"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"  Luke 15:4-6

May 9, 2007


Due to the fact that I'm not a mother (nor will I ever be), and that my mom passed away when I was young, writing something for Mothers Day is something that I feel very unqualified to do.  The best I can do is write from observation.

I believe that being a mother has to be one of the hardest jobs there is.  From the time your child is born, you have to be on call 24/7, regardless of how you feel or how busy you are.  You have to put the needs of your child above your own.  When that tiny bundle is placed in your arms, from that moment on, you are responsible for the care and protection of that life that God entrusted to you.  It is also your responsibility to train and teach your child everything from how to walk and feed themselves, to how to make wise choices in everything from whom they marry to careers.

I've watched the heartbreak of mothers dealing with various situations involving their children.  I've seen the look of helplessness that enters a mothers eyes when their son or daughter is sick and they have tried everything they can think of; the look that says she would give anything if she could take that child's suffering upon herself.  I've seen the look of despair in a mother's face when her child is involved in activities that could lead to harm.  I've seen the worry when that teenager is late getting home; the uncertainty of not knowing where they are, who they're with, or what they're doing.  I've watched mothers weep over their children.  I've seen the countenance of a mother who is grief stricken, when death has taken her child. Yes, motherhood can be one of the most painful and difficult roles a woman can have in life.

Being a mother also has to be one of the most rewarding jobs in the whole world.  I  observed my sister's faces as they held their babies in their arms and their child called them "Mama".  I've seen the look of pride in their eyes when their child had a part in the church Christmas pageant or school program.  I've noticed the look of tenderness that comes across their face when their child hugs them and tells them they love them, no matter how young or old that son or daughter is.  I've also seen that bittersweet expression when their teenager graduates from high school, knowing that their offspring is entering a new phase of life.  I've witnessed the tears they try to hold back as they watch that son or daughter get married.  I've even seen that twinkle in their eyes as they show everyone who will look, pictures of their grandchildren.  Yes, motherhood must be very rewarding.

Even with all the ups and downs you go through as a mother, most women say that they wouldn't trade that experience for anything.

I'm so grateful for God placing me in the family He did, and for giving me the mother He did.  Although I only had my mom for fifteen years, she laid a foundation in my life and taught me about Jesus.  My mom not only taught by word, but most importantly she taught by example.

I have spent a lot of time reminiscing about my childhood here lately.  I have discovered that it's the little details that stand out when I think about Mama.  It's not what she bought me or how much money she spent on me, because we really didn't have much.  What I remember are things like:  the sound of Mama humming as she worked around the house or cooked, the sound of the washing machine on Saturday mornings, the smell of homemade biscuits and cocoa gravy for breakfast, sitting on Mama's lap while she read me a story, lying beside her on the bed and talking every afternoon when I got home from school.  I remember every night when we went to bed my sisters and I all taking turns saying, "Good night all of you, I love all of you" and hearing my mom's reply to every one of us, "Good night, I love you all."  As I have gotten older, it's the little things about Mama that means the most to me.  Our family lived in a tiny house and didn't have a lot of material possessions that had much worth, but what we did have was priceless and could not be bought with money.

I also owe my sisters a huge debt of gratitude for taking over where my mom left off.  Each one of them have impacted my life and were instrumental in teaching and training me, not only by word, but by example.  My four sisters have always been and will always be my very best friends.  I especially owe my sister, Linda, a heartfelt thanks.  She was the main one who wrote down recipes and taught me how to cook.  She also taught me how to drive.  I know that the example and training of my mom and sisters have helped me to become the woman, wife, and homemaker that I am today.

I honor each and every one of you mothers.  May you always see your children as a gift from God.  May you take the time to pour your love into your children and teach them all the things that are important in life.  May you have many special memories that you can hold onto and cherish.  May this Mothers Day be filled with bountiful joy and blessing.


There seem to be very few examples of motherhood in The Bible.  I wonder why.  But perhaps it is because throughout history, everyone can see great examples of mothers in their lives, and we don't need to read about it.



Super White Coconut Cake

Bake any white cake mix, per instructions on box.  Remove from oven and poke holes in top of cake, the size of a straw.

Heat (do not boil):

1 cup milk

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Pour over the warm cake.  Cool, then frost with 1 large container of Cool Whip.  Top with coconut.  Refrigerate.  Moist and delicious.



(In last weeks newsletter I asked for special memories about your mom or being a mother, and only received this one reply from one of my nieces.  I checked with my sister, Janie, and made sure it was okay and wouldn't get Janee' in trouble if I included it in the newsletter.  I thought it was funny, as did she.  The thing is, I've seen Janie's "mom face" and know what her kids are talking about.  I'm sure some of you can relate to seeing "the face" from your own mother.)

My mother has a face that she makes whenever she's upset or disappointed with my brothers or me. Growing up, groundings never bothered me because I could just read in my bedroom; nor did spankings because I knew the pain would be over pretty quickly. What bothered me most was when my parents told me that they were disappointed in me and then my mom would make "The Face". When my mom makes "The Face", she looks so sad, like whatever I did was against her personally (and that's probably how she took it). One of my brothers is an Army investigator, and he's informed my mom that she could break a terrorist just by giving "The Face". I don't know about that, but I do know that I stayed out of much trouble (or at least prayed my mom wouldn't ever find out what I did) because I dreaded seeing "The Face".  I've been told by my husband and brothers that I have the beginnings of a "Face". I only hope that it works well enough to keep my children out of trouble too. So mom, I'm saying Happy Mother's Day to "your Face" and letting you know how much I appreciate it.

For all of you who know Janie Schwyhart, you may know what "Face" I'm referring to. If you don't, be ye warned (just kidding, Aunt Loretta, don't put that in there- that'd earn me the "Face" for sure!).

Janee' McCrate



Children may get too big to sit on their mother's lap,
but they are never too big to hug.

A Thought for you to think on:  (This was shared with me by one of our readers)

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and would share with the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says:  "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy --when I see my image in it."

If you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.


Jon and I would like to wish all of you mothers a very blessed Mothers Day.

We would also like to wish Jon's mom, Diane Gray, a wonderful Mothers Day filled with much joy.  You are such a blessing to us and we thank you for your love, prayers, and support you so unselfishly give.  We love you very much!

Lastly, we want to send out Mothers Day greetings to Loretta's sisters,
Joyce, Linda, Shirley, and Janie;
and also to Jon's sister, Gayla, and sister-in-law, Alfreda.
You all are awesome women and we love you!

Loretta & Jon Gray