Today would have been mum’s birthday – she has missed a few of those now. I miss the hunting for the prefect present and the way, no matter how obscure, she took satisfaction in guessing correctly what it was – I’m fairly sure that there was a good bit of snooping involved.
When I’m at home in Ireland it feels like I make some people sad because I look like her – some people even slip up and call me Jenny, which actually I don’t mind, as they also slipped up and called me Jenny when she was alive!
I sometimes wonder how much I’m like her. I love cooking and feeding people, but I’m rubbish at sewing. We have in common our inability to make the perfect hot-cross buns – mine are apparently suitable for stoning people if we ever need to. I love gardening but have no patience so Ramos says I intimidate the vegetables into growing. I hope that I’m generous and fun-loving like her. But I wonder about the other parts – the MS, the depression, the stubbornness – will they also be mine?
How much of our character is inherited and how much is choice? The bible tells me that some of my character is by choice and action:
Colossians 3:12-17 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
We don’t have just the characteristics of our biological parents to choose from but we can choose also those characteristics displayed in our heavenly Father. We can choose the best of both and honour God and our parents with legacies that bring joy to others. So in honour of Mum I will try to make hot-cross again this Easter, and even if they don’t work out I will be thankful to God for the fun of trying (again!)