Friday, April 19, 2013

The Encouragement Basket

For my birthday my friend Nancy gave me a basket with several slips of paper in it. She told me to start by reading the card. This is what it said, "This is an encouragement basket... when uninvited thoughts whisper in you ear take one of these "goodies" and see what happens!" Yesterday was one of those days when I needed one of the "goodies."

When I unfolded the paper I smiled. On it I found a poem my friend had written. I was with her the day she wrote this poem many years ago. I was privileged to meet most of the women she referred to. I have found encouragement not only from the notes Nancy put into the birthday gift she gave me I have been encouraged watching her live her life. I have seen her meet every challenge of life with a quiet confidence not in herself but in her Lord.

This is the poem:

My Nana Always Made Her Bed

My Nana always made her bed, then put on lipstick, pink or red.
She made "Nana roast" and fried cornbread. Yes my Nana always made her bed.
My Mother Dear puts her earrings on Her kitchen's clean when day is done.
With love-filled heart she fulfills her vow made at age 19, caring for her husband, now.
Her body is weary, his health 'most gone, but mother puts her earrings on.
And so I've learned to watch and do like my Nana and my mama showed me to:
No  matter the load, though weary or sad, put your earrings on and make you bed.
I must add another-my mother-in-love, Electa...
Ugly words she heard when white met black, but loving words she answered back.
A physical therapist approaches her hospital bed,
"yes, I will try" is what she said... and try she did, and so will I.
The next generation is here today with me, so very modern, my daughters three.
And they and I will carry on, and will remember
          Who we are
                  And from where we come.
We will try.
     We will put our earrings on.
           And we will make our bed.

Lord, I am so grateful for the friends and family you have given and for the courage I find by seeing other choosing to live their lives with a gentle and quiet spirit putting their confidence in You.

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