Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Little Lily of the Valley. . .

It was sunny and warm this morning, so the boys and I played outside for an hour or so. It feels healthy and good and right to be outside in the sunshine ~ especially when you are in the company of little boys.
Every year I am amazed at how the blackberry bushes multiply. It seems they are everywhere. And, at present, they have cute little white flowers as a promise to me that fruit will soon come. Everything is so alive, so green, so lush from the spring rains, and so beautiful. And, all you have to do is walk out the backdoor and you can smell it ~ the honeysuckle is beginning to bloom. I picked one to show JCT the drop of sweetness inside. He wasn't nearly as impressed as I was. But, I showed it to him all the same. There was a woodpecker having its way with some poor tree nearby as we walked. JCT wanted to wander into the woods, but I reminded him that Mr. and Mrs. Snake live there, and we better steer clear of them and their family. And, a large bee flew out of nowhere and scared Elijah to pieces, bless his heart. As we walked along, I took a special little detour to look at my favorite spring bloom - the lilies of the valley. And, as I stared at them a thought washed over me. . .
After a good bit of play, we came in, ate lunch, and, now, I am happy to report that all little boys are sleeping peacefully. The weather has changed dramatically since this morning. The clouds are dark and ominous. A spring storm can't be too far away creating the perfect setting for an afternoon nap. And, I am celebrating with a hot cup of coffee with French Vanilla creamer.

I'm not sure when I discovered how much I like lilies of the valley. I remember asking the florist before my wedding to give me a price on a bouquet of lilies of the valley to carry on my wedding day. I don't remember the amount she told me, but it was too much. And, I settled for a combination of soft pink and cream colored roses mixed with a few tulips (because Erik loves tulips). When we moved into our home 8 years ago this summer, I was thrilled beyond imagination to see that the previous owner had planted a large number of lilies of the valley in the backyard.

I think the reason that I love them so is that they draw no attention to themselves. In fact, if you aren't paying attention you might just step on them. They are tiny, very tiny. But, they are perfectly made, and if you look closely, the detail is amazing. They are simple and sweet. And, as I thought about them during our walk this morning, I couldn't help but make the comparison between these precious flowers and my precious mother-in-love.

She never draws attention to herself ~ especially not when she is in a group. She is simple and sweet, and if you take the time to get to know her, you will see that her detail is amazing. She is a servant by nature, a beautiful soul, that asks nothing in return for her offering. She just gives to give because she enjoys lending a hand, but mostly because God designed her that way. She has always been patient and kind, gentle and loving, humble and gracious, but at the same time, strong and sure.

Please pray that she wakes up all the way, ya'll. I am raising four boys, and she raised two of the most excellent that I know. I need her counsel. I need her.

I asked Erik one time what did his mama do, what was her role in his life? In other words, what is my role as the mother of boys? I asked him, "What did she do to help make you who you are today?" His answer. . .

"She was my confidence. She believed in me with all her heart. She thought that I could be anything or do anything that I wanted, and she made me believe it, too."

I can back him on this. She once told me, (you know, since I wasn't around when Erik played high school and college basketball), that "he could play basketball as well as Michael Jordan." No hesitation. She believed it. She meant every word of it. I had to hide my chuckle because she. was. serious.

She may be sweet and gentle, but she is steadfast and secure.

She knows what she believes and she knows in Whom she believes.

No doubt.

The lily of the valley.

One thing that I have noticed over the years. . .

Though they are delicate, they weather the spring storms well. We've had a lot of wind and rain, but they are still standing. May God allow my little lily of this valley to weather her storms with the same strength and beauty.


Jill said...

What a wonderful illustration. Praying that your "Lily" makes a full recovery and can be there to see your little boys become strong and faithful men of God.
Trusting that He will make the way possible when it seems there is no way.
Could you send a little of that Sprnig weather up to the Midwest. It still seems like winter here.

Kelly said...

Oh Erin, I don't often comment though I read faithfully. What an amzing tribute to your precious mother-in-love. I continue to pray for her, and your family, and look forward to the day that she can read your words.

Sun said...

Oh this is beautiful! I will pray the same thing. What a beautiful testimony to a Momma and her love. Sunshine

Sarah said...

I know somebody who's every bit as much a lily as her mother-in-love. :) I'm praying with you that she wakes up, both for you and for all the men--big and little!--who still need her.

Anna Lee said...

Beautiful! I have chill bumps!

I also thought of my "mother-in-love" as I read your post. She appreciated the little things of life more than any other person I have ever known! I can never get as excited over a potholder or dish towel as she could.

We learn lessons of life from special women in our lives. I thank God for placing a special "mother-in-love" in my life and in your life.

I hope I can be half that special to my daughter and daughter-in-law - or should I say "daughter-in-love"?

Bev said...

I absolutely loved the daylights out of every single bit of this, the flower compared to your MIL (I love how much you love her), and that she believed so deeply in her son. His confidence - my gosh I love that! And we're still praying for her and him daily.

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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