Lessons in Joy From ‘Mom Maw Jane’

Joh 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

Joh 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

Joh 15:11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Joh 15:12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Today, I have been struck by thoughts of my mother. She has been with the Lord now for a few years. In the small town, and medium size church where I grew up, my mother was known as “Mom Maw Jane.” She only had five biological grand children, but she was known by many more as “Mom Maw.”

There were grandparents who were a bit jealous of my mom because it was as though she had replaced them, even in their own grandchildren’s lives. A lot of people loved my mom. It was not because of her outstanding physical beauty. It was not her education or stories of world travels. It was not because of her wealth or material possessions. By outward appearance, there really wasn’t anything outstanding about her. She never told amazing stories. Her life was very mundane by most standards, but people were drawn to her.

I never saw her stand in front of a crowd of people, not even once, yet crowds of people, one by one, were drawn to her. Her husband, her children, and her church cast large shadows, but some how from the shadows she drew people to her.

Maybe it was because her door was always open. In her presence, you would usually find a hug, a smile, forgiveness, and understanding. There was always a bologna sandwich, or at least a “Little Debbie” snack cake with milk. But if I had to sum up what seemed to be her magical power over people, I would say it was joy. Please do not misunderstand me, my mother had some really hard times. My mother had a hard life, but she lived it with joy. My mother was not always happy with her circumstances, but she had joy. My mother was not always even-tempered, but she had joy. My mother was not the perfect Christian, but she had joy.

Joy is a rare commodity.  Joy, as defined by Scripture, is cheerfulness, that is, calm delight: – gladness.

It is amazing how these things can be evident in a life, even when the circumstances of that same life are, at times, troubled. Thinking back on my mom, she had a few habitual behaviors that caused joy in her life.

The first was daily devotion to God’s Word. I have the last Bible my mother used before she went to Heaven. I actually bought it for her because she had worn out the others. My mother knew God’s Word. She did not teach a class, nor was she a guest speaker at conferences, but she taught the Word of God in her actions. I learned faithfulness from my mother. I learned sacrificial giving from my mother. I learned to respect God’s Word from my mother. My mother’s Bibles were always marked up with notes. There were  notes to herself on how to apply a certain passage. There were personal prayer request asking God to help her live a certain passage of Scripture. She was a student of God’s Word.

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

Psa 19:8  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

Psa 19:9  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

Psa 19:10  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Psa 19:11  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Lesson number one from Mom Maw Jane is this. Read God’s Word until you understand it. When you understand it, live it. And the parts that are hard to explain, believe them anyway. Have “Bible Time” – it will bring you joy.


    • Lesa Stewart

      July 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

      I want to be like Mom maw. I want that joy regardless of circumstances around me. I love my Lord and like Mom maw, I have Bible time daily, but I often feel so distracted. These distractions seem to cast a shadow on my joy. Thanks for sharing your mom with us.


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