"Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord"
~ Ephesians 5:19
When I think of my dear mother—with the Lord seventeen years now—one of the first things that comes to my mind is her love for Jesus.
She often demonstrated that love in worship at the piano or while playing the organ in church. My mother also composed lyrical praise songs to our Lord, some of which I still remember to this day. She lived her life for Christ, extending herself to her family even when she was weak and suffering from terminal cancer. Softly, she sang her devotion to God in her sick bed and quoted Scriptures, viewing them as nourishment when her body rejected food.
As a little girl, I remember removing my shoes before going into her bedroom and tiptoeing, since even the least amount of sound caused her all the more pain, she was that ill. “Jane might live six months,” the surgeon told Daddy after performing the exploratory surgery that revealed a cancerous tumor with tendrils spread throughout her vital organs. My book The Sunroom chronicles our faith-filled journey of that time in a fictional way . . . with its true-to-life miracle ending.
One of the hymns that deeply touched Mother's heart during this challenging time was "Beautiful Savior." While she hoped for healing, she reached out to Jesus the Healer more because she loved His comforting presence. And the Great Physician honored her many prayers, as well as those of others who were interceding for her around the world. My mother lived to see her daughters grow up, and her grandchildren and two of the great-grands. She also celebrated her eighty-fourth birthday with all of us. Miraculously, cancer never returned!
In honor of my sweet, godly mother during this month we celebrate mothers, here are the lyrics to the hymn that spiritually buoyed her during her darkest days. May it strengthen and encourage you, as well.
Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature, Thou of God and man the Son, Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor, Thou my soul's glory, joy, and crown.
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands, Robed in the blooming garb of spring: Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer, Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight, And all the twinkling starry host: Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer than all the angels heaven can boast.
Beautiful Savior! Lord of all nations! Son of God and Son of Man! Glory and honor, praise, adoration, now and forevermore be Thine.
~Lyrics by Joseph A. Seiss
God's abundant blessings!
1) I am currently reviewing the final pages for The Orchard, my novel releasing this September 6. You may preorder at your favorite online stores, as well as anywhere books are sold. Some preorder links are below:
2) The first draft for The Heirloom, featuring Ella Mae Zook, Hickory Hollow's Wise Woman, is well on its way. I'm really enjoying Ella Mae's wit and wisdom—so much fun "visiting" with her and having peppermint tea again! This stand-alone novel releases Fall 2023.
3) Don't forget: Mother's Day is May 8. My uniquely handcrafted quilted easel card (Mother's Day 2022) and Box Garden card are perfect for the Amish enthusiasts on your Mother's Day card list, friends. My backstory features additional personal memories of my mother, Jane, with the Lord since 2006 . . . but never forgotten.