Just in time for Mother’s Day, meet the newest (in)courage book — A Mother’s Love: Celebrating Every Kind of Mom — which is available TODAY! (in)courage writer and team member Anna Rendell compiled this book with all women in mind so that we can celebrate those who made us, shaped us, helped us grow, and loved us well — whether they’re our (or anyone’s) mothers or not. Take a peek into our newest book with this excerpt and a few pages from the book. We hope you love this special collection of stories, Scripture, and art!
I go through dozens of Grandma’s collected pieces of china, each one delicate and fine. And my mom has a story for each one:
“Oh, that was the candy dish! If I snuck a piece, I had to lift the silver lid just right, so it wouldn’t make any noise.”
“She set out that dish and filled it with nuts, served with this silver spoon at every church ladies’ circle meeting.”
“She put mashed potatoes in that bowl!”
I scour the Internet for details on the precious china and glassware, and what I find makes me gasp. Each piece is worth actual dollars! Some pieces are worth several actual dollars! The day I loaded her white Havilland china into the back of the minivan, I drove almost as carefully as the day we brought our firstborn from the hospital.
As I set each dish, plate, and cup in its new home in my china hutch, I pause to really look at them — and marvel at what I see. Light and tiny but very much present atop of plates are lines where knives scraped across them decades ago. She actually used these!, I think.
And that thought strikes me hard because I am a saver. Gardenia perfume I wore on my wedding day? I spritz it on my wrists only on our anniversary. Beautiful teacup from my wedding shower? I haven’t used it since. Crisp white linen napkins, received for our engagement? I only bring them out for Christmas dinner. All these gifts, literally collecting dust.
Most likely, their giver wouldn’t be too happy if they knew their gifts were just taking up space instead of bringing joy on a regular basis. While some things are more meaningful when held onto, the idea of leaving my best things unused doesn’t sit well in my heart.
Because if I can’t bring myself to use the good dishes on a Tuesday night, what else do I hoard and squirrel away? My best listening ear, reserved for only dear friends in crisis. The best of my servant’s heart, reserved for those who can somehow serve me back. The best of my God-given gifts, reserved to the point where they become buried, and I argue when He asks me to use them.
It’s as though we believe the things we save could save us.
“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or — worse! — stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”
Matthew 6:19-21 (MSG)
I’ve heard it said that “you become what you behold” — wisdom from 2 Corinthians 3:18. What am I becoming if I am holding back the best of my things, and the best of myself — both out of fear?
My grandma never held back. She brought out the good plates and lit the candles on the dining room table for lasagna dinner on Wednesday nights. She always had a full candy dish waiting for us. She never withheld her listening ear or her love. Her warm and wrinkled hands were ready for holding, and her arms open wide for hugs. She was generous with her love, her time, and her costume jewelry collection.
There is deep power in the loving of others, and we are able to both give and receive that when we gather around the table and give our best.
Grandma’s dishes now live in my china hutch and kitchen cupboards. Over time, I will add to the faint knife scrapes on the plates, so that when my kids go through them in sixty years, they too will have stories to tell.
An excerpt from A Mother’s Love, from the (in)courage community. Story written by Anna Rendell.
A Mother’s Love: Celebrating Every Kind of Mom is full of reflections of God’s heart and unique and diverse stories from the (in)courage community that offer heartfelt encouragement to all sorts of mothers, whether they be mothers in the traditional sense, mothers in the spiritual sense, or mother-figures who break the mold. It is sure to help any woman share a meaningful gift with a mother-figure who has been impactful in her life.
And since it releases TODAY, we want to celebrate by giving away FIVE book sets! Just leave a comment on this post, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of A Mother’s Love — one copy for you, and another to gift to a mother-figure or friend. It’s a beautiful gift for all the special women in your life!
Order your copies of A Mother’s Love today!
**Giveaway closes on 4/10/2020. Winners will be notified via email.
Celebrate the mother-figures in your life with @incourage's new book, A Mother's Love: Celebrating Every Kind of Mom -- available today! #amotherslovebook Click To Tweet