Tuesday, August 03, 2010

When a miracle is named Mom


She’s my biggest fan although she’s never read any of my books. But she believes in me and when you’re a writer—isn’t that what counts most?

A funny sensation tickled my chest yesterday morning. Something good might happen. I knew it but again after living three years in the recession without much hope, my mind often played tricks on me. Boosting me up when nothing really exciting would happen.

I stopped at my mailbox on my way home from the post office and Dollar Store. Three letters waited for me. I flipped through them and found my mother’s familiar handwriting.

Not again.

Last month she’d sent us $200 to help with expenses.

She lives in a senior high rise on a set income from Social Security. I’d called her and cried that she didn’t need to do this. That we still had some funds to make it. But she was adamant. She had enough she said to cover her medicine for her chemo treatments.

Not again.

Last month, I’d shared about my hope that somehow God would provide money so I could get my book professionally edited this time. That maybe I’d get a job to pay for it and not use our savings. I wanted to make this manuscript the best I could and thought this is the way while I have free time.

I tore open the envelope and a check fluttered out. A hundred dollars more than I need. The most she’s ever given me since I’ve been married. Hard times always followed my parents and so this amount of money is equivalent to thousands.

She wrote that I should use it however I wanted to but I know what she meant. I know what she did. I know how she believes in me and now she showed me again.

God gave me my miracle but did it have to be from my mother?

And now I have a choice to make and I don’t want to.

I rarely ask for prayer here but I could use it today. If this happened to you, what would you do?

54 comments:

Carmen said...

I don't know, Terri! This is a hard one. As a mother, I know that I want to bless my kids with whatever I can. If my kids are struggling, I can't rest until I know things are a bit better for them. I would just talk to her about it. :)

Jolene said...

I'd probably spend a long time on my knees trying to filter out everything until I knew what to do.
Good luck with that one.

Susan Roux said...

She believes in you. Thank her and in time you will be able to be there for her.

Diane said...

Parents are to give an inheritance to their children... who says they have to be dead to do it. Let her see you enjoy your inheritance today!!! :O)

Mary McDonald said...

Use it to edit your book. Without a doubt, that is what your mom wants you do with it. Your mom sounds amazing and reminds me of my grandmother.

If my grandma were still alive, she'd have done the same for me that your mother is doing for you. I would not want to disappoint my grandmother by using the money for routine expenses.

Jill Kemerer said...

Your mother is so wonderful, Terri.

As a mother myself, I know it makes me happier than anything to give my children something they really want. Your mother wants you to have this. She wouldn't have sent it if she didn't have faith you would have your book edited. It's very hard to accept generous gifts, but sometimes we should.

Tamika: said...

"Every good and perfect gift comes from above." You prayed and God answered how He saw fit. He often does things like that:)

Your mother sounds like a gem, treasure her and the gift that God has granted.

Praying for you.

kathy taylor said...

Terri,

Have you thought about writing this as a "short story?" It's got tears flowing down my cheeks: so touching and so real. I think your question is one that so many of us can relate to. And there's so much to say in response...

Linda O'Connell said...

Terri,
Your mom AND "dad" knew what your needs were; one heavenly being used an earthly angel to respond. NOthing would make your mom happier than to see you happy.

Rita's Random Ramblings said...

As a mom of four daughters I have this comment. Who better for it to come through, than a mother who believes in you! A mother's love is so precious! Hugs, Rita

Jessica Nelson said...

Ooh, that's hard. Hmmm, well, I guess you need to weigh your priorities and needs.
Don't feel bad. Moms do this stuff. My grandma is an enormous financial blessing to my mom and others in the family. To me too. Your mom sounds like a lovely lady. :-)

Yolanda said...

I would do with it, what she asked. Why? Because if I was the mother and you were my child and I did that, that is what I would want. With all of my heart, to see my daughter's dreams come true.

This gave me God-skin!

Love,
Yolanda

Carolyn said...

If you gave this wonderful gift to your child, what would you want them to do?
I read somewhere "Miracles happen to those who believe in them." This miracle was delivered by your mom; it doesn't get much better than that!

Nicole MacDonald said...

Be grateful and return the favour by getting your book editing and then published and achieving your dream which will make your mother glow

patti said...

Oh, my, Terri! What a personal decision!

As for me, when I pray for gifts, I accept them gratefully if they're not illicitly obtained or otherwise laundered (and I don't mean run through the wash cycle.)

If my momma sends something, I sing Hallelujah and enjoy!!!

P.S. My Sarah does the same!!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

She's your mama and she loves you. Let her help you realize your dreams. To return the money would probably sadden her, while using it will bring her joy. :-)

Diane J. said...

Let me ask you this: If it was you sending checks to your children, would you want them to return them?

I think the Lord is listening, but you aren't responding to how he's trying to help.

I hope that doesn't come across as mean. I'm just thinking if my kids were in the same boat, if I had the money, nothing would mean more to me than to help.

Sending prayers for you all.

Lydia Kang said...

I agree with Shannon. If I were a Mom, and I gave a gift, I'd want it received, not given back. Money is funny thing, and it makes you think funny. If it was a bag of apples, or a hand-knit sweater, you wouldn't give it back, right?
I'd take it, thank her from the bottom of your heart, and give her the biggest bear hug the next time you see her.
:)

Erin MacPherson said...

Hi Terri! Your blog is great... glad I found it!! As a mom, I love giving to my kids... and I have the feeling that your mom is giving to you less out of your need and more out of her love. So, I'd accept the gift and realize that it's your mom telling you how much she loves you. And save it towards that professional book editing!

Tea with Tiffany said...

Well, God couldn't be any clearer, could He?

Go do it.

Thank God for the gift and answer to your prayers. I recently got a camera I had been praying for and the money came from the least likely place and I too did not want to receive it. But I did and now I ask myself, what next? What do I do with the camera I said I needed for ministry work?

Hmm.

Hugs,
tiffany

Lin Floyd said...

accept the gift especially because it is given so lovingly...your mom is a great supporter. Make her proud! GO FOR IT!

Michelle Massaro said...

I agree with the others, you should use the gift and not rob your mom of this joy.

Paul wrote to the church in Philippi thanking them for their monetary gift telling them sought not the gift itself, but the profit which increased to their heavenly account. They wanted to support a work that God was doing through Paul. If God has called you to write books and your mom believes this, then rejoice at the profit credited to her account in supporting your ministry.

That being said, if you are concerned for your mother's own finances you could set aside a portion of what was sent to you in a holding account (you said it was more than you needed) to have at-the-ready should she encounter a sudden need. If this makes you feel better that's an option.

But keep in mind that her offering to you is an offering to the work God is doing through you, and it is her fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

Hope this helps! God bless!

ginny said...

It does not matter how old you are, when you are hurting and your mother wants to bless you, then in all humility, be thankful.
I wish my mother was still with us. She would have provides us with monetary miracles also.
You have been blessed again, my dear friend. Be happy, because your mother wants you to be happy.

Julie Musil said...

Oh my, this post gave me chills. I've already said a prayer...

Moms have a way of knowing your needs before you speak of them. I think she might feel like this is her one way to help you. I would venture a guess that she's been helped in the past and this is her way of paying it forward. I'd also venture a guess that you've helped her in the past, as well as other people. Maybe this is your time to be helped. Just a thought...my two cents.

Christine said...

My mother and step-dad just sent money to help keep our house out of foreclosure. I feel the same way about it being from my mother, but for the sake of my own kids, I have to take it.

I don't know the answer to your dilemma, but I sure understand it. I will pray.

Kenda said...

Your mother's love runs very, very deep! What a special woman she must be.

I think this would be a tough decision for me, too, but thinking about the joy my mom would feel at offering this to me would probably lead me to accept the gift. But like you, I would pray. So I'm praying for you...

Warren Baldwin said...

Terri,
YOu have some really great responses here so probably don't need mine added into the mix. But, since I'm here ... :)

Your mother wouldn't have given it to you if she didn't want to and didn't want you to have it. Receive it with gratitude. There can't be gracious givers without gracious receivers, right?

Family helping family ... that is what life is about.

How about dedicating the book to your mom? wb

K9friend said...

That certainly is a difficult decision. I'm sure after thinking things out you'll make the right decision.

Pat
www.critteralley.blogspot.com

Journaling Woman said...

Praying for you to know the right thing to do.

As a mom, I don't give my children gifts just to have them returned. I like to think I am helping them.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Receive it with heart and hands wide open and with a willingness to apply it where the Lord leads.

He will lead. Take it to him in prayer.

peace~elaine

Rosslyn Elliott said...

You are so blessed. Take what love gives, and just make sure you use it well. That's all we're asked to do. So get a GOOD editor, and soak up every lesson. :-)

Rose Mary said...

I'll be praying for you, Terri. Mom's love us so much, invest so much more in us than money. I know it is a hard decision~and I know that God will give you the right answer!

Jan Cline said...

I know as a mother and grandmother that anything I give, whether from plenty or want, brings me joy. The prayer should be for God to work through this gift for her good and if you must receive it to make that happen, then so be it. It's not your mother who is supplying your need...it's God.
Thats just my opinion - I know you will do what God plants in your heart to do. All I know is that if one of my children had a book published partly because I gave them a little money...I would be so proud.
LOve and hugs.

Nancy said...

I remember praying a prayer like that. Give me money from somewhere, but not from Mom. And I did get it from her. It was such a blessing. I tend to agree with those who say, "take it and use it for your book." At least you have a mother who believes in you. How wonderful that is.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Terri..you are blessed to have such a wonderful mother who is not only very generous but believes in you so much. I believe 'that like attracts like' so you must be an extremely warmhearted and special lady to be blessed with such a wonderful mother.
My prayers will be with you :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, I wish I could give both you and your mom and hug! What a wonderful relationship!!
I don't have an answer but God does.

Melissa Marsh said...

I was thinking about you last night, Terri, and said a prayer that God might show you the right direction to take with this. :-)

Jeanette Levellie said...

If your daughter were a ballerina and you wanted to help her take some extra lessons so she could audition for a huge company, so you wrote her a check, even though it was a sacrifice, how would you feel if she sent it back?

Honor your mother by hiring an editor and making that book sing to the Heavens, then dedicate it to Mom.


I love you, honey,
Jen

Linda Hoye said...

As a mother who gives gifts to my own children, sometimes despite their protest, I would say that your Mom just wants to bless you. She loves you; she believes in you; and she wants the best for you. I would receive the gift in the spirit in which it's intended, and go on to make your book be the best it can be! Many hugs...

Nehha N Josshi said...

It's a way to show that she is there for you, come what may. I would honour the fact and make sure whatever I do, I should make her proud of the outcome.

Best Wishes to You and your Mother:)

Jackee said...

Oh, Terri, I'm sorry you have to choose. That is tough. But if your mother is anything like my mother (who is also going through another round of chemo), they feel like there is little they can do for their children and what they voluntarily do, we just have to accept with heart-felt gratitude. I say take it and make sure your mother knows what it means to you. My mother feels her own mortality a lot lately and when she does small things for me, she wants to make sure they feel like lasting imprints on my heart. Perhaps your mother is feeling the same way.

*hugs* *prayers* and good luck!

Judith said...

Surely your decision has been made by now. I hope you took her gift and used it how you needed. Your mother is the one most blessed in the giving and if she's dealing with cancer, she may be especially blessed in knowing that she can still be helpful to you.

Thank you for visiting my post and leaving your kind comment. I suspect my "end of story" is the usual one and while I wish "Evan" would have allowed it to be different, he at least had the opportunity. Perhaps he had some sort of epiphany before he died. I hope he did.

Lynda Young said...

It seems clear to me.
But I will help with prayer.

btw, you've won a blogging award over at my writing blog

Blessings,
Lyn

Karen Lange said...

As hard as it would be, if it were my Mom, I would use it to edit my book.

She believes in you and she wants to bless you. Don't deprive her of the opportunity to bless you. Ask the Lord to help you to bless her in some special way too.

That's my two cents, anyway, and in no way meant to sound preachy:) I have a hard time accepting from people and the Lord has shown me over the years that I need to allow them to bless me if they feel led. When I want to bless someone I don't want them to refuse me. So I accept and trust the Lord to be able to return the blessing in some way, some day.

What a blessing to have such a special Mom! My Mom passed away several months ago, but I can picture her doing something similar. You are blessed:)

Hugs and blessings,
Karen

Jen said...

Your mother wants nothing more than for you to be happy and succeed in everything you do. In sending this very special gift she is giving you the chance to find happiness.

Happiness is something that she seems to already found and she finds happiness in making you happy.

So I guess what I'm saying is, enjoy the money that she's given you, God works in mysterious ways and there is a reason that he is sharing this experience through your mother. Embrace it.

sarah said...

wow Terri..this really touched me. I just feel your heart. As a mom...a parent...I want to say accept it and do with it as she meant. Give her the joy of being part of your success...of your dream in a vital way. I would want to do that for my girls and I would want them to know I'm in their dream with them...not just in word...but with everything I got. Praying.....

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

My Mom is the same way. She's very giving, and it bothers me that she makes so many sacrifices on my behalf. I keep feeling like I should be taking care of her not vice versa.

Blessings,
Susan

T. Anne said...

My mom is just like yours. I like that she's giving to a fault. I want to grow up to be just like her. FYI I still have your mom's name in my prayer journal! I hope she's doing well.

Heckety said...

Golly its hard. What my folks say (when they help us out, which is a lot more often than I'd like)is this: 'We like to see the difference it makes to you... We'll be gone lone enough and then won't be available to share the successes...
We can't take it with us...'

There's more. I dunno: will it make your Mom feel she has a 'stake' in your success?
Will it give her something outside her treatment and all to look forward to?
She'll get SUCH a kick out of your book when its published, will it give her a glowing heart to know she had a hand in it?

Heckety said...

PS I also totally agree with Michelle Massaro's points above.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

aww Terry, your post brought tears to my eyes. What a loving mom. She is facing her own challenges, yet her caring heart has no limits.

Praying for your mom.

Doris Plaster

Deb Shucka said...

Can you not accept her gift and trust God to make sure she isn't left wanting for anything?

You're so lucky to have a mom like this. And she's so lucky to have a daughter who loves her this way.

Rhonda said...

This sounds to me like an incredible, self-sacrificial vote of confidence from a VIP in your life...put there by God. I think her "payment" would be your success...

Edie said...

Hi Terri! I've been thinking about you quite a bit lately but haven't been blogging for all the business. :)

So today I made time to come over and see how things have been with you. I ran across this post and had to comment even though you have already made your decision.

There was a time in my life where I was coming up short $300 a month in paying my bills. Two months in a row my grandma sent me $300 even though I hadn't told her about my situation. Like you, I had prayed. After the 2nd time I went to God, thanked Him for answering every time, then explained how I knew my grandma was on social security and needed the money and asked Him if He would please provide another way for that reason. It was still His choice but He provided through a complete stranger in a miraculous way the following month.

I try to remember that if God directs someone to give then I have no business taking their blessing away from them be not accepting their kindness when I need it and have prayed for it.

Sorry this is so long. I hope you're doing well! ♥