( I wrote this reflection about my mother and read it at her funeral on January 27, 2000, at Pulaski Heights Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.  As we approach Mother's Day it seemed appropriate. I will follow up with a normal Mother's Day article next week.)

1   The Lord is my Guide and Comforter; In the midst of uncomfortable situations I do not lack what I need to get through them.  When I  would go astray and forget to ask for guidance , my mother gently reminded me that through God I have everything I need.
2   Because so much of my emotional energy is spent in the rough waters of ministry and parenthood, He makes me take a rest now and then in the green pastures of my mother's embrace and guides me to the still waters of her love . . . and there were plenty.  Her stream of love never stopped flowing. Sometimes I get so busy in life that I forget to provide my children the same green pastures and still waters. If I don't provide that where will they find them?
3   For it is the still waters where He does his best restoration job on my soul.  It is only there that I listen to His charge about taking the right path.  He makes me realize that, like my mother, I must continually be a positive role model for the people around me, whether it be at home or at work.  I can accomplish that by letting Him lead me on the right path.  It is for His sake, not mine.
4   Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of church potluck dinners, children's camp, youth camp, youth lock-ins, long business meetings, and endless committee meetings, there is nothing left to fear . . . except possibly a deacons' meeting, but even in those dark times He is with me.  His words, His love, and the prayers of my mother - they comfort me. Her prayers were her rod and staff.
5  He is with me in the presence of those who do not agree with me and do not mind sharing endless words of discouragement.  Sometimes it is a constant barrage.  My head was once anointed with hair but it only served to soak up criticism and keep in negative thoughts.  Now I try to let criticism bounce off and allow the negative thoughts about people to be replaced with positive ones. My mother would remind me that I cannot control the thoughts of others, only my own.  She also reminded me that I need to encourage people, not discourage them.  When I think of her example, my heart overflows.
6   There have been downtimes and I know there will be more, but I know He will be with me bringing goodness, loving kindness, and fond memories of my mother that will follow me all the days of my life. She has left a legacy of goodness, kindness, and love that I will never forget, as long as I live.  She has moved . . . and will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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