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Listen while you read: "When Mothers Of Salem"1 (Lyrics)

Proverbs 22:6 – Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (NIV 2011)

We are not a conventional family, but we are blessed by the gifts that our mother, Rose DeShaw, delivered to us as children. With not a lot of money, we received gifts that helped us to transcend the material world and connect us to our faith — gifts that we walk with to this day.

One gift was devotion to the printed word in all its forms. We were early readers, and one childhood treat involved our mother's devotion to books. Once or twice a year, we might be lucky enough to be freed from family conversation at dinner and be granted the wish of a "reading dinner". We could bring our books and tuck in. As avid library users, one of our presents on key occasions might be that our mother would pay off our library fines so that we could return to good standing. As a result, as adults, we are not just readers, but writers and tutors of the written word.

Reading was also a key component in our introduction to faith, as Mom read us Bible stories and led us every night in the recitation of the Lord's Prayer.

Mom's love of music was another way of sharing her faith with us. When we kids were little, our family was living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and that meant taking the public transit system to get anywhere. This also meant a lot of standing around and waiting. The easiest way to keep us occupied was to sing. It must have been something for commuters to hear our group, in full voice, belting out a song like "Swing low, sweet chariot!" on a Yonge Street subway platform! Mom not only taught us the words to the songs, but explained the spiritual message behind the words, so that we became connected to our faith.

The legacy that she passed down to us has carried on, as my sister Rell and I have sung in many church and community choirs. We both realized the power of music to lift us, soothe us, and create space for reflection.

Now that we are older, in a world often focused on material goods and daily struggles, we are grateful for moments to savour these gifts. My sister and I realize how blessed we are to have received these gifts from our mother, Rose. She shared her passions as our teacher and created a door to the spiritual world through print and music.

Let's think back on the gifts that God has provided us by the presence of the people in our lives, and remind them — and God — of how grateful we are!

Prayer: Dear Holy Spirit, we thank You for the gift of our mothers and for the wisdom and guidance that they have passed on to us. We ask that we might never fail to be grateful for the lessons that they have taught us and for the love that You have shown us by placing them in our lives. Amen.

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About the author:

Andrew DeShaw <>
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Beautifully written and touching devotional, thank you!

    Thanks for sharing, Andrew. Love your mom’s stories.

    What an awesome gift to your mom today! Well done!

    A beautiful tribute to your mum.
    Keep Well.

    Such a beautiful tribute to your Mom, Andrew!
    Thank you.

    A most beautiful tribute to your mother Andrew! Thanks for sharing your

    This is beautiful. What a beautiful tribute to your mother. thanks,

    Thank you, Andrew, for sharing this thoughtful devotional with us!

    Thanks, Andrew, for the reminder of the meaningful legacy of ‘mother’ and reading as a gift. Rose, of Kingston, is also a wonderful writer.

    A beautiful tribute to mothers, and to God, Andrew.
    Thank you.

    Lovely Mother’s day tribute to the power of God through the gift of a godly mother Andrew. Thank you for sharing.

    Thank you, Andrew, for writing today’s devotion. Your mother’s devotions have inspired me again and again. May God continue to bless you and your family.

    Oh, Andrew, what a beautiful tribute to your Mother! I’ve enjoyed her devotionals over the years, and to know a little more about her life is a blessing. Thank you for sharing!

    Thanks, Andrew. I’ve learned much about your mother’s life through her devotionals. She is an amazing woman who uses the trials in her life to teach God’s truth. She is an inspiration to many.

    Andrew, I am a devoted fan of your mother and the spirited devotionals she offers. What a perfect gift you give us to see Rose from another angle.
    Can we encourage you to work with her on memoirs?

    What a wonderful story, Andrew! Although I have never met your mom, I can tell that she is an exceptional person.
    God bless you and your family and may your mom have the best Mother’s Day ever!

    Thank you for sharing with us.
    I love reading your mothers daily prayers. And how blesses we all are to have you sharing with us.
    God bless your family.

    Thank you for your wonderful tribute to your Mom. You were so fortunate.
    What I’m wondering is this the same lady Rose de Shaw from Kingston that often writes wonderful devotionals? If so, we all appreciate her inspiring faith.

    Love your devotional for today, Mother’s Day! And for sure mothers like yours and mine were very special! Thanks for sharing and bringing back wonderful memories that I am so blessed to have because of my mother!

    Hi, Your Mom is a beautiful lady. I enjoy listening to her stories, you are both beautiful writers.
    I attend the same church as your Mom. I miss not seeing her because of covid
    Have a lovely day, hope you write more often.

    Andrew, Such a beautiful tribute to a remarkable woman. I have been blessed to read her many contributions to PresbyCan, and marvel at the many life lessons she has taught through her observations and experiences. You are blessed to have her as your mother.

    Greetings Andrew,
    Thank you for this beautiful devotional as a tribute to your Mom and it serves as a very special gift to her on Mother’s Day. I always enjoy the devotionals contributed by Rose and you certainly have received the gift of her writing abilities through her guidance to her children. Blessings to you for this very special devotional today.

    What a wonderful Mother’s Day gift you have done for your Mom, Andrew!
    She will be crying with joy for what better joy than to know what you have done as a parent has been fruitful! Rose, who is a Member of our congregation, still imparts her faith to all around her and we love her dearly.
    Thank you.

    Kudos to you Andrew for showing your gratitude to your Mother. I have often read your Mother’s devotions with interest as she is a gifted creative writer, and it is delightful to see that you are following in her footsteps. I visited St. Andrew’s Kingston and met her one Sunday morning a few years ago and she was very welcoming to strangers to her church. Enjoy the warmth of the day.

    Hi Andrew,
    What an awesome devotional and sharing about your mother. I enjoy her Devotionals and yours was really touching, and we are truly Blessed to have our mothers love and devotion and Christian upbringing.
    Thanks again for sharing.

    Andrew, I so enjoyed your Mother’s Day story this morning. I love reading your mom’s contributions to PresbyCan Devotions as well. Many times I can just read the title to her devotions and know that she is the author behind it!
    Thank you for sharing this story about your Mom. She has a special gift of writing about God’s love that touches the reader.

    Most certainly I have come to know your Mom through her writings for this devotional. I have come to know her as a woman of extraordinary faith. You and your sister have been blessed by her and she has blessed others as well
    Thank you for today’s devotional which reflects so well on your mother, but also you.

    Andrew thanks so much for today’s devotional on mothers. I too am very thankful for both my mother and mother-in-law who were very important to me demonstrating God’s presence in their daily lives.
    As for your mom Rose, I always look to forward to reading her PresbyCan devotionals. They are amongst the best!
    Have a good Mother’s day

    Thank you for your wonderful devotional, Andrew. I always appreciate the devotionals that your mother submits. While other writers are good, your Mom’s have long been my favourites. I can usually tell that she is the writer long before I see her name. Sometimes I wonder how anyone could have had so many interesting, delightful, terrifying, funny, sad, experiences in their life. I have quoted her in sermons! Today it was great to read a picture of her from her son’s perspective. Thank you. You are a skilled and creative writer yourself. Blessings on your day!

    Wonderful message Andrew. I have been reading your Mom’s devotionals for years. The adventures she describes are always fascinating, sometimes nail biting, however the relevant Biblical story/ies always shine through. I have been asking your Mom for the last few years to write her memoir. Would be an incredibly fascinating read, with outcomes well-grounded in scripture.
    Please wish her a very Happy Mother’s Day for me. She is an incredible woman with many God-given gifts.
    Blessings to the entire DeShaw family.

    Dear Andrew,
    You have given your mother the best Mother’s Day gift in the world. As mothers we do not always know how our children see what we did for them. You have revealed it in such depth and understanding the gifts that your mom provided over the years.
    I do hope many of us “think back on the gifts that God has provided us by the presence of the people in our lives and remind them – and God – of how grateful we are!” Very important to let them know.
    Thank you for sharing about your mom and may you also hear what gifts you have provided to others. Blessings.

    I am so delighted to learn more about your remarkable mother, Rose Shaw!
    I have followed her devotionals, forwarded to me by a Presbyterian friend who shares my appreciation for Rose’s writing.
    Her stories from her childhood and experiences in early marriage have been an inspiration. The unique view she expresses about daily incidents make me look at my daily walk with new eyes!
    To learn about her as your mother and teacher gives me yet again more food for thought. I am a mother and grandmother, and a reminder of how my example may be remembered is always timely!
    Thank you for sharing your special memories of a very exemplary mother.
    (Nova Scotia)

    Greetings, Andrew,
    How very special to read this tribute to your mother, Rose. The readers of these devotionals are always so blessed by Rose’s thoughts. She is certainly a very wonderful person with a great gift of expressing her ideas in her often amusing and inimitable way.

    Thank you, Andrew,
    Thank you for those good words on Mother’s day. We are indeed blessed if we had good mothers who taught us “The Way”
    My mother died in 1977 and I think about her quite often.

    Thank you for this.


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