This time last year my mom was here at my house in North Carolina. We were celebrating Thanksgiving all together with my parents and John’s parents. It was the first time for John and me to host Thanksgiving. It was a lot of work and a lot of wonderful memories.
At the time I did not know, of course, how special that day would end up being. And I did not know what a priceless gift my mom would leave me. My mom made us a Thanksgiving tablecloth, and we write on it what we are thankful for each year. Last year my mom wrote this:
When I put the tablecloth on our table yesterday, I read what my mom had written and once again my mourning turned to joy. Not only was the tablecloth now a family heirloom, it was a mother’s legacy of gratitude that became even more special. I vacillate between feeling mournful then joyful as I remember my mom. But yesterday I felt joy for knowing my mom’s heart a year ago was filled with such contentment, joy, and what she described as the “perfect life”
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” Psalm 30:11-12
As I think back over the past year, it was far from perfection. It was filled with more uncertainty and fear and sadness than I have every experienced. However, through it all I had a relationship which I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving Day – my relationship with Jesus. It was through that relationship that I was able to experience perfection despite the circumstances that surrounded me. I experienced perfect peace and even perfect joy. My peace came through the hope that I have for eternal life. Eternal life not only to see my mom again forever, but also to be separated from the heart ache in this world.
My mom left for me an example of authentic thankfulness. I want to be so full of thankfulness and contentment that in the last year of my life I describe it as “perfect” just like my mom was able to do. Perfect because of the peace and joy I have here on earth, and perfect because of the hope I have in eternity.
What gift is your mom leaving you?