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The pages of this very special book are filled with hug after hug that express your warmest feelings and appreciation for Mom. Each portion of this collection is chosen to encourage and inspire her and let her know how very important she...
The pages of this very special book are filled with hug after hug that express your warmest feelings and appreciation for Mom. Each portion of this collection is chosen to encourage and inspire her and let her know how very important she is to your life. Whether it’s through one of the stories by the beloved storyteller John William Smith, one of the personalized scriptures by LeAnn Weiss, an uplifting quote, or one of the many inspirational messages to Mom, you’ll find that these hugs reach deeply into the heart of Mom and tell her what she needs to hear. Share a hug that will last a lifetime!
I have an important message for you.
It may come as a surprise, because this message is not repeated nearly often enough. Are you ready?
You are greatly admired. It’s worth repeating. You are greatly admired.
And not just by your family—by others, too. Some of your admirers are close acquaintances, others are strangers, but they all hold you in high regard. Why? Because you are a mother through and through. . . .
Because you are totally in love with your family and are thoroughly prepared to show your love by giving all, asking little, and accepting less. . . .
You may do many other things in your life on earth that will be productive and meaningful, but none will be as admired as being the beautiful mother you are. —Excerpt from Hugs for Mom
Cultivate faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control,
perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love in your
children. For if they are growing in these qualities, they
won't be ineffective or unproductive, and they will
Your Living God
2 Peter 1:5-11, Jeremiah 10:10
You may not realize it, but you are a gifted gardener. Though
you may be incapable of keeping a simple houseplant alive, you
are an accomplished gardener nonetheless. The soil you work in is
not of this world. No! It is the soil of the human heart.
Your children are your fertile field, and in their hearts you
have tenderly planted your seeds of love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Attimes, you have courageously protected your precious field
from destructive and uninvited strangers. When spiritual or
physical disease threatened, you worked with bleeding hands to
free the roots of life from contaminants. You have nursed the
wounds left by the violent storms of life. You have struggled
through seasons of drought; you have celebrated at the sight of
unhampered growth. You have weeded, watered, plowed, and prayed.
In turn, you should know that your labor of love has not gone
unnoticed. You are deeply loved and appreciated - not only
by hearts you have tended and cared for, but by the God who made
you the mother (and expert gardener) you are.
God bless you, Mom.
There never was a woman like her. She was gentle as a dove and
brave as a lioness . . .
The memory of my mother and her teachings were, after all, the
only capital I had to start life with, and on that capital I have
made my way.
Mother's Cherry Tree
My mother loved all growing things. We had apple trees, pear
trees, a grape arbor, a rose arbor, tulips, lilacs, irises, and
an annual garden. The Merdocks, who lived directly west of us,
had a large cherry orchard. Although they gave us all the
cherries we wanted, my mother was determined to have her own
cherry tree. Accordingly, one fall we planted (I say
"we" because I dug the hole) a three-foot sapling.
Mother fertilized, watered, watched over, pampered, and stroked
that tree until it was a wonder it didn't die from too much
attention. It was amazing how it grew, and in its second spring
it actually blossomed and bore cherries - not enough to make
a pie - but my mother was so proud of the accomplishment
that she nearly burst. She even carried some of those cherries in
her purse to show her friends.
We always shopped at the A & P grocery store in Royal Oak.
Fortunately for me, just down the street was Frentz & Sons
Hardware. While my mother shopped, I wandered up and down the
aisles of Frentz & Sons. It was a fascinating place. Great
bins of nails, rows of hinges, racks of shovels, balls of twine,
smells of feed, seed, and leather goods, and a hundred other
items all combined to make it a whole world in itself.
Inevitably, I was led to the fishing equipment, then the gun
rack, and finally to the knife display case. It was a wooden
cabinet with a glass door. I stood for long minutes gazing in
wonder that there could be so many fine things to be had.
At the bottom of the knife case there was one item in
particular that attracted me. It was a belt hatchet - just
the right size for me. It had a leather case that could be
strapped right onto your belt for carrying purposes. I began to
pester my mother about it. One day she actually went in to look
at it, and I knew that my pleading was getting somewhere. It was
a long process, but eventually she bought it for me.
I remember going around the yard whacking on things. It was
exceedingly sharp. I whacked on old two-by-fours, I whacked on an
old crate that had been sitting behind the chicken coop -
but it was all very dissatisfying. I wanted something more
substantial to cut. All of the trees on our place were far too
large for me to tackle with my hatchet - all except one
- the cherry tree. As preposterous as this seems, the idea
was probably enhanced by my school teacher telling us about
George Washington cutting down the cherry tree. Since George was
quite a hero, the idea of cutting down our cherry tree was an
I guess that actually walking up and cutting it down all at
once was a little too much for me, so I decided to trim it a
little first. The result was that I left not a single limb
intact. Our cherry tree was reduced to a forlorn looking,
tapering rod protruding from the ground. Around its base lay a
pile of limbs with the leaves looking limp and sickly.
When I stepped back to survey my work, my conscience began
speaking to me. You know, consciences are often the most useless things. When I
needed it was before I started, but it was completely silent - didn't help me a
lick. It never said, "John, you'd best think about this," or "Are you sure this
is what you want to do?" Now, when it was too late to be of any use whatsoever,
here it came - full blast. "Now look what you've done," it cried. Pictures of my
mother fertilizing and watering, her proud tones as she displayed those first
cherries to all of her friends - all flooded my memory and made me feel terrible
But what good did it do to feel terrible after the fact?
I put my hatchet in its case and wandered slowly into the
kitchen. I had studied some on how best to approach this
situation and had decided that it would be to my best advantage
to open the subject before it was discovered.
"I know a little boy who cut down a cherry tree," I
piped in my most cheerful, winning voice.
My mother, busily occupied, replied, "Oh, I bet I know
who it was. It was George Washington." She said it so nice
and sweet that I was reassured and plunged ahead.
"No, it wasn't. It was John Smith."
Right off, there was a noticeable change in both the
temperature and the atmospheric pressure in the kitchen. My
mother turned on me quickly, and her voice didn't have any
sweetness in it - or light either, for that matter.
"Did you cut down my cherry tree?" She grabbed me by
my left ear (she was right handed so her grip was better on that
side), and we marched out to the scene of the crime - with
her nearly lifting me off the ground, using my left ear for
I would have gone anyway.
When she saw the tree, she started to cry; and since she
needed both hands to dry her eyes, she turned loose of my ear
- which was a great relief. It was a sad-looking sight
- standing there like a little flagpole - but I thought
things might go a little easier for me since she was so sad and
all. They didn't. She whipped me with every last limb I had
chopped off that tree - whipped me till the limb was just
shreds of bark left in her hand. I was afraid she was going to
start on the pear tree limbs, but she finally gave out. You know,
a person is mortally strong when they're aroused like that,
and they also have an amazing endurance. It cheered me some to
think that she was using the limbs on me instead of the hatchet.
You know, my mother went right back to work on that cherry
tree. She kept right on watering and fertilizing and caring for
it. Anyone else would have given up. She willed that tree to
live, and it did. It grew and became a fine tree with only a few
scars on its trunk - to remind me of my folly.
Isn't it amazing how things will grow if they get the
right kind of attention? I strongly suspect that there's a
lot of folks around right now who were at one time near to death
- like mother's cherry tree - because some
thoughtless rascal started cutting on them, but now they're
healthy and growing because somebody kept watering and
fertilizing and loving them - and they lived.
In fact, I strongly suspect that's what happened to me.
Today, I am healthy and strong, with only a few scars to remind
me of my folly and some folks' attempts to trim me. And I
stand here knowing Christ, because both he and my mother
wouldn't quit on me.
She willed me to live.
And I live as a result of her love and determination.
Excerpted from Hugs for Mom by John Smith Copyright © 1997 by John Smith. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Chapter One: Nurturing Hearts
Chapter Two: Shaping Minds
Chapter Three: Imparting Faith
Chapter Four: Giving Encouragement
Chapter Five: Sharing Laughter
Chapter Six: Valuing Motherhood
Chapter Seven: Building Memories
Posted June 6, 2012
This book is a great gift for any occasion. My mom read it in one sitting. She just couldn't put it down. She was very touched by the inspirational and heart-felt stories.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.