What’s In Your Purse?
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(Okay men, keep reading or forward to your wife, mother, girlfriend, grandmother, aunt, etc.!)
Through various seasons of my life, I’ve carried all kinds of things in my purse, ranging from a diaper, a comb, gum, Band-Aids, and lipstick, to hand lotion, postage stamps, a glow stick, and half a million receipts. I remember watching the show Let’s Make a Deal when I was young, and Monty Hall paid $50 to a lady who produced a hard-boiled egg from her purse!
As a young girl, I remember my mother, Alberta Troyan, having all kinds of things in her purse. So much so, that I’d sneak a peak to go through it when she wasn’t looking. I don’t ever remember discovering an egg, but it sure was fun to sift through her purse “privately.” I also remember her purses were large, and she always kept an inventory of several colors to match her shoes. Ahh, sweet memories of my fashionable mother.
My sweet mother passed away all too soon in 1977. I was a newlywed at age 24. My father asked my sisters and me to go through her belongings. We were surprised when we discovered tucked away in her purse a small red notebook that was filled with a variety of quotes she’d written down. Sadly, we could not ask her why she started this collection nor where she got the quotes. But what we did know was that our mother attended ladies’ Bible classes regularly. More than likely, she kept the notebook handy in her purse to pull it out for notetaking, maybe for church sermons as well. This red notebook was clearly a treasure from our mother’s purse. She could speak to us after her death.
With Mother’s Day coming up, I’ve been reflecting upon my mother—her example, her love, her faith, and her benevolence toward others. And this red notebook full of Bible verses, quotes, and slice of life advice that traveled around with her in her purse everywhere she went. So revealing of the kind of person she was.
I would never want to immortalize my mother in the wrong kind of way. She was not perfect. But she lived out Matthew 6:33 to the fullest degree: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (ESV) She loved God more than life itself. Her daily life, the good and the bad, illumined spiritual sunshine because of her relationship with her heavenly Father. How blessed I was to have had a mother like this.
A publication date is not solidified yet, but I have written a women’s weekly devotional book in honor of my mother and the red notebook she kept in her purse. No surprise here, the title is: What’s In Your Purse? I am praying in advance that my devotion book will be a blessing to others, just as my own mother blessed me.
For all my readers, if you are a mother, stepmother, foster mother, grandmother, or any similiar role, or you’re remembering your mother, mother-in-law, stepmother, foster mother, or grandmother, I wish all of you a Happy Mother’s Day.
My mother’s red notebook
I’m always looking for more family stories. You know, the kind where family members are sitting around the dinner table casually chatting, and someone says, “Remember when Charlie . . . ” and sometimes that same family story is regaled again and again at family gatherings. I’d love to feature one of your family stories for others to enjoy. You can write it, I can write, or we can do it together! Get in touch with me at email@example.com. You could be next!
Oh, Becky! That is a beautiful tribute to your mother.
Her daughters also bear testimony to her Godly life, particularly the daughter I know best.
becky van vleet
Hi Debbie, thank you for these sweet words!
What an interesting find in your mother’s purse, Becky! You shared such fond memories of your mom. I recall my grandmother (Grammie) had accumulated quite a collection of old purses, and one day she and my mom decided to donate them. My mom thought they should go through them first to check for any stray cash. Grammie scoffed at the idea, laughing that it would be no big deal of some little old lady found a five dollar bill tucked away in the pocket of a purse she purchased at a yard sale. Well, they did decide to go through the purses and came up with over two hundred dollars – a ten here, a twenty there that Grammie had squirreled away in the side pockets!
becky van vleet
Wow, Patti–that’s amazing to find $200! I hope your mother and grandmother found a fun way to use the unexpected cash!