Beneath the Wings of God

Photo Credit: Unknown

Photo Credit: Unknown

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God’s wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” (Psalm 91:4)

Being loved this much should make a difference in your life. Remember the One who loves you, and then be different because of it.

Have an awesome day and remember this great promise!

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Source: heartwarmingstories.net

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Have You Ever Had One of THOSE Days?

Have you ever had one of those days that you feel like you are doing the same thing over and over and over? Seems like we humans aren’t the only things that this kind of stuff happens to!

Have an awesome day…and hang in there!!

Fascinating Facts About Mothers

Photo Credit: LadyDragonflyCC via Flickr

Photo Credit: LadyDragonflyCC via Flickr

I decided, for Mother’s Day this year, that I would share some interesting and fascinating information with you. I found the following facts on a great site: “Mother’s Day Celebration”. I found that a lot of the things that I read, I never knew before. They were not only enjoyable to read but also very pleasant to learn. I hope that you find the following stories and records as much fun as I did!

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World Records Regarding Mothers

Youngest Mother
The youngest mother whose history is authenticated is Lina Medina, who delivered a 6½-pound boy by cesarean section in Lima, Peru in 1939, at an age of 5 years and 7 months. The child was raised as her brother and only discovered that Lina was his mother when he was 10.

Oldest Mother
On April 9, 2003, Satyabhama Mahapatra, a 65-year-old retired schoolteacher in India, became the world’s oldest mother when she gave birth to a baby boy. Satyabhama and her husband had been married 50 years, but this is their first child. The baby was conceived through artificial insemination using eggs from the woman’s 26-year-old niece, Veenarani Mahapatra, and the sperm of Veenarani’s husband.

Most Surviving Children
Bobbie McCaughey is the mother who holds the record for the most surviving children from a single birth. She gave birth to the first set of surviving septuplets – four boys and three girls -on November 19, 1997, at the University Hospital, Iowa, US. Conceived by in vitro fertilization, the babies were delivered after 31 weeks by cesarean in the space of 16 minutes. The babies are named Kenneth, Nathaniel, Brandon, Joel, Kelsey, Natalie and Alexis.

Shortest Interval Between Two Children
Jayne Bleackley is the mother who holds the record for the shortest interval between two children born in separate confinements. She gave birth to Joseph Robert on September 3, 1999, and Annie Jessica Joyce on March 30, 2000. The babies were born 208 days apart.

Longest Interval Between Two Children
Elizabeth Ann Buttle is the mother who holds the record for the longest interval between the birth of two children. She gave birth to Belinda on May 19,1956 and Joseph on November 20, 1997. The babies were born 41 years 185 days apart. The mother was 60 years old when her son Joseph was born.

Highest Recorded Number of Children
The highest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782) of Shuya, Russia. Between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 confinements, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. 67 of them survived infancy.

Highest Number of Children in Modern Times
The modern world record for giving birth is held by Leontina Albina from San Antonio, Chile. Leontina claims to be the mother of64 children, of which only 55 of them are documented. She is listed in the 1999 Guinness World Records but dropped from later editions.

On Women and Motherhood

24.8 is the median age of women when they give birth for the first time – meaning one-half are above this age and one-half are below. The median age has risen nearly three years since 1970.

A woman becomes pregnant most easily at the age of eighteen or nineteen, with little real change until the mid twenties. There is then a slow decline to age thirty-five, a sharper decline to age forty-five and a very rapid decline as the women nears menopause.

The odds of a woman delivering twins are 1-in-33. Her odds of having triplets or other multiple births were approximately 1-in-539.

When the female embryo is only six weeks old, it makes preparations for her motherhood by developing egg cells for future offspring. (When the baby girl is born, each of her ovaries carries about a million egg cells, all that she will ever have).

August is the most popular month in which to have a baby, with more than 360,000 births taking place that month in 2001.

Tuesday is the most popular day of the week in which to have a baby, with an average of more than 12,000 births taking place on Tuesdays during 2001.

Strange But True about Celebrity Moms and Kids

Katherine Hepburn’s father was a surgeon and her mother was a dedicated suffragette and early crusader for birth control.

Elvis Presley, was a mama’s boy. He slept in the same bed with his mother, Gladys, until he reached puberty. Up until Elvis entered high school, she walked him back and forth to school every day and made him take along his own silverware so that he wouldn’t catch germs from the other kids. Gladys forbade young Elvis from going swimming or doing anything that might put him in danger. The two of them also conversed in a strange baby talk that only they could understand.

Many of the sweaters worn by Mr. Rogers on the popular television show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, were actually knitted by his real mother.

Eric Clapton was born to an unwed mother and to shield him from the shame, Eric grew up believing that his grandparents were his parents and his mother was his sister.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY EVERYONE!

The China Earthquake: “You Must Remember That I Love You”

Mother and Child 1This is a true story of a Mother’s Sacrifice during the China Earthquake.

After the Earthquake had subsided, when the rescuers reached the ruins of a young woman’s house, they saw her dead body through the cracks. But her pose was somehow strange that she knelt on her knees like a person was worshiping; her body was leaning forward, and her two hands were supported by an object. The collapsed house had crashed her back and her head.

With so many difficulties, the leader of the rescue team put his hand through a narrow gap on the wall to reach the woman’s body. He was hoping that this woman could be still alive. However, the cold and stiff body told him that she had passed away for sure.

He and the rest of the team left this house and were going to search the next collapsed building. For some reasons, the team leader was driven by a compelling force to go back to the ruin house of the dead woman. Again, he knelt down and used his had through the narrow cracks to search the little space under the dead body. Suddenly, he screamed with excitement,” A child! There is a child! “

The whole team worked together; carefully they removed the piles of ruined objects around the dead woman. There was a 3 months old little boy wrapped in a flowery blanket under his mother’s dead body. Obviously, the woman had made an ultimate sacrifice for saving her son. When her house was falling, she used her body to make a cover to protect her son. The little boy was still sleeping peacefully when the team leader picked him up.

The medical doctor came quickly to exam the little boy. After he opened the blanket, he saw a cell phone inside the blanket. There was a text message on the screen. It said,” If you can survive, you must remember that I love you.” This cell phone was passing around from one hand to another. Everybody that read the message wept. ” If you can survive, you must remember that I love you.” Such is the mother’s love for her child!!
Mother and Child 2
Source: BoredDaddy.com

A Beautiful Gift of Love

Photo Credit: Christina Rutz via Flickr

Photo Credit: Christina Rutz via Flickr

I recently came across this beautiful story of love and sacrifice that one person did for another. It makes me wonder…how many of us would sacrifice something so dear to us for the benefit of someone else. This little story tells us of an individual who did just that!!

“Can I see my baby?” the happy new mother asked.

When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears.
Time proved that the baby’s hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred. When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother’s arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks.

He blurted out the tragedy. “A boy, a big boy … called me a freak.”

He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music. “But you might mingle with other young people,” his mother reproved him, but felt a kindness in her heart.

The boy’s father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done? “I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured,” the doctor decided.

Whereupon the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man. Two years went by.
Then, “You are going to the hospital, Son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But it’s a secret,” said the father.

The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs. Later he married and entered the diplomatic service.

“But I must know!” He urged his father, “Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him.”

“I do not believe you could,” said the father, “but the agreement was that you are not to know … not yet.”
The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come … one of the darkest days that a son must endure. He stood with his father over his mother’s casket.

Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal that the mother had no outer ears.

“Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut,” he whispered gently, “and nobody ever thought Mother less beautiful, did they?”

Remember: Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance, but in the heart. Real treasure lies not in what that can be seen, but what that cannot be seen. Real love lies not in what is done and known, but in what that is done but not known.
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Source: http://www.shortstories101.com/love-short-stories/gift-of-love.html

Author Unknown

Rainbow Makers

Photo Credit: Cohddra via morguefile.com

Photo Credit: Cohddra via morguefile.com

I came across this story from “Soup from the Mother’s Soul 2” that is just simply a very beautiful story!

There is nothing that can truly prepare you to lose your own child. Looking back, I’ve often thought the doctors should have written a death certificate for me as well as my son, for when he died, a part of me died too.

Andy was almost twelve. For over three years he had been battling cancer. He’d gone through radiation and chemotherapy; he’d gone into remission and out again, not once but several times. I was amazed at his resilience; he just kept getting up each time his cancer knocked him flat. Perhaps it was his pluckiness and grit that shaped my own attitude about Andy’s future, or maybe I was simply afraid to face the possibility of his death; whatever the cause I always thought that Andy would make it. He would be the kid that beat the odds.

For three summers, Andy had gone to a camp for kids with cancer. He loved it and seemed to relish the week he could forget about hospitals and sickness and just be a kid again. The day after he returned from his third camp adventure, we went to the clinic for a routine check-up. The news was bad. The doctor scheduled a bone marrow transplant for two days later in a hospital 300 miles away from our home. The next day we threw our things in a suitcase and left.

One of the things I tossed into my suitcase was the present Andy had brought home from camp for me. A plastic sun catcher shaped like a rainbow with a suction cup to attach it to a window. Like most mothers, I considered any present from my child a treasure and wanted it with me.

We arrived at the hospital and began the grueling ordeal the doctors felt was my son’s only chance. We spent seven weeks there. They turned out to be the last seven weeks of Andy’s life.

We never talked about dying…except once. Andy was worn out and must have known he was losing ground. He tried to clue me in. Nauseous and weak after one of the many difficult procedures he endured on a regular basis, he turned to me and asked, “Does it hurt to die?”

I was shocked, but answered truthfully, “I don’t know. But I don’t want to talk about death, because you are not going to die, Andy.”

He took my hand and said, “Not yet, but I’m getting very tired.”

I knew then what he was telling me, but tried hard to ignore it and keep the awful thought from entering my mind.

I spent a lot of my day watching Andy sleep. Sometimes I went to the gift shop to buy cards and notepaper. I had very little money, barely enough to survive. The nurses knew our situation and turned a blind eye when I slept in Andy’s room and ate the extra food we ordered off of Andy’s tray. But I always managed to scrape a bit together for the paper and cards because Andy loved getting mail so much.

The bone marrow transplant was a terrible ordeal. Andy couldn’t have any visitors because his immune system was so compromised. I could tell that he felt even more isolated than ever. Determined to do something to make it easier for him, I began approaching total strangers in the waiting rooms and asking them, “Would you write my son a card?” I’d explain his situation and offer them a card or some paper to write on. With surprised expressions on their faces, they did it. No one refused me. They took one look at me and saw a mother in pain.

It amazed me that these kind people, who were dealing with their own worries, made the time to write Andy. Some would just sign a card with a little get-well message. Others wrote real letters: “Hi, I’m from Idaho visiting my grandmother here in the hospital…” and they’d fill a page or two with their story, sometimes inviting Andy to visit wherever they were from when he was better. Once a woman flagged me down and said, “You asked me to write your son a couple of weeks ago. Can I write him again?” I mailed all these letters to Andy, and watched happily as he read them. Andy had a steady stream of mail right up until the day he died.

One day, I went to the gift store to buy more cards and saw a rainbow prism for sale. Remembering the rainbow sun catcher Andy’d given me, I felt I had to buy it for him. It was a lot of money to spend, but I handed over the cash and hurried back to Andy’s room to show him.

He was lying in his bed, too weak to even raise his head. The blinds were almost shut, but a crack of sunlight poured in slanting across the bed. I put the prism in his hand and said, “Andy, make me a rainbow.” But Andy couldn’t. He tried to hold his arm up, but it was too much for him.

He turned his face to me and said, “Mom, as soon as I’m better, I’ll make you a rainbow you’ll never forget.”

That was the one of the last things Andy said to me. Just a few hours later, he went to sleep and during the night, slipped into a coma. I stayed with him in the ICU, massaging him, talking to him, reading him his mail, but he never stirred. The only sound was the constant drone and beepings of the life-support machines surrounding his bed. I was looking death straight in the face, but still I thought there’d be a last-minute save, a miracle that would bring my son back to me.

After five days, the doctors told me his brain had stopped functioning and that he’d never be “Andy” again. It was time to disconnect him from the machines that were keeping his body alive.

I asked if I could hold him, so just after dawn, they brought a rocking chair into the room and after I settled myself in the chair, they turned off the machines and lifted him from the bed to place him in my arms. As they raised him from the bed, his leg made an involuntary movement and he knocked a clear plastic pitcher from his bedside table onto the bed.

“Open the blinds,” I cried. “I want this room to be full of sunlight!” The nurse hurried to the window to pull the cord.

As she did so, I noticed a sun catcher, in the shape of the rainbow attached to the window, left no doubt, by a previous occupant of this room. I caught my breath in wonder. And then as the sunlight filled the room, the rays hit the pitcher lying on its side on the bed and everyone stopped what they were doing, silent with awe.

The room was suddenly filled with flashes of color, dozens and dozens of rainbows, on the walls, the floors, the ceiling, on the blanket wrapped around Andy as he lay in my arms — the room was alive with rainbows.

No one could speak. I looked down at my son and he had stopped breathing. Andy was gone, but even in the shock of that first wave of grief, I felt comforted. Andy had made the rainbow that he promised me — the one I would never forget.

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By Linda Bremner

Soup for the Mother’s Soul 2

A Letter From A Mother to a Daughter

A Mother and Daughter Photo Credit: Unknown

A Mother and Daughter
Photo Credit: Unknown

The following letter was written by a mother to her daughter. Simply put…it is beautiful reminder of a mother / daughter (or son) relationship.

“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.

And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.

When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.

I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter.”