jumbled words and ghost of memories past do not express your needs and is there anyone who understands?

The biggest grief will come when you no longer recognize the ones you love

They will be strangers all

Before you think, if this befall you that you’ve been committed to some special sort of hell

And lose all hope and finally despair

I tell you

God will not forget you

He did knit you in your mother’s womb

He knows you as the artist knows each brushstroke and the finished piece

Your worth is not diminished by diminishing capacities

His love does not depend on you possessing all your faculties

No loss can separate you from the love of Christ

He’s carved you on His hands and feet

Though this may be your final trial

Please know that in a little while

You’ll be the blessed one to see Him face to face

And clarity will dawn

And you will rest in Him, confident that you will not forget again

No

God will not forget you

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The feature pic is an edit by me of a pic from Pixabay. Footer from Pixabay. Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram. Take a peek at my Redbubble store Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com and my clothing design page on Le Galeriste. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

70 x 7

Lately, I’ve seen regular posts such as the one above come across my fb timeline. I’ve also read numerous articles of the same ilk. They press us to rid ourselves of those individuals who frequently use, abuse, fail, stress, and annoy us. We’re encouraged to surround ourselves with only healthy, creative, uplifting, high-functioning types, the end result being that our lives will then be filled with all the happiness, peace, and ease we deserve. For all of you who believe doing this is even in the realm of possibility, good luck. If you systematically work at this, I fear you’ll find yourself alone. Who’ll be left in your circle of friends? There’s no such thing as a circle of one.img_3776

Continue reading “70 x 7”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Celebrating love in all its incarnations. May you love and be loved!

Pictures by Polly Mayforth Krause. Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

The Labour of Love

I’m trying to love you, but it’s hard

No, not because you’re hard to love

We’re all lovable and troublesome at once

I’m just not very good at loving

 Loving you requires I put you first

And from the first, I’ve been fierce about being first

Selfish, I admit

Thinking more of you

Means I have to think less of me

And in my mind

I’m full of myself

I’d have to make room

Lots of it

Put my own desires on the shelf

Put your needs before my own

So, loving you costs me

It also benefits me

If I don’t love you

I’ll become sad and small

A big zero, as I zero in on my grandiose goals and petty problems

I’ll be shut up in my shrinking world

Alone and lonely

If I love you

If I give of myself

Wouldn’t you know it?

I grow

No, not subtract

It’s a fact

And much of the time

If I dare to love you

You love me back

I feel welcomed, warmed, and wanted

Oh, and humbled, as you meet my need

Because I then know

I can’t make it on my own

The truth is

I want

I need your love

And I need to love you

The question is

Can you love me

Knowing

I’m not very good at loving?

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Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time! 🙂

I Have a Dream

My Prayer for 2021:

Cleanse me.

Heal me.

Help me.

Change me.

I believe it was March 2019, Pre-Covid. It’s all rather fuzzy. The moments are piling up and describing them in regards to when they happened is becoming more difficult, trying to extricate them from the pile is too arduous a task. Maybe it doesn’t matter. It happened regardless of when. I was staying with my sister. She had planned a get together for the young ladies of her community and had her daughter invite her friends and spread the word. She gathered poster boards, magazines, coloured papers, felts and pencils pencils-2238959_1920of every hue, stickers, jewels, glitter, and glue. She encouraged the girls in attendance to think about who they wanted to become and what their future might look like and make a visual representation. I live 10 hours from my sister and usually fly there. I  wasn’t interested in carting an unwieldy poster board onto the plane, but I still wanted to participate in the exercise. A scaled-down version would have to do. At the beginning, my sister handed out a small, sturdy card to be used to record our thoughts and it was just what I needed. Brevity is a good thing. Something I’m not known for. 😀 When one has an excess of goals, one often doesn’t reach any of them. We must hone in on our heart’s desires and leave the periphery lie. Continue reading “I Have a Dream”

Later, Dad! A Reflection on the Death of my Father

Note from the Author: I’ve received permission from my family to share the story of my father’s passing. Some of you may have read parts of this on Facebook. I believe it’s so important that we share our stories with each other to draw comfort, inspiration, and wisdom from them and to help us better navigate life.

 I always knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when. Death, that is. It’s rudely brushed past me before, but it’s easy to distance yourself when it’s someone else’s loved one. When it’s your lovedheart one, when someone from your inner circle exits, death is no longer a curiosity and an occasion to show empathy, but a piercing of the heart. I had no idea that I would be consumed by it, that my dad’s face would take up residence in my mind, and that his departure would so ravage my thinking that keeping track of anything would become a considerable challenge. Continue reading “Later, Dad! A Reflection on the Death of my Father”

Your Hair is None of my Business

I was part of a conversation recently that disturbed me. Someone shared a story about a pastor friend. This pastor decided he’d like to try having long hair and began growing his hair out. When his hair reached a certain length, a deacon approached him, advising him IMG_5924to get a haircut. He kindly refused, saying he liked his hair the way it was. The deacon replied, “Well, do you like working here?” I couldn’t believe it. A church threatening termination of employment over a hairstyle. According to the person telling the story, the congregation had no other issues with the pastor, they were pleased with his ministry amongst them, they just didn’t fancy his long, gold-y locks. Continue reading “Your Hair is None of my Business”

Say What you Need to Say

For St. Valentine, because he deserves better.

I love me some Facebook, but I’ve noticed an avalanche of other things where my friend’s status updates used to be. I find it humorous that people are upset when others scroll on by, when they’ve offered little incentive to stop and look. My main reason for going on Facebook is not to be inspired, enlightened, challenged, taught, or entertained, IMG_4788though all of these things take place. I go on Facebook to see what’s happening in the lives of my friends. I enjoy the family pictures, the declarations of love, the documenting of birthdays, weddings and holidays, the silly stories, and the “look what my kid did and I’m so proud” moments. I’ve always been shy and when I see people in social situations that I’m friends with on Facebook, I feel a barrier to approaching them has come down, because I have, at least, a vague idea of what their lives look like. This seems less likely to occur, as personal statuses are replaced with quotes, articles, and cat and dog videos. Continue reading “Say What you Need to Say”