Double Blessing

Mother’s Day is doubly special for me. It’s not only a day to honor my mom and thank her for everything she taught me, but it’s also the day that my only daughter, Maya, was born in 1984. These two very special women bookend my life and fill me with joy and gratitude.

Mom, me and Maya in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount steps
Mom, me and Maya in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount steps

The Synagogue in Capernaum
The Synagogue in Capernaum

One thing I love about both women is their sense of adventure. After completing college and working for a year, Maya longed to fulfill her dream to live and study in Jerusalem. Trusting God, she packed her bags and left, all alone, to move to Israel. When my husband and I made plans to visit her, Mom decided to join us, fulfilling her lifelong dream to tour the land of the Bible, which she loves so much. Her age, 85, was never a deterrent. “How old would you feel if you didn’t know your real age?” she often asks me. Her own answer: “Oh, about 39.”

Mom at the cave of the Dead Sea scrolls
Mom at the cave of the Dead Sea scrolls

What gives both women their sense of adventure is their faith in God. I’ve already mentioned in this blog that my mother is a prayer warrior and a woman of great faith. She is also a lover of books.

Mom & me making olive oil with my son Benjamin
Mom & me making olive oil with my son Benjamin

Mom was trained as a nurse during World War II but her passion for reading led her to become the town librarian in the tiny community where I grew up. With contagious enthusiasm, Mom soon transformed that dinky library into the town centerpiece with programs for people of all ages. She later became the elementary school librarian, as well.

Exploring a first century house near the Sea of Galilee
Exploring a first century house near the Sea of Galilee
The three of us shopping in Jerusalem
The three of us shopping in Jerusalem

Mom was a writer, too–magazine articles, newspaper columns, and feature pieces. I remember how proud she was when Highlights for Children published one of her stories and the sample copy arrived in the mail. My passion for scripture and my love of writing both come from her, and I’m so grateful for that legacy. And although I confess to great fear when Maya first moved to Israel, I knew she was following Mom’s footsteps too, building a lasting spiritual foundation for her life.

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Exploring a tunnel beneath the Old City of Jerusalem
Picnic near Engedi
Picnic near Engedi

The memories of our trip together will always be very precious to me…

Eating wonderful meals…

(And getting to know our amazing future son-in-law, Snir, standing on the left… but that’s a love story for another day.)

 

 

By the Dead Sea
By the Dead Sea

The time we spent exploring Bible history and learning new things  helped all three of us to grow in faith as we walked where Jesus walked.

Overlooking Jerusalem at night
Overlooking Jerusalem at night

So thanks, Mom, for the legacy of prayer and faith and writing you gave me. And thanks, Maya, for keeping me young, for teaching me new things, and for sharing your own spiritual journey with me. I’m honored to know both of you as more than my mother, more than my daughter—but as my friends.

 

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