Forget Her Not!

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Forget-Me-Not  –  April 18, 2017

On this Mother’s Day weekend, I’m thanking the Lord for my mom, but also for my grandmother, because when I was the tender age of five or six she asked me if I’d like to go to church with her. In the years that followed, though not raised in a particularly Christian home, I was taught and embraced the ways of the Lord from an early age, in a small Baptist church family.

Here’s a poem I wrote about seeing God working to bring me to Himself, even before I fully understood His plan or answered His loving call and finally gave my life to Him when I was 13:

“God’s Been There All Along”

God was there before I knew Him,
and surrendered all to His plan;
Preparing the very bedrock
of faith on which now I stand.
God knew I would be receptive
to my grandmother’s invitation,
so attending church as a child
provided the basic foundation.
The beliefs I’d never question now
were built on clear Biblical truth
I’ve learned from countless sermons
and Sunday school in my youth.
So it’s not so strange to be strong
– so unwavering in my conviction;
For God’s been there all along,
gently guiding my life’s direction.
From a young age He prepared me
for all the struggles I would face,
so when many would fall away,
I trusted firmly in His grace.
I thank the Lord for such faith –
Without it, God knows where I’d be.
I’m so grateful for His amazing love
and His incredible work in me!

4-16-17
© Ladeena Bell

Looking back, I don’t recall specific conversations, but I know I was loved by my family. I’m also realizing more and more lately that who I am and many of my core strengths and gifts have come from them.

In particular, I come from a long line of nature-loving amateur photographers. Third generation, you might say. My grandmother snapped copious shots of flowers, squirrels and scenery, especially in the summertime when she and my grandfather visited state parks in their camper trailer. My mother is also quite the shutterbug, and has created quite the collection of scrapbooks filled with images chronicling her explorations all over western Oregon, with a special focus on waterfalls, flowers and fungi. So it comes as no surprise that I too have an intrinsic love of nature and a deep urge to capture its beauty.

My mom and I have gone hiking together several times, and it always seems to take us half again as long to traverse a trail, as we both frequently venture off of it, pausing to get that perfect angle. I have the advantage of digital technology, but she still uses 35 mm film cameras, so every shot means more to her, as she is constrained to 24 takes in a roll. While she often moves branches and leaves to “set up the shot”, I usually prefer to make do with what’s there, finding great beauty in imperfections. Overall, it’s a joy to spend time with her, breathing the fresh air and sharing laughter while reveling in the wonders of God’s creation.

I credit my love of nature, photography and sense of humor to my mother and grandmother. I hope that you can point to either a mother or a mother figure in your life that helped shape you into the person you’ve become. Thank the Lord for them, because ultimately He’s the one who placed them into your life for His loving purposes.

My grandparents have been gone for a while, but their legacy lives on through me. I cherish the time I have with my mom, and I’m so thankful she’s always been my first best friend. (In fact, she came up with the title of this post!) I praise God for family, and for providing the opportunity for me to learn His ways and place my trust in Him.

Happy Mother’s day!

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

Blessings to you, this day and always!
©Ladeena Bell
All Rights Reserved (blog content and photo)

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