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GARY: Mothers never stop worrying

As I got settled in the ambulance, with an IV being put in my arm and the oxygen going in my nose so that I could breathe better, I heard my mother’s voice outside talking to one of the ambulance attendants. She kept talking until we pulled out of the driveway. During my week-long hospital stay, my mother knew more about my nurses than I did because she called them throughout the day for updates.

No matter how old you are, your mother never stops worrying about you. My mother worries that I work too much or that I’m not eating when I need too or getting enough rest. If I’m working late at the office, she worries.

This has been a tough year for my mother. She was also in the hospital with pneumonia. She had part of her thyroid removed, she broke her foot and she had sciatica flare ups two times. All of that was in a six-month period.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I will be celebrating my Mother with a fun outing. As we get older, we find experiences are much more fun than more “stuff.”

Another special thing to do is think about all the things you are thankful to your Mother for and make a list of them. That will be even more special to your mother than a card.

Just a few things I’m thankful to my mother for:

•I’m thankful to my mother for praying with me and for me. I can’t tell you how many times she has held my hand and prayed for me and thanked God for the blessings in our life.

•I’m thankful to my mother for listening to me when I’m upset and getting upset along with me when I feel I’ve been “wronged” even if it’s a minor issue.

•I’m thankful to my mother for heading out on adventures with me over the years, including those days when we were searching for the latest Beanie Baby or when we went to Fan Fair in Nashville and walked miles and miles in the hot sun. Now, we are more likely to be headed out looking for a farm in the Georgia Farm Bureau Passport in our quest to go to 20 on the list to get the prizes listed in the back. If you haven’t done this, pick up one of the passports at your local Farm Bureau office. It’s fun to visit the farms.

This Sunday, be sure to thank your mother and, most important of all, spend time with her.

Several groups entertained those in attendance at the Lula Railroad Days festival on Saturday. This group performed Saturday afternoon on the stage at the Depot.

A large group of vendors turned out over the weekend for the Lula Railroad Days festival. A number of arts and crafts were on display in the area near the Depot on Friday afternoon and Saturday.

Several children took their turn on the inflatable slide during the Lula Railroad Days festival on Saturday.

Jase Seiple, Jefferson, shows off his sand art and snow cone during the Lula Railroad Days festival over the weekend.

The City of Lula offered sand art at their booth during the annual Lula Railroad Days festival over the weekend. Here Lily Seiple (L) is shown making her sand art train.

John Seiple, Jefferson, is all smiles at the Lula Railroad Days festival on Saturday. Arts, crafts, food and entertainment were offered at the annual festival.

LEWIS: A mother’s love

As Mother’s Day approaches my prayer is that we will take a moment and reflect on a mother’s love. I was lucky to have my mom for 24 years, and I still miss her so much. I also recognize that God has placed a number of godly women in my life. I think we will all agree, that one of God’s greatest creations is our mothers.

When describing our mothers many terms come to mind. They are selfless, ambitious, hospitable, resourceful, and faithful to God and family. All of these things work together, to show us a mother’s love.

Resourceful-One of my greatest memories of my mother-in-law, Doris King, is the way she could open the panty, put some items together, and make a scrumptious meal. It’s like, “Where in the world did this come from?” Chris says she did this for years. I’m sure money was tight while raising six children and, of course, everyone was looking at her when their stomachs began to growl, and she never disappointed whomever found their way to her table.

Hospitality -A dear friend, Betty Pass, also comes to my mind. While it’s been a while since I thought of the influence she had on me, I know it is powerful. Actually she was a friend’s mother, but Betty and I became fast friends. We would spend many afternoons together, and her home was hospitality at its finest. She seriously opened her home every Saturday night to family and friends. She wasn’t sure who was coming, but she always had a delicious meal prepared for us, but it was fellowship that made us all better people.

Faithful- When it comes to surrendering our lives to the Lord, and walking by faith, Mama Sarah, is the greatest example of faith in my life today. Some people tell us what to do while other people show us. She is like the tree in Psalm 1:1-3. Blessed is the one who does not walk, stand, or sit in the route sinners take, but whose delight is in the Lord, and meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water. The most important lesson she shows me is to trust in the Lord with all my heart. At times, we are not going to understand how or why things happen, but know this. God will come through for us, in HIS timing, which is the perfect time, and He will give us strength and peace throughout the journey.

Ambitious- When I think of all the moms I know, they want their children to have better lives than they had. Some want their children to be academically successful, so they hire a tutor if needed. Some want their children to advance in a sport, so private lessons and travel ball come to mind. Others want to give their children a taste of the old days, where dinner was ready at a certain time, and everyone sat down at the table to eat and fellowship with one another minus the cell phones. Most importantly, their main goal is to be an example of a godly mother before their children.

Selfless— I know some who work on a college degree, so they can better provide for their families. I know others who see the importance of hanging up the hat on their careers, and stay home with their children. I’d say the mantra for most moms I know is, “Whatever it takes!” Mothers sacrifice A LOT every single day, raising up godly children in a top priority.

Even though my mom went to heaven 35 years ago, I still remember her resilience all the days of my life.

She was faithful to take care of our family. We would have a home-cooked meals together most nights then we would jump up and go to the ball field. She was ambitious by speaking life into my future. Often I would hear, “When you do this, or when you do that.” I know that was the Lord speaking to me through a lady I loved so much. She was also selfless. She and my dad did everything together. When my youth group needed a chaperone for a trip to a conference in Memphis and Nashville, she said she would go if we needed her. Bless her heart; missing the love of her life, riding in a hot bus, and dealing with a bunch of teenage girls for a solid week, that was such an offering to us and to the Lord.

This week, my prayer is for the moms who may be barely hanging on; I know God will take care of you. I pray that the moms who burn the midnight oil; may the grace and strength of God be on your life every day. Happy Mother’s Day on May 9 and please know you are loved and appreciated for your great sacrifice.