Day 1

My mom died last week. I’m going to take a few days to honor her memory and talk a bit about how her life has affected my understanding of God and daily living.  First, there are some things you need to know about Margaret Elizabeth Murdock Jones.


My mother was a prissy Princess; at her funeral, her friend said she would be right at home at Tara.  This reference required a lunch discussion with the grandchildren about what “Tara” was…including all sorts of movie trivia. In case you need a quick tutorial, it’s a reference to the movie Gone with the Wind. My mother would have enjoyed being the focus of so much attention.


Me, personally, I don’t see her at Tara.  I see her in Durham and Charlotte NC., Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Roanoke, and Richmond, VA, West Hartford CT., Chicago IL., Neshanic Station and Cranberry NJ, and Atlanta GA – not once, not twice but three times.  It is possible that I have missed a city.  These are all the places she lived because of her commitment to her “one true thing” – Bob Jones.  Her husband of almost 70 years.


This was not my mother’s preferred life.  But it was the life she chose and committed to with contentment and even joy, especially in the last 20 or so years of her life.  My mother’s preference would have been to never leave her home place – Durham, NC.  She would have been perfectly happy living in North Durham in a cozy brick rancher conveniently located near a hair stylist, a Belk’s, and a grocery store.  She would have loved having Sunday dinners with her parents; she would have loved knowing everyone in sight anytime she went anywhere.  She would have loved being a hometown girl and raising her children with her hometown friends.


Life lesson #1:  When choosing our “one true thing” or 10 or 20 or 50 true things…choose carefully.  Because when we choose them, this choice drives every single decision made from that moment forward.


The week my mother died, my daughter gave birth to a beautiful son.  I can tell already that for my daughter and her husband the raising of this son will be one of their true things.  They will never ever have a day when they will make a decision that isn’t run through the filter of commitment to Christian Thomas Mexal.


I love this verse, “But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the Lord.”  Joshua 24:15 CEB


These decisions really matter, and each of us has the opportunity – no, the responsibility, to own the commitments we make and consider the implications.


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