The Best Bucket Filler Ever!

A Flashback Re-post from Thanksgiving of 2015

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”  Proverbs 31:29

11 26 15 003 with word overlayThere’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 used to run, she insisted 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 bought small gifts for all the kids in Faith and Play, the mommy-and-me program I used to run. But rather than taking all the credit herself, she put both our names on the gift bags she created. When I held a weekend retreat, she baked breakfast casseroles and delicious desserts to help pamper the moms and show her support.

DSC_0125She’s also incredibly generous with her time and talent. Every week, for eight years, she drove from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to lay out the craft and snack for Faith and Play. Although I lived just five minutes from the church, she not only beat me there so she could do the lion share of the set up, but in her humbleness, she always parked in the second parking spot, leaving the first for me.

She continues to bless 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’s her example of what faith in action looks like that’s inspired me to step closer to God, rather than further away.

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 higher standards. When you’re loved unconditionally, and you 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 024My 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’re 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 this 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!

12 thoughts on “The Best Bucket Filler Ever!

  1. Claire, I don’t even know what to say except I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I thank God for you and all my kids, I have been blessed beyond imagining. You are all so loving and giving and I appreciate the love and care you shower me with. If you see this in me, it is a reflection of what I see in you. Your faith and love and caring and sharing of your love for God is a blessing for all of us who know you. You have impacted so many lives with your many ministries, sharing your insight and your parenting skills and your incredible talent for relating life to Jesus and the gospels. You are one in a million and one of God’s shining lights! I love you more than words can say and am so very blessed to call you “my daughter”. God bless you in your life and in your ministry. Thank you for being you!!! With love and immense gratitude, Mom xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

      • You both have me crying now. Without a doubt your relationship has filled my bucket this morning. My love and prayers to both of you! Thank you for being you, and being great role models to the rest of us.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Claire, I could never upstage what your beautiful mother wrote to you in response to your moving reflections on the extraordinary mother she is. Your reflections on her, and her response back to you moved me to tears. All I can say about your mom’s response to who you really are is DITTO, DITTO, DITTO! I’m convinced that the buckets you’ve already filled in your young life are already too many to count. Blessings and Love, Jackie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Jackie! It seems to me you fill buckets wherever you go, and you do so effortlessly. Thanks for all the ways you remind me that it’s the little things that fill others up most. 🙂


  3. I sit here in a puddle of tears because I know your words and your mom’s response to be 100% true. I have been touched by God’s grace through both you and your mom (Auntie Helen to me). I admire you both so much. Thank you for sharing God’s goodness with me. Love you both!
    Thanks for the fill-up,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for this incredibly sweet comment, Jean! You bless my life so much with how much you make me laugh, and in how genuine you are about everything. Thanks for accompanying me in this motherhood journey, and filling my bucket over and over again along the way!


  4. I couldn’t agree more about your mom Claire. I have so many wonderful memories from childhood an beyond that we’re made at your home or in Maine at the lake with you and your family. She blesses us all with her giving spirit and puts us all to shame with her endless energy to give. I am thankful for her too (and for your dad, whom I was blessed to call Godfather).
    But most of all, I have been blessed to have you as my cousin and best friend! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and you are a testament to that! God bless you both and thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This comment means the world to me, Christine. It seems I’ve been blessed over and over again, with the gift of my mom, and then getting you as a cousin and friend. These are the kinds of gifts that keep giving and giving! Lucky, lucky me!


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