Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Being Delores Lee Ellis IV

My mother passed four years ago, but there isn't a day that goes by that I am not reminded of her words of wisdom. For her, living was showing love and looking at ourselves and making the needed change. I was reminded of this today when I came across a poem she wrote. Honesty in living was paramount for her.

"If Jesus Came to Your House"

If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two,
If He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you'd do.
Oh, I know you'd give your nicest room to such an honored Guest,
And all the food you'd serve Him would be the very best.
And you would keep assuring Him you're glad to have Him there,
That serving Him in your home is joy beyond compare.
But when you saw Him coming would you meet Him at the door
With arms outstretched in welcome to your Heavenly Visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in.
Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they'd been?
Would you turn off the radio and hope he hadn't heard,
And wish you hadn't uttered that last, loud, nasty word?
Would you hide your popular music and put some hymn book out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in or would you rush about?
And I wonder if the Savior spent a day or two with you
Would you keep right on doing the things you always do?
Would you keep right on saying the things you always say?
Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?
Would your family conversation keep up its usual pace?
And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?
Would you sing the songs you sing and read the books you read.
And let Him know the things on which your mind and soul feed?
Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you'd planned to go?
Or would you maybe change your plans for just a day or so?
Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?
It might be interesting to know what you would do,
If Jesus came in person to spend some time with you.

My mother quoted this poem to us occasionally and I remember thinking, I am sooo not there. Although I had shortcomings, it had just the desired effect. It left me thinking about my actions and words and how I could be better. I am still thoughtful of these words today even though I miss the mark.

I miss my mom, dearly. She remains very near.


miss alaineus said...

this is a beautiful tribute to your mother. it tells us we need to *clean house* in more ways then one.


Judith Ellis said...

Thanks, alaina. Yes, for her it was always about looking at yourself. She was the most forgiving person and one who showed the uttmost grace when we got in trouble. She never ever condemned us for our mistakes. But honesty was important. Good to see you, alaina. Love to you...

Corrie Howe said...

I know this will happen one day, but I'm not looking forward to the time when my parents aren't around. No matter how old we get, I think we still need our parents.

Maybe this is why God gives us parents, to understand our need for Him as our Father.

Judith Ellis said...

Corrie - My mom taught all 12 of us even as children not to need her, even though she was there EVERY step of the way. She was most loving and hands on, yet quite self-possessed. By the latter, I mean she taught us independence. She loved us dearly. I do not feel as if I need my mother. I simply miss her presence. Your words about the Father I shall ponder some more. Thanks, friend.

Corrie Howe said...

You are more precise in your language. My mother also taught us independence. Which in someways back fired on her. We all have to live a distance from her because she is such a strong personality. I'm thankful she was fierce in her support of all her children. For example, I wanted to become a investigative reporter since I was in sixth grade, after reading "All The President's Men." I started writing for my school paper in middle school. My dad changed military bases. The middle school I should have gone to did not have a school paper, but the high school did. (For some reason both the middle school and high school offered ninth grade.) Mom fought all the way to the elected school board for a waiver for me to attend the high school.

I learned from her the squeaky wheel eventually gets greased. A lesson that has suited my children well. :-)

Corrie Howe said...

P.S. I've obviously changed a little bit since then. After pursuing the goal of being an investigative reporter through college, I discovered at my first job, I don't have the right personality or even drive to be "investigative" or "political" unlike all my childhood heroes. :-) But I still love to write and to inform.

CJ said...

I miss my mom very much, too, Judith. I can relate.
She was a very smart, very wise woman I could approach with almost anything. I didn't even have to tell her I was having a problem. She knew.

Judith Ellis said...

Corrie - Thank you for sharing your story. I enjoy sharing and I so appreciate the stories of others. If "perfect love casts out fear," there must be an imperfect love. It is the perfect love that I strive for as we are all imperfect beings. Thanks again.

Judith Ellis said...

CJ - So sorry to hear about your mom. I think I met her that first year at Michigan and a few times thereafter. I send you my love, dear friend.

Judith Ellis said...

And, Corrie and CJ, both of your moms should like really super people. Of course, I am fond of you too. :-)

CJ said...

Thanks, Judith.

I can relate to you about your mom. Never had the chance to meet her. But I can tell by the way you describe her she was a special lady. And a terrific poet too.

I don't particularly miss my mom out of a need. I have a wife who loves me to death. I just wish she was here to see me get the job I recently landed, back in September. I wish she could have been here to see her grandchild (we plan to have our first baby next year.)

Judith Ellis said...

CJ - I'm so happy you have a wonderful wife. All the best with the baby. He or she will be beautiful!

Dave Wheeler said...


I know you to be a very special and terrific person! I'm thinking you learned the lessons of life your Mom taught you exceptionally well!

"Honesty in living was paramount for her." Your Mom's words go straight to the hypocrisy I sometimes shake my head at relative to faith. One's actions clearly speak louder than words and your words describing your Mom's actions consistently show her to be a strong and remarkably special person indeed! As is her daughter!!!

Judith Ellis said...

My dear friend, Dave. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. They matter and make a difference. I sometimes feel as if I'm missing the mark, but I'm most grateful that I remain adamant about trying to be better still. My mother was indeed an extraordinary person and we are blessed that she was ours and that many others claimed her as theirs too. We are happy about this. Thanks again, Dave, for your words. They're appreciated.

septembermom said...

This aspiring poet bows to the insight, heart and faith of your wonderful Mother, a poet of life. She is with you in so many ways.

Judith Ellis said...

Kelly, my sweet friend, I appreciate you honoring my mom. She is worthy. In fact, she always told us to "give honor to whom honor is due." Thank you. The poem most certainly reveals the "insight, heart, and faith" of my mom which were all so pure. But she worked on these things daily, simply refusing to become jaded or to see life skewed. Her insight was near impeccable, but she was also imperfect. This we knew too.