Marilynn Griffith stops by today to provide a peek into her world of motherhood and family. She’s the author of eight novels, mother to seven children, wife to a deacon and proof of God’s enduring mercy. You can catch Marilynn sharing her family adventures all week on the Mom’s the Word Blog Tour.
“…You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why
do you want to swallow up the LORD’s inheritance?”
“Far be it from me!” Joab replied, “Far be it from me to swallow up or
destroy! …A man named Sheba son of Bicri, from the hill country of
Ephraim, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Hand
over this one man, and I’ll withdraw from the city.”
The woman said to Joab, “His head will be thrown to you from the wall.”
Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bicri and threw it to Joab. So he sounded the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each returning to his home. And Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem.”
(2 Samuel 20:1-22, NIV)
With Mother’s Day this past Sunday, mothers are on all our minds. My latest novel, Mom’s the Word deals with motherhood and marriage and next Sunday I’m headed back to Ohio to speak at Second Missionary Baptist Church in Springfield, Ohio, where my own mother grew up. One thing I’ve thought a lot about is the concept of being a “spiritual mother” to someone. I’ve never been real big on the concept, simply because God has no grandchildren, only children. Also, I’ve seen people use the “mother” or “child” tag as excuses to either manipulate or never take responsibility.
What I do have in my life, however, are women who I refer to as “Mothers in Israel”, woman who’ve thrown something over wall to save something or someone. Women like the one in the passage above. When Joab came riding to the wall with Amasa’s blood still wet on his
dagger, the men gathered around the gate didn’t respond. Joab was ready to kill anyone and everyone if necessary. But a woman, somebody’s mama, had the sense to speak up and say, “Are you Joab? C’mere boy, listen to what I have to say!” Though others were afraid, she only had one question: What do I need to throw over this wall to get some peace up in here?
To me, that is a spiritual mother, a Mother in Israel. Behind all the pretty suits, big hats and long titles it comes down to this:What have you thrown over the wall? Who did you help? From the time I was young, God brought these kinds of women into my life: Miss Juanita, my mother’s friend who raised all her grandchildren and always had room for one more; Mrs. Schall, the blond babysitter with a smile and a freezer full of deer meat; Mrs. Colaric, who had more kids than I have now, but always had a place for me; Debbie, who had no children but claimed me when I wandered the complex ; the Indian woman upstairs who fed me curry for my colds and looked out for me; My aunts: Gertrude, Charlene, Barbara Jean, Betty Lou and Donna Jean, who clothed me, fed me, read to me, sewed for me and prayed for me; Miss Janie Wilcoxson from Canaan Missionary Baptist Church, who taught me how to dance and how to pray; Shirley Porter and Joyce Stone, who taught me to love words (and good shoes); Dr. Margaret Peters, who told me I could write; Mary Harris, who taught me there’s always more to do, more to be; Michelle Rogers, who showed me how to be friends; Nancy Estes, who is my friend even when I forgot how to be one; Joy Subramanyam, who taught me how to be a mother long after I’d become one; Dr. Gail Hayes, who reminded me who I was; Claudia Mair Burney, who reminded me why I was; Sharon Ewell Foster, for writing words that compelled me to write and Donna Lee McElrath, for giving birth to me, both in the flesh and the Spirit.
And that’s the short list. Mother’s Day has past, but still, take stock and think about the women who not only caused you to be in the natural but caused you to BE in the Spirit everything you are now and will become. As in any harvest, some plant, some water and some reap. Who died to release the seed that became you? Are you ready to become a Mother in Israel?
When her tall, dark, delicious husband joins their three kids in calling her “Mom,” Karol Simons has an identity crisis. Sure she loves the pint-size trio, but what’s happened to her dreams of writing a novel? Determined to have it all, she turns to her neighbor for help.
Dyanne Thornton is thrilled to stand in as Mom for three weeks so Karol can write. Bursting with baby fever, the career-woman trades her glamorous clothes and four-inch heels for the playground and potty training. She hopes to convince her reluctant husband they should start a family of their own, right away.
Everyone’s in for some big surprises…
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