The Best Bucket Filler Ever!

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”   Proverbs 31:29
11 26 15 003 with word overlay     There’s a social worker at Jocelyn’s school who talks to each class about “bucket fillers” and “bucket dippers.”  She explains that when someone is kind, they “fill” your bucket.  On the flip side, if someone is unkind, they “dip” into your bucket.  I think her objective is to teach the kids to be “bucket fillers” so they make this world a better place.
     Thanksgiving has me thinking about, and grateful for, the bucket fillers in my life.  I am incredibly fortunate to have a long list of them.  But hands down, my mom is my #1 bucket filler. 

     It’s impossible to list all the examples of my mom’s generosity and thoughtfulness.  Needless to say, every single thing I do has some aspect of her giving heart.  At the retreats I run, she insists on supplying the journals and pens for the moms.  But she wouldn’t settle for any journals and pens.  Instead, she sought out journals with an inspirational motherhood quote on the front, and pens with a mother’s prayer attached.  At Christmas and Easter, she buys small gifts for all the kids in Faith and Play, the mommy-and-me program I run.  But rather than taking all the credit herself, she puts both our names on the gift bags she creates.  When I hold a weekend retreat, she bakes breakfast casseroles and delicious desserts to help pamper the moms and show her support.
DSC_0125     She is also incredibly generous with her time and talent.  Every week, for seven years, she has been driving from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to lay out the craft and snack for Faith and Play.  Although I live just five minutes from the church, she not only beats me there so she can do the lion share of the set up, but in her humbleness, she always parks in the second parking spot, leaving me the first.
     Most importantly, she blesses my life with her faith.  I’ve heard of people creating prayer maps, sketching out their spiritual journey to discover what and who have influenced their faith along the way.  When I draw mine, my mom is at each and every twist and turn.  At every cross road, it was her example of what faith in action looks like that inspired me to step closer to God, rather than farther away.
     Moreover, her parenting style parallels every description of Jesus in the Gospels.  Like He did with the prostitutes and tax collectors, she’s never once judged me for any of the poor decisions I’ve made.  Instead, she’s loved me through them all, while at the same time, inspiring me to reach for a higher standard.  When you’re loved unconditionally, and constantly witness compassion, humbleness, and mercy, it’s not hard to wonder what God’s love feels like: I experience it first hand through her.
August 2013 024     My mom is definitely beautiful on the outside; but on the inside, she is stunning!  I think it’s because she’s discovered the secret of life: having a belief in God so deep and so rock solid, no storm can shake it.  That deep faith is woven into every fiber of her being, and into every act of kindness she does.  Her devotion gets her up at the crack of dawn so she can get to 6:45 a.m. mass every single morning to fill up at The Source.  Daily mass and constant prayer throughout the day fill her up to the top with God’s grace, causing her to glow, drawing everyone to her.  When you are fortunate enough to get close, His grace spills out of her.  That grace then pours over all of us who come into contact with her, filling each and every one of our buckets.
     I have so much to be thankful for today, Thanksgiving.  But words cannot express how grateful I am, nor how fortunate I feel, that God blessed me with my mother.  I love you Mom!
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14 thoughts on “The Best Bucket Filler Ever!

  1. What a beautiful tribute to an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING woman. When I think of God’s “Angels on Earth” your mom is one of three very incredible woman that I know. I am grateful to your mom for the many blessings she has brought me and my family but most of all for the gift of YOU! Happy Thanksgiving to you both. LOVE these beautiful pictures!!

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  2. Mrs. D is such a wonderful woman. I’m sure this post just filled her bucket, Claire! When I was reading this, not only was I thinking about your mom, but I was thinking it describes you as well. You are so blessed to have such an amazing and inspiring mom and she clearly has done a great job in raising an amazing daughter. You both make my world a better place!

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  3. I am proud to call her my aunt. I remember one time when my father was in the hospital I stopped by his place for something, can not remember why now, but I found my aunt Helen there cleaning it for him. That is one of many memories I have of how wonderful a woman and sister she was. My father was always saying how lucky he was to have her as a sister. You are indeed blessed to have her as a mother Claire.

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    • Thanks for sharing that story Paul! I’m certain there are a thousand more like it. My mom is one of those quiet and humble heroes who blesses far more people than we’ll probably ever know. 🙂

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  4. Claire, there are no words–except that you are an incredible woman with amazing gifts and
    I am merely reflected in them! I have been blessed in you and your sisters and brothers; in your faith and the love and care that you all shower me with. Thank you, I love you. xoxo

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  5. Beautiful words Claire and every one is true. Growing up across the street from “Auntie Helen” was a blessing. She is the definition of a giver, or a bucket filler, as are you. My life is better for having her and you in it. Love you both!

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  6. Claire you paid such a BEAUTIFUL testament to MOM. She sure is a bucket filler and I, too, feel so blessed to be loved by her. You are proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So proud of all of the amazing work you do for God!

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