Alma Eugene Oxford is my mother. Everyone called her Jeannie or Mother Oxford. I say she is my mother because even though she no longer has an earthly presence she is always with me, reminding me that “ God knows all things”, Don’t under estimate yourself, Trust God in all things, etc.
I want to say that she was kind and gentle and wonderful to behold and she was but basically Mama didn’t take any crap from anyone. She was no-non-sense and shot from the hip, so if you didn’t want to know the truth, you wouldn’t ask HER! And she was gracious and generous and overwhelming compassionate….OMG, thats me!
Mama was a spiritual healer and adviser for many, many people in and around our Community.
She taught my brothers and sisters and I about the power of God through regular prayer services that we had in our living room at home. “Time for prayer!” she’d say as we (my 4 brothers & sisters and I) would reluctantly file in. She’d sit in the big brown chair against the wall and we would sit scattered across the living room with me at her feet. I’m the “baby”.
Mama began service by singing a song or by having one of us to sing as my brother played the guitar or piano. The rest of us would take turns playing the tambourine. My go-to song was “When Saints Go Marching In”. I only knew the first verse, so I was done pretty quickly!
She would open her bible and begin to teach us the word of God. I remember the pages of her Bible had become so worn, that they felt like tissue paper and smelled of Joy, the name of the perfume she wore. The pages were soft and fragile but she taught us that that they held the key to all the knowledge and wisdom that we would ever need. But little did I know then, the role the Bible would actual play in saving my life.
We would end service with us having to testify, meaning that each of us would have to stand up and say what we were grateful to God for. And one at a time, we would all stand up and say the same thing; “Thank God for Mama and Daddy, thank God for food and water and thank God for Jesus!” Mama accepted it most times but would sometimes she’d jump in and yell “say something else!”
We were raised in a conservative and strict household, with no boys and no blues! Blues was what we called popular music at the time. I was 18 years before Mama would let me go out with a boy for the first time.
Like most moms, Mama wanted the very best for us and taught us to want the best for ourselves.
Often she would tell the girls, “I don’t know why y’all have to underestimate yourselves.”
At the time, I thought she was referring to our inability to make good choices when it came to men. Now I know she was talking about everything! She meant that we should never underestimate ourselves in any way. She would quote the bible saying, “in my Father’s house there are many mansions”; to remind us that there was nothing that we didn’t have access to, we just had to believe God for it.
So needless to say, when Mama found out I was in a relationship with him, her disappointment was palpable. He was not what she wanted for me and I think she was even more disappointed that he was someone I would accept for myself.
A Lily in the Valley-
Is a really short version of my experience living with domestic violence and how I got out. Beyond that, it tells the story of how I was able to connect with the Spirit of God and began to live the life I was intended. The title is a little corny but it’s pretty accurate.
After reading what I had written, I’ve decided that rather than publish it as a mini eBook, I’d share it with you, my readers.
Every Sunday over the next several Sundays, I’ll share each chapter with you (Each Approximately 600 Words), hoping that it inspires you to face your own troubles prayerfully, with a little more hope and courage.
You can find the Introduction Here!
Next: Chapter II-
How We Met