April Showers Bring May Flowers …. Reflection on Motherhood

Spring Flowers[Written by Christine Cox, Ministry Admin. Asst.]
A cute little ditty, but, as I think about it in a different sort of a way, it reminds me of God’s Beauty in His Creation, marred by sin and redeemed by His Love and Mercy pouring upon the earth as April showers to bring forth a new creation. As showers bring forth new seedlings from the soil, so God’s Love and Mercy create a newness in you and me for if “anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17).”

In this month of May, flowers manifest motherhood – a flower’s beauty, the beauty of a mother’s love; the many varieties of flowers, the uniqueness of each mother’s God-given gifts; each lovely, each charming, each delightful to God for “the splendor of the rose does not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, Spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wildflowers to make a meadow’s gay…so it is in the world of souls, which is the Garden of Jesus.” (Therese of Lisieux)

However, this beauty gets tarnished in this star-crazed world, where there is a constant striving for perfection, to be the first, the best – the best and perfect mother, with the best and perfect children, the best and perfect family. And, for some the subject of Mother’s Day is discouraging, not for disappointment as a mother, but for longing to be a mother, and struggling to wait on God’s timing or deal with the loss of miscarriage.
Thus, we fail to see the perfection that God actually wants. We fail to see His Love and Mercy in our struggles. He simply wants our love and trust, faith. He wants us to do His will; in His timing. Be His instrument. In this He rejoices.

Knowing our failures, He gives us wonderful examples of how He worked in and through the many mothers listed in the Bible – from our first mother Eve, to Mary, the mother of our Savior; through one, pain commenced; through the other, peace restored.
Though through Eve’s mistrust we have the wound of original sin, God showed His Love and Mercy by promising a restoration (Genesis 3:15) and then clothed Adam and Eve with garments (3:21). In Mary, called by some the ‘New Eve’, we see a deep faith as was with Abraham who “in hope believed against hope should become the father of many nations” (Romans 4:18) so Mary believed that she would become the mother of God’s Son. Through her belief, trust, and obedience mankind was blessed with its Redeemer, God’s Love and Mercy as was promised in Genesis.

And, He shows us other mothers, who were imperfect creatures, bruised and broken vessels, who were discouraged, struggling with issues and disappointments in their lives – Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, Jochebed, Hannah, Elizabeth, Eunice and Lois, to name a few – yet, we see how He poured His Love and Mercy upon them; thus, how all were part of the tapestry in salvation history. All in His perfect timing.
As each were so unique and each can be a lesson on striving how to be that beautiful new creation used by God, so each mother, each woman, today is uniquely gifted to be His instrument to our families, to our communities, and to His church.

To all Women, for we have mentored many –
Happy Mothers’ Day!

[Image Credit: Josephine E. Cox/www.photosbyjosie.com]

Coming Full Circle

[Written by Liz Getz, Nursery Director]
For weeks I have been trying to settle on what I wanted to write about for my first blog.  As we move into the month of May I inevitably think about Mother’s Day and my own Mom.  Some of you know all or most of my story but I’m sure many of you do not.  I was raised in the Presbyterian Church and my childhood is full of memories of Sunday School and VBS in the summers, children’s choir and confirmation class, youth group on Sunday evenings and church retreats to the beach and the mountains in my teens, lock-ins, and summer camp in North Carolina each year of high school.

My Mom was a Sunday School teacher, volunteered with pretty much everything and my Dad was an usher.  When I started college at Auburn I was a typical college student, my Sunday mornings became more about sleeping in and less about getting up for church.  I went with my family on holidays or special services.  I worked in my church nursery just like the college girls do now for Cross Creek so I was often there but never actually a part of worship.  But I didn’t feel disconnected from the church – yet.

Then everything was turned upside down when my Mom passed away very unexpectedly in May 1999.  She was only 47 and still healthy and vibrant with so much left to experience in this life.  I was just 19 at the age you think you have it all figured out but in ways you cannot see yet still just a child.  I wish I felt the comfort of being a beloved child of God but I just felt like a motherless child.  When you lose someone before their time it can be very hard to see or understand that it was in God’s timing.  It took a long time before I felt real comfort in the scripture.  “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”  (Proverbs 19:21)

I started attending Cross Creek Church in early 2010 just a few months after the church had officially started services.  I was invited by the Hughes family as I have been friends with James and Casey for years (and years and years for my friendship with Casey).  They had both been telling me for weeks I should come to a service at the new church they were attending.  I was reluctant at first but eventually agreed.

Once I came to my first worship service I kept coming week after week.  Soon I was in a life group and over the years I have served in a number of areas including teaching Sunday School, hospitality and now as the Nursery Director.  I know many people are led to new churches through friends or family but for me this was coming back to the church.  I’ve not only come back to church but now I have come full circle.  I think my Mom would love the fact that I am back in the church and that I’ve come to walk in many of her footsteps as well.

Without the wonderful mothers we have in Cross Creek I wouldn’t have precious babies and toddlers to love each week.  So this Mother’s Day I thank those mothers and I thank my own Mom for all that she did to make me who I am.  She had a huge heart and loved to serve, it was one of her many gifts and I feel she passed many of those traits to me.  Our church is built upon our service to one another, that’s what I found to be at times challenging but also extremely rewarding about being a member of church that started as a church plant. It takes everyone being involved to make our church thrive and the Children’s Ministry especially cannot work without dedicated volunteers who are willing to serve.  “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10)

I want to give a special thank you to Jackie Culp who sent me this quote for encouragement:
“If you want to see a future preacher, president, leader, missionary, or hero, just sign up to work in the church nursery.  When God gives us children, He gives us the privilege of nurturing the future.”
–    David Jeremiah

My Grammy and Mamaw

My mamaw

[Written by Shawndee Lovoy]

I have been so blessed to have my two grandmothers into my adult life.  Both of my grandmothers met and had a sweet relationship with my husband Jason, and our 4 children, Isaac, Juliette, James and Mary Rose.  My Grammy (left of me in red) was a precious woman who was married to my Papaw over 65 years, raised 7 children- 5 of which are still living, and taught school most of her life.  She went to be with Jesus about 3 years ago.   My Mamaw (right of me in blue) just went to live with Jesus at the end of December.  She was married to my Papaw over 60 years, raised 4 children, and taught school most of her life also.  We had just spent an amazing week together at my parents house in Nashville, where we shared Christmas morning, games, meals, stories, and lots of love.  Christmas was always our holiday with Mamaw and I thank Jesus that He gave us the honor of spending Mamaw’s last Christmas on earth with her.  It was a hard loss, very sudden, us having had lunch with her just a few hours before.  It was my children’s first real experience with loss of someone they truly knew and loved.  I am only 1 of 10 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren that my Mamaw had.  I decided I would regret it forever if I didn’t speak at her funeral.  I was very scared and didn’t want to cry but I wanted to honor Mamaw in that way and let everyone know what she meant to me.  So, I wrote it all down, got up and read it.  I choked up a few times but I made it through.  I want to share with you about my Mamaw.  Even these few words don’t give this precious woman justice but it’s enough to give you an idea.  Meet Mamaw.

My Mamaw-

When I think of Mamaw I think…

1) sourdough bread- she would let me dig out the entire middle if I wanted too

2) biscuits and gravy- which I loved until I watched her make it once, then I could never eat it again!

3) cows and lightening bugs

4) sleepovers in the living room with all my cousins

5) playing in the basement and the hot tub

6) parafin wax

7) Christmas

8) shopping

9) letters

I think I wrote every paper in school about who I admired most on Mamaw.  The amazing thing about Mamaw is that I think all of her 10 grandchildren each thinks they were her favorite in some way or another.  That’s what her love did.  It made me feel SPECIAL, WANTED, AND IMPORTANT.

Even though I never lived even in the same state as Mamaw I could always feel her love all those miles away.  It was bigger and longer than all the miles between us.

I’m forever grateful that Mamaw was there for the birth of all 4 of my children.  She came to Birmingham after each of their births, stayed with us about a week,  and did what Mamaw does…she rocked, she sang, she read, she played, she cooked, she loved.  She too made each of my 4 children, just a few of her 21 great- grandchildren feel SPECIAL, WANTED, AND IMPORTANT.

Mamaw loved us all so well.  She has taught me so much about how I want to love.  We were so blessed to have her in our lives for so long.  She is and will always be greatly missed.

Now I have new thoughts to think of when I think of Mamaw.  “Absent in the body, present with the Lord.”  Mamaw is HOME.  She has had her glorious reunion with Papaw and all her loved ones gone before her.  She’s with JESUS.  I imagine she and Jesus are becoming best friends as we speak.  I’ve been singing this old hymn since Mamaw went to heaven. “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.  When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.”



Shawndee Lovoy