What Would Mom Do?

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How might you dig in to life, regardless of your limitations? Shirley Brosius shares why her mother was her greatest role model.

Lying under a quilted throw made by my mother, I pondered how she always kept busy. A farmer’s wife, she had plenty of work to do—gardening, canning, tending chickens. Yet even when snow covered the garden and outdoor work ground to a halt, she kept busy. She baked, she decorated, she quilted, she made clothes. Mom never sat still.

This year my life has slowed down—and I don’t like it one bit. Writing assignments are few; I feel useless, unproductive. Maybe that’s how life is at my age, but I prefer to have deadlines to meet and projects on the back burner. I wonder if Mom ever felt this way. I’ve learned a few things from her that I’m hoping can help me enjoy these senior years. Perhaps they’ll help you too, since we all hope to get to and through this stage of life:

1. Mom took stock of what she could do. For her it was homemaking. When she could no longer raise poultry or harvest gardens, she sewed—for herself and others. Lap robes for nursing homes, doll clothes for grandchildren and potholders for gifts. What might I do? I would rather write than anything else. What might you do? What do you like to do?

2. Mom would settle on a project. She might make a baby quilt, just in case someone in the family had a baby. That’s what I need to do: settle on a project. Right now I’m feeling like writing another through-the-year devotional book centered on reading through the Bible. What appeals to you? Are you a crafter? Do you have a talent to use and share?

3. Mom would dig in. Whenever you stopped by, Mom was working on her project and delighted in showing you how it was coming along. That’s what I must do—dig in. Maybe I could blog about my book idea and see how others respond. How might you dig in?

Getting older means reduced strength and energy; everything seems to take longer to get done so far less gets done in any one day. But the mind wants things to be as they were. One thing Mom would not do is hold a pity party for herself. I doubt that Mom ever thought for a moment about how things might be. She faced how things were and chose a pathway to navigate. I could ask for no better role model.

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