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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When we Don’t Agree

Lord,

I’ve had it with their jabs and diatribes

Their mocking and foot stomping and protesting

I fear I’ll come upon them

And feel the need to spew a few jagged pieces of my mind

If one could actually knock some sense into another

But You’re calling me to be a lover

Not a knocker

And anyway, it seems there’s no such thing as common sense

Only my sense versus theirs

Can we agree to disagree without derision?

I guess it’s up to me

I can only orchestrate my own behaviour

I lift them up to You

And ask for blessing

And a revelation of the truth

Yours

Not mine

And ask that you will fill my heart with love

And shut my mouth

In kindness

Amen

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. Pics used within the blog content from Pixabay unless otherwise noted. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. 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”

Help! I Need Somebody!

I remember driving into the mountains when my youngest daughter was three years old. Even with what she could see from her car seat, she was enthralled.

“Wow,” she piped up in her wee voice, “those are big! We shouldn’t climb up there. We might fall down and get hurt!”

At the time, I’d only enjoyed the mountains from the bottom and I understood her exclamation, as I’d always thought them imposing and viewed them with a healthy fear. Continue reading “Help! I Need Somebody!”

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”

A Monologue on Marriage

Marriage is a kiss or a slapmarriagecouple-1783843_1280
A cuddle or a cold shoulder
It’s a serenade or a shouting match,
Don’t matter if you’re young or older
It’s a walk in the park or a natural disaster
Ecstasy or woe
It really depends on what you’re after
It’s your show

marriageumbrella-768541_1280_FotorYou can work as a team or against each other
You can build up or pick apart
You can bear a burden or be a burden
It’s about what’s in your heart

You can forgive or hold a grudgemarriageheartsickness-428103_1280_Fotor
You can let it pass or complain
You can show respect or criticize
It’s how you play the game

Marriage is a dream or a nightmare
A tall tree or a worthless weed
You’ve got to nurture what you plant to see your love succeed
marriagelove-2055372_1280It’s a work of art or a piece of trash
Juicy fruit or a cold, hard pit
But of all the things that marriage is
It’s what you make of it
Show love, work hard, hold fast, have hope
It’s what you make of it 😀

 

Author’s Note: In two days, I celebrate my 26th wedding anniversary. My husband and I dated for six years before this, so we’ve been committed to each other for 31 years. Married life is a blessing. 🙂

Complete the experience. Listen to Stephen Curtis Chapman’s Together.

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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What Does a Gal have to do to get a “Like” Around Here?

For those of you who enjoy watching movies and are around my age, you may remember the moment Sally Field received an Oscar for Best Actress in the 1985 film Places in the Heart. She was glowing and gushing as she delivered her acceptance speech, her bouncy curls combed high atop her head as was the style. (Watch the clip here.) She mentioned her cast and crew and her family and then went on to say something that has been mimicked and mocked ever since and I quote, “But I want to say thank you to you. I haven’t had an orthodox career and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it. And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now! You like me!”
Continue reading “What Does a Gal have to do to get a “Like” Around Here?”