Mother Love: Never Old

Mother Love

Mother love is never old. Yesterday was my mother’s 98th birthday. She wasn’t present in bodily form; she passed into Glory 22 years ago.

Mother’s spirit hovered around me all day.

Goldie Leona Banks Brooks was no shrinking violet. Or pansy. She was more like the lantana and verbena that bloom in Texas most of the year. I doubt she’d delight in this comparison, but hear me out.

First, these hardy plants thrive in heat and drought and aren’t fussy about the soil. They add bold color to the garden and require zero tending. They’re dependable and determined, and they find a place to bloom, invited or not. They don’t give off fancy fragrances, but they don’t apologize either.

Mother’s favorite flower was the rose (with the orchid coming in a close second). I think she admired their delicacy, and I know she loved the scent of the rose. It’s a good thing she was neither a rose nor an orchid, fragile and fussy about her surroundings. She wouldn’t have managed as a Great Depression farm wife otherwise. Nor would she have survived twenty-five trying years of widowhood, holding onto the home and farm land she and Daddy worked so hard to acquire.

Girl Thoughts

January 17th appears on the calendar each year, and I return to memories of growing up as Goldie’s girl. She had always wanted a daughter, but by 1941 she had given birth to three boys and buried one. So when in 1946 her doctor confirmed she was expecting another child, all she could think were girl thoughts.

Thereafter, she made a pest of herself among church friends, asking them to pray for Goldie to have a girl. (Truthfully, they learned to run the other way when they saw her coming. 🙂 She threaded her days with incessant prayers of her own. Please give me a girl. Please give me a girl. 

But in time she convinced herself it was better to build a wall of defense around her heart than to leave it exposed to disappointment. She entered the clinic to deliver her fourth child on the 5th day of September, telling herself she and Wilson were destined for a household of boys. (Would she have traded either of her precious boys for a girl? Never!) (Tweet That!)

Girl Time

So when the doctor announced, “It’s a girl,” she heard “It’s a boy.” She held tears in check until Daddy entered her room with a huge grin.

“What’re you crying about, Goldie?”

“Another boy.” Sniff, sniff.

“No. It’s a girl.”

“Stop teasing me.” Blub. Blub.

“Goldie, we have a girl.”

She shook her head and turned away.

The doctor entered the room. “You did it, Goldie. You got your girl.”

Wiping her face with the hem of a sheet, Mother sat up … 

And the rest is … Well, it’s proverbial history packed with mother love and gratitude. And a lesson learned: Pray and expect a miracle.

Later, the preacher wrote to friends who had moved away: Praise the Lord! Wilson and Goldie have a girl! Little did anyone know at the time, but eleven years later, Goldie was to have another baby–a boy again, but–oh–how great was the rejoicing.

Indeed, Mother was like our Texas lantana and verbena. Strong. Stubborn. Self-sufficient. At times, overly so. She asked no one to wait on her or tend her. But on this, the day after her 98th birthday, how I wish I could.

Lord, how weak is our faith. We often pray, doubting.
Help us to pray, trusting. For Jesus’ sake.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
Philippians 4:6 

4 thoughts on “Mother Love: Never Old

  1. I truly enjoyed this, Linda! Your mom was beautiful. A kindred spirit, for sure. I live on a sand ridge in south Georgia. The only thing that thrives here is lantana. I have one rose bush. I love burying my nose in the petals. But, the lantana is the year-round visual beauty I am blessed with. I wouldn’t trade it for a thousand roses!
    Have you written a book with your mom as the main character? I would love to read that story!!

    1. Thank you for commenting, Gail! Very encouraging 🙂 There’s a lot of Mother in Ella McFarland. Mother was “sillier” at times than Ella Mc … and Mother laughed. A lot. But they are very much alike. I used the Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment and decided they are twin sisters. 🙂 My maternal grandmother Ella is in Betsy McFarland. And Lily’s story has roots in my mother’s family. Love connecting with you.

  2. You must get your spunk and sweetness from your mother! I love your mini-memoirs, which bring us back in time. You have a gift.

    1. Thank you, Clarice. Mother got into some hilarious situations. We laughed a lot. Thanks for commenting.


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Join our Author Chat with Lena Nelson Dooley

Welcome, Lena Nelson Dooley!

dooley-headshotLook who’s stopped by for our Author Chat, readers! You’re in for a treat. Our honored guest, Lena Nelson Dooley, is a best-selling, award-winning–need I say prolific–author of a bevy of excellent books

Grab a cup of something-or-other and settle back as Lena tells us a bit about herself.

**(Leave a comment or question, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for the Kindle version of Rescuing Christmas.) **Congratulations to Jacqueline Kimball, winner of Lena’s Rescuing Christmas!**

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Before Lena’s Life as a Writer

2016 Release

I grew up in Arkansas, a middle child with an older brother and a younger sister. My mother died when I was seven and a very traumatic time followed. (Tweet That!) After that, my father married our stepmother, a wonderful woman who loved our Daddy and us very much.

I earned a BA in Speech and Drama, and did graduate work in Drama.

My husband and I married 52 years ago. We knew each other only three months and three days before we married.

How Lena Became an Author

2016 Release

God told me to become a professional writer in 1984. Readers, check out the story on the About Me page at 

I finished my first novel–Home to Her Heartin about six months. Zondervan accepted it, but before the contract came, the higher-ups decided to drop the fiction line. I submitted it several times to other publishers, each time after a major rewrite from the notes when it was rejected.

2016 Release

Barbour started the Heartsong line of Christian romances in 1992. I obtained the phone number of the publisher and asked if I could send my manuscript. He said yes. That was in October 1991.

I waited three months to ask about my manuscript. No answer. I waited longer and wrote again. Eventually I called him. He said that my manuscript was on the editor’s desk and he connected me to her. She told me that if I would cut 10,000 words from the manuscript, they’d contract the book. I assured her I would.

2016 Release

Needing to get it done quickly so they could consider it for a contract, I worked a whole week on the manuscript and mailed it on Friday. On Saturday, I received the contract in the mail. They started the contract through the channels right after our phone call.

Lena’s Journey Since 1992

mountainchristmasbridesGod has awesomely blessed me through the years. (Tweet That!) This year He’s really heaping on things. A novella collection I’m in–Mountain Christmas Brides–has spent the last two months on the ECPA bestseller list. It has spent the last three weeks on the Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 Religious novels list.

Expert advice for aspiring writers

Connect with other authors. Network. Attend conferences. Hone your writing skills.

~ ~ ~

Thank you for stopping by to chat, Lena. What a fantastic career! We love knowing a bit more about you, including your awesomely successful marriage. Bravo! 

Readers, you can find Lena and her books at these links:




5 thoughts on “Join our Author Chat with Lena Nelson Dooley

  1. Loved the interview. 🙂

    1. Don’t you love getting to know some behind-the-scenes tidbits about authors? Thanks for joining our chat, Jacqueline.

      1. I am a big fan of Lena Nelson Dooley. Saw her on one of Janice Thompson’s live videos at a book launch party,and thought she was a sweetie pie. I love book launch parties,though I don’t get to them as often as I’d like to.I’m an indie writer,and enjoy the fellowship of other writers. 🙂

  2. Thank you for having me, Linda. Since I sent the information to you, the ECPA bestseller list came out. Just this week, I found out that MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS BRIDES is spending a third month on their bestseller list. God is so good.

    1. Oh! Congratulations, Lena! God is so sweet!


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