Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists

Back in early November, one of the authors' newsletters I subscribe to via email was running a contest asking for family holiday recipes and traditions. I immediately thought of my Grandma Valley's kringle. Every year in December, Mom and I get together at her house, along with my girls, and make cherry kringle and Christmas cookies. It's one of my favorite parts of the holidays. We laugh until we're crying and then go home with tasty memories of the day. So I asked Mom if I could borrow the recipe card for kringle for the contest.

The card is typed with the instructions on both sides, and as Mom cautiously reminded me as I left with it, the ONLY ONE we have. When I got home, I tucked it behind my clock radio. That's my standard spot for storing things temporarily. There's always a stack of bills/papers for school/my blog calendar/coupons/etc there. I sort through it weekly to make sure that I'm staying on top of things.

A couple of days later I wanted to enter the contest, so I reached for the recipe card...and it was gone. I searched through the pile several times and moved everything from my nightstand as my panic mounted. I couldn't find it anywhere. On the floor, right below my stack is my garbage, which I change daily, so I looked through the garbage bag in the kitchen, but I still couldn't find it. It had vanished into thin air, and somehow I had to tell my mom that I had lost this piece of HER mother, this part of our family history.

I waited until the week before we were going to have our baking party before I told her. I kept hoping and praying that it would just turn up somewhere. When I finally broke the news, I felt so ashamed at losing what she entrusted me with. Mom blinked a couple of times, but to her everlasting credit, she didn't yell or beat me up over it. I could see her disappointment, but I also saw the deliberate decision to choose grace.

I looked online for another recipe for kringle, and Mom made it, but the camaraderie we normally experience making it just wasn't there. (We still had plenty of fun though. Go here to read my post on that day) And the dough was very different than Grandma Valley's. After Christmas Mom asked me if we had eaten our kringle, and I had to confess that we had just tossed ours. She admitted that she had too, and then dropped the subject. I felt guilty all over again, but not because of Mom; she made it clear that she wasn't angry at me.

A few weeks ago, I was going through my books to blog, of which I have several different shelves, and came across a book that I had started but didn't finish...and about 1/4 of the way through tucked in as a bookmark was Grandma Valley's kringle recipe! I ran into the kitchen jumping up and down telling Jesse and the kids, who had a lot of fun teasing me for misplacing something.

I brought the card to Mom the next time I went over to visit, and now, with the card safely in her hand, she teased me and gave me just a bit of scolding over its loss. We were both thrilled, and I'm already looking forward to Christmas next year when we can make a kringle together.

Mom's treatment of me about this has stuck with me since December. I read once that grace is receiving what you don't deserve, and mercy is not receiving what you do deserve. Mom gave me one of the best representations of mercy I've ever experienced. I lost something precious to her, but she always acted as though I was more precious to her, and she kept that in mind. I know that's how God is about my sins, but I've not been very merciful in my own life. Lately when something pops up when I feel righteous anger (and sometimes not so righteous), I remember Mom's face and try to act like she did to me. I'm not anywhere close to perfecting it, but I'm getting better, thanks to my mom.

A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists by Michelle LaRowe is the perfect gift for new moms (and pros too!). LaRowe fills the book with over 100 lists starting with getting ready for baby through avoiding burnout as a Mom. I love the lists for pregnancy and birth! Here's the information you need to make a birth plan and make sure you don't take medicine that could hurt your unborn child. Plus baby-proofing and gear new moms shouldn't go anywhere without. The lists for older children are great too: household rules, safety mistakes, recipes. I can't begin to name all of the awesome lists LaRowe has packed into this book. My favorite part however is her updated version of the Proverbs 31 woman. This should be posted on every mom's wall for the hope and encouragement it offers.

Thank you to Revell books for providing me with a copy of this book for review. Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Today's picture was taken last Friday night of Mom with four of her seven siblings. From left to right is Kenny, Howard, Linda, Ron, and Mom.