Mama’s young face had a quiet peace, for she had dealt with her grief at the throne of grace. God’s promises would never fail! She had looked unto the hills and found, in God, a very present help in her time of trouble.
Delightful. Peculiar. Old-fashioned. Nostalgic. Simple. Heartwarming.
These are some of the words that come to mind when attempting to describe the unique read First We Have Coffee by Margaret Jensen. It is an appreciative daughter’s affectionate tribute to her mother’s full and unselfish life. “Mama” was a lovely Norwegian girl, married to a pastor–a passionate, God-fearing man who loved his family but adored his theology and books even more. Mama’s faith and charitable heart blessed not only the precious children whom she served and trained in righteousness, but also strangers, neighbors, and church members alike.
Just as the landscape of rivers, trees, villages and people, clouds, and sky blended into one moving picture, so the scenes from home blended into one picture–Mama. That must be why Papa needs her so desperately, I thought. She is his home, his roots, his source of life and meaning, for she continually directs his steps back to faith in God.
Life lessons could be found in everything Mama encountered, whether it be the worn shoes received in missionary barrels, the severe illness of a child, or Papa’s impetuous decision to purchase pearls instead of food during a time of financial difficulty.
Mama never allowed sympathy to obscure a deeper lesson.
Like everyone, Mama had her weaknesses. I am not holding this book or her life up as the perfect role model or theological standard; but I would be thrilled if I left a legacy similar to hers in the lives of my children and grandchildren. A large part of why I found First We Have Coffee so heartwarming and inspiring is that Mama’s characteristics and steady presence were much like those of my own mother, who set the tone for our home as my brothers and I grew up (although her marriage is much more harmonious and mutual than the one told of in this book). We came and went, traversed seasons of rebellion or disinterest, experienced highs and lows, and through it all, Mommy was always there for us, ready with Bible truths, a listening ear, and countless hot meals. In fact, she is there, still…not just for those yet in the nest, but for me as well, even though we are states apart.
This story would make a delightful read aloud for the family, or an inspiring break for the tired mom.
Home was Mama! The kitchen was a coffee pot. Security was the rocking chair. We were home!