Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spiritual Mothering

Grandma Anna Riebeling and Aunties-  Birdie, Mary, Elizabeth and Teenie
playfully called the 'boobs on the belt" picture-probably taken in summer 1961.

strong women, stalwart,
 faithful and honest.
hard working and generous
Katherine Elizabeth and Constance Laine-
 a favorite photo of mom and I

Mom died in August 2004- after a brave fight with cancer.
The world turned upside down and much changed.
Boxes to sift through.
Decisions to make.

My personal prayer warrior was gone.
Such a sense of grieving-just not enough time here on earth together.

And maybe a bit of a personal crisis-
what it means as oldest child- to become the matriarch of the family.
The encourager, the one to seek the welfare of siblings and family.
Overwhelmed by the feelings of insignificance,
 not seeing how I might make good choices with leading, mothering
and above all- 

feeling like time had slipped away to be an influence in the lives
of my three daughters.

A box sat on a shelf for perhaps two years and trying to make sense of it,
 I pulled one down and sifted through stacks and stacks of old newspapers-
 trying to find the importance in them.
 Names that meant nothing to me.

Why were they saved?

     And then on the back of one page, melted into the crease,
 was the name- Anna Elizabeth Bauer.
 her obituary.
 in the local paper.
 I remember hearing stories about her- 
old and living with my mom and her parents. 
 And then I saw she died at  age 64--
 that's not old!!

Born on Dec. 17, 1857 in the village of Malsungen, near Cassel, in Germany.
She had seven children and Anna was my grandmother.
The paper said that "she was a faithful and esteemed member of her congregation. 
She loved God's Word. Hers was a true Christian character.
 A faithful wife to her husband, a devoted mother to her children,
 she was mindful not only of their bodily,
 but also and especially of their spiritual welfare."

my great grandmother

she had it right.

and in that moment-
crystal clear-
 I asked God to change my heart
to begin His work of transformation-
 His Work - His Spirit.
 In me.

 For a new purpose.
Mindful- paying attention -
spiritual mothering.

 God has been gracious and blessed my life with three daughters,
 with hearts that seek Him.
Worthy not of their gift to my life, and humbled with His loving care.

 So on this Mother's Day, I give thanks and praise to my Heavenly Father,
that a randomly found newspaper clipping has made all the difference.

And I pray, " Let love and faithfulness never leave my children,
 but bind these twin virtues around their necks
 and write then on the tablet of their hearts." 
 Proverbs 3:3

And all this to be a gift to the NEXT GENERATION
Spiritual Mothers.


  1. You continue to touch my heart in so many many ways! Love you!

  2. Thanks so much for your posting - it has touched my heart as I still have some of those boxes of my mother's to go through with the same types of clippings inside. Your posting has given me the boost to go through those boxes. Mentally, I keep thinking if I leave those boxes, I'm only storing them for Mom. She's been with the Lord almost two years. It's time to find those hidden treasures she's left for me!
    Barbara Risser

  3. it was certainly a life-changing experience with what I found---it has allowed me to move forward--what we do here on earth is never just for ourselves- we can be the encouragers to OTHERS


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