A Mother’s Day Surprise by Catherine Hershberger

 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 30:29 (ESV)

I got a visit from my mother this Mother’s Day. As we pulled out of the garage on our way to church Mother’s Day morning, Mom waved to me from the iris bed at the corner of the house.

Iris bed in Catherine’s garden

The thing is, she’s been gone for nearly 35 years—resting in the bosom of Abraham in the angelic kingdom.

Catherine’s garden–snowball viburnum and lilac bushes

Before you pronounce me nuts, let me explain. My mother resides in my garden through the plants I’ve installed to remember her by. In late April, when my snowball viburnum blooms, I see her smile at the giant snowball flower ‘bow’ I placed on a Mother’s Day gift to her when I could find no ribbon in the house. In early May, the scent of lilacs wafts up from the bushes at the end of my patio to the balcony deck, filling my senses with her signature lilac perfume.

Catherine’s garden–Mom’s triple-layer day lilies


In July, my orange, triple-layer day lilies burst into bloom all over the yard. No matter where I look in my garden, from July through August I see the day lilies she carried from house to house and even boxed up and sent to me when I lived in the southwest. I planted them and they bloomed in December, which was a glorious sight for a homesick daughter.

Catherine’s garden–a single Mother’s Day iris bloom

This Mother’s Day, one perfect iris, also originally from her garden, bloomed, and waved in the breeze to me. I don’t ever remember these flowers blooming on Mother’s Day. Where they are planted they normally bloom in mid-May. And because our spring has been cold and full of frost warnings, I expected this year’s blooms to be even later this year.

It isn’t only Mom’s flowers that make me think of her. I’m reminded of her every time I accomplish something new, because she always told me I could do anything I set my mind to do. I only had to work at it. I’m reminded of her whenever I get or give an honest compliment, because she always praised me for a job well done. I’m reminded of her when I’m tempted to speak unkindly or gossip, because she always admonished me to never say anything about someone that I wouldn’t say to their face.

But most of all, I’m reminded of her in matters of faith. Whenever I open the Bible, I can see her sitting in our living room, her feet tucked beneath her in her easy chair, reading God’s Word. I’m reminded of her when I praise God, because she, and my father, took me to church whenever the doors were open and made sure I knew the Lord. She instilled her faith in me, and  “…a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 30:30 (ESV)

This year make sure you tell your mother how much you love her, not just on Mother’s Day, but every day. Give her the praise she deserves. And if you can’t find something to praise her for, look harder, because every mother needs to know she’s loved by the children to whom she gave life. Our time here on this earth is short and unpredictable, so don’t waste an opportunity to express your love and thankfulness.

A Mother’s Day Surprise (© Catherine Hershberger 5/10/21)

About the Author:

Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.

A New Baby in the House by Barb Witt

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11 NIV)

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

She gazed into the face of her sleeping child and her heart plummeted. She was responsible for this tiny human. His life was quite literally in her hands. It was up to her to meet his needs. All of them. To the best of her ability. She sat down heavily in the rocking chair beside his crib and continued to regard the child who was now her whole world. She began to pray.

“Father, what am I to do with this little thing? I don’t know if I’m up to this. I guess it’s a little late now to think such thoughts. I’m going to need Your help Lord. How will I know what to do and when to do it? How do I teach him? He is so beautiful, Lord. I thank You for this blessing. And I will need You to help me bring him up to know You. Please give me guidance and show me what to do. Help me to make wise decisions and choices for him. Direct me, Lord, so that I do for this child what You would have me do. Thank You, Lord, for the honor of being his mom.”

I wonder if Mary felt the same as she gazed into the infant face of Jesus, God’s Son. She was responsible for His very life. He had been entrusted to her. It was up to her and Joseph to meet His needs, teach Him and guide Him. How overwhelming was that? The Creator of all things placed this most precious gift in her arms.

And Mary and Joseph did a fine job. Jesus, the Son of God grew into an amazing man. He spread the love of His Father everywhere He went. He made lowly fishermen into “Fishers of Men” and showed and taught them things that they would never have believed possible.

And He gave Himself up as a living sacrifice so that each and every one could choose to believe or not. He died. A slow horrible death on a cross. And then He rose again on the third day, victorious over death. And all we must do is believe and obey His word.

So, when you look into the face of that beautiful child, know that there is a place for him or her in heaven. And do everything you can to teach them about the wonders of the Creator of the Universe.

And now we pray…

Lord, what a blessing and honor it is to be a parent and grandparent. It’s not always easy, and we all make many mistakes because we are all human. With Your guidance, and through prayer, we do the best we can. Lord I ask that You touch the heart of each parent today. Give them wisdom and insight into raising their children to love and honor You. Touch each of their children and grandchildren and open their eyes and hearts to the teaching of Your will.

In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN!

A New Baby in the House (© Barb Witt 11/13/2019)

About the Author:

Barb Witt is a Christian wife, mother and grandmother who loves gardening, quilting, crafting, writing poetry and devotions, and is working on a children’s book. She has created an email devotional and prayer warrior ministry that she sends out daily. If you’re interested in being added to her email list let us know.