A Gift for My Dying Mother – Matthew 6:19-21

A few days before she died, with the room full of talkative family members, Mom cracked a line that made my jaw drop. Befuddled, I didn’t know whether to laugh at her joke or cry. The conversation was about buying more Christmas gifts, but her remark silenced everyone.

At that point Mom only wanted to lie still and observe her family. No more therapies, no more interventions or procedures, fewer pills to swallow. She’d asked for a place of rest and peace, and that’s what we provided for her. The hospice center had quiet halls, gentle caregivers, beautiful scenery, and space for her loved ones around her bed.

As talk of Christmas preparations continued I watched my mother’s face. Too tired to smile, but not to engage, she said

“Well, you don’t have to get me anything.”

It could have been an incredibly sad moment, realizing that my precious mother was lying there in a hospital gown she didn’t own. The bed wasn’t hers either. Her photo albums, china, jewelry, mementos from her travels. Her iPad, her comfortable chair, her favorite foods at home in the refrigerator. She’d never enjoy them again. They were nothing to her now.

Yet, in Mom’s gentle yet powerful way, she’d spoken volumes. She didn’t want any gift except our love. She lay there content in the middle of her family until she followed Jesus out of our sight.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:7 ESV

The day after Mom passed I went into my bedroom and pulled my cell phone charger out of the wall. She didn’t need me to be accessible in the night any more. Mom didn’t need anything from me, and never would again. She had instead given me the most valuable gift, a legacy of love to share with the world.

Beloved, let’s love one another.

An unedited version was shared at the memorial service for my mother, Delores Sheldon, on January 4, 2020.


Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 ESV

In Mom’s passing from this life she was surrounded by love, her most cherished treasure. Upon entering eternal rest it is with her still.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis


Don’t Be Embarrassed if You’re Still Looking for Your Calling – Matthew 4:19

Sometimes as followers of Jesus we struggle with understanding our calling. We might wonder why we aren’t more successful in our efforts or why we no longer find them fulfilling. What we once excelled at may have changed. Have we missed our calling?

In my thirties I knew I was made to be a mother. I was in my element managing our children and our home, but when we were done expanding our family I went through a terrible time of loss. I reminded God that I was good at this mothering thing and he’d blessed it. I gave it my all and saw good fruit in my family and in our community. Wasn’t this my calling? Why would he take it away?

I talked about these questions in a previous post. You might wish to read When Your Life’s Work Gets the Dreaded Pink Slip – Job 1:21.

How do I know what my calling is?

Have you ever thought that perhaps a calling might be a response instead of an assignment? I mean, repeatedly in Scripture we are told to follow Jesus. I don’t remember Jesus directing anyone to work in a certain field or strive for a particular profession. I’ll keep reading, though, in case I missed something.

He did say to work at whatever we do “as for the Lord,” but that seems to imply that any job can relate to our calling. In fact, in Matthew 4 when he tells his disciples to follow him, he promises that in following him he will make them what he wants them to be.

And he (Jesus) said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew 4:19 ESV


Since I’m not a fisherman I have to look at the underlying meaning of “fishers of men” to find what it means to me. He’s talking to guys who make their living catching fish. What he’s telling me, a woman who usually works in ways not related to fish, is that he will make me a “bringer of people” to Jesus as I follow him in my daily tasks.

And this, my friend, is our true calling: Follow Jesus and bring others.

What Jesus calls you to do

How we fulfill his calling is our service, our response, to him. It’s our moment by moment choice to look for ways to love others in whatever we do, pointing the way to Jesus as we follow him ourselves.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:35 ESV

Whether a band leader, an executive, or a homeschool parent your calling is the same as everyone else’s, to follow Jesus. Are you a nurse, a research scientist, a mom, a soldier, or a city council member? He calls you to follow him. If you’re a mechanic or a Walmart cashier, follow Jesus. He will lead us into opportunities to love others like he loves us, making us fishers of men — bringers of people to Jesus.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

When More than a Football Game Brings us Together – Isaiah 60:4

I pulled the Blockhead box off the shelf when the kids were getting antsy. I understood their restlessness. Football doesn’t hold my interest very long either, although I do cherish the times when four generations of my family come together for Duck games.

Spreading the pieces on the floor where we wouldn’t interfere with the football game, I explained a few Blockhead rules. Use one hand to place your block, and don’t let go of it until you’re sure it’s where you want it. Try to play so that blocks will topple during the next player’s turn. That way she’ll be the blockhead and not you!

I don’t have anything against watching football, but participating in a game instead of being a spectator, even at risk of being the blockhead, is WAY MORE FUN. It’s also a great way to connect with the kids.

While the girls got more comfortable with each other, I realized I’ve been seeing a lot of healing in relationships lately. It seems every time I turn my head someone I’ve been concerned about is doing better.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!

Psalm 133:1 ESV

I know this coming together season might not always be so encouraging. These are human relationships, after all. But for now I’m enjoying a glimpse into the kingdom of God where nothing separates us.

That’s pretty sweet.

Lift up your eyes all around, and see. They all gather together, they all come to you. Your sons shall all come from afar, your daughters shall be carried on the hip. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult . . .

Isaiah 60:4-5a ESV

You might call it the Ultimate Family Reunion in the Sky, that day when we see God’s people come together forever. Since Jesus paid our entrance fee we’re all invited to his place, not just to watch a game, but to see all that’s broken united and whole again.

Are you in?

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

The fantasy portrait in this blog post depicts me (in my red camping jacket) and my family heading toward the kingdom of light. If you’re interested in seeing more art like this check out my son’s work at AJoshofAllTrades.com.