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I admit that the title of this post is misleading. I don't want you to think that my mother sat me on her knee as a child and whispered great things in my ear. She didn't. In fact, most of her communications with me took the form of shouts and barked orders from across the room.
Another fun fact about my mother, which is related to the title of this post, is that she spent some time dabbling in the arts and crafts. I enjoy arts and crafts too, but like so many things in my family, the knowledge to do them it wasn't something passed from my mother to me. No, my mother's craft time involved my mother holed up in her sewing room with the door closed.
Now I am not sure when decoupage enjoyed a resurgence during my childhood, but my mother jumped onto that bandwagon. I'd guess that it was sometime in the 1970's or early 1980's. I'm note sure where she found them, but her decoupage experiments consisted of cutting out poems, quotes and flowers from perhaps greeting cards or small posters and affixing them onto plaques which she then hung on the wall.
As fate would have it, there were two quotes that seem to have foreshadowed events upcoming in my life. There were:
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; un-rewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
“Life is not a having and a getting,
but a being and a becoming.”
I actually still have in my possession these two plaques with these quotes on them. If my memory serves me, I think I took them with me when I moved out from my parents house when I started college back in 1983. They tagged along for many moves from apartment to apartment, back home when I was diagnosed with cancer, back out to the apartment life afterward and eventually here to my own home.
Yes, life works in mysterious ways. I may not have had a mother who sat me on her knee to teach me important life lessons, so instead, God made sure these messages came to me as plaques on my wall that I read everyday beginning when I was school aged. The messages were: Be persistent, determined and don't give up. and Life is about being yourself and allowing yourself to be open to personal growth (even if that opportunity for personal growth comes disguised as illness).
As I contemplate this fact, I am amazed that these messages where created by the hands of my mother. It certainly gives me paused as I really comprehend this for the very first time as I write this blog post. It also gives me hope that perhaps God does really exist and that God does find small ways to make a Godly presence known in our daily lives. Realizations like these make me appreciate God more each day.
So, as you can see, these decoupage plaques truly were the best advice I received from my mother. As with many things in my life, the messages were delivered in a very unconventional way. It's a good thing I pay attention and seem to be able to recognize these gifts when they appear in my life!