It Matters – Part One {Wednesdays with Wanda}

I am writing this post today because my mom told me to.

No, I did not hear her voice in a dream or a vision.

She told me herself a couple of weeks before she passed away.

She told me to write a post called, “It Matters.”

Let me explain…

When we found out Mom had cancer, something amazing happened. I witnessed something I had never seen quite so clearly before. I saw the Love of God in action through others!

For the seven short weeks she lived after her diagnosis, I saw other people reach out to her and our family in more ways than I could have ever thought possible.

Mom was showered with cards, phone calls, visits, meals, and countless prayers.

And here is what I learned…IT MATTERS!

Mom was going through the most trying time of her life, and so were we. Our hearts were breaking, our lives were turned upside down. Yet in the mist of the rubble, we were daily being “built up” by the love of others.

So many of our family members and friends brought us meals… almost every night. When we had been at the doctor all day long with mom and came home to find a warm meal on the table made by loving hands, I realized…IT MATTERS.

Mom received a ton of cards in the mail. Sometimes 30 or more a day! Mom would read each and every one of those letters. Some made her smile, some brought her to tears, but ALL of them gave her encouragement, and I realized….IT MATTERS.

There were many other ways Mom was blessed by others during her illness…

Gift cards to restaurants

Food for her pantry

Money to help with medical bills

Stamps to help with her letter writing (Mom loved to write others even when she was sick.)

Books to read

Tapes to listen to



Phone calls


and the list goes on and on….

And as I sat and watched others pour out their love to my mom, I realized…IT MATTERS.

One night Mom was laying on her bed, and I was in the chair next to her, and we were talking about all the blessings we had received from others. I was in awe of what a difference it made in our ability to make it through each day. The prayers and actions of other believers actually made us stronger. And it made us thankful. I told Mom that I couldn’t believe how much it really mattered. That’s when she told me I should write a post about it. She told me to encourage others to take time to do the “little” things in life that make a big difference for Christ.

I have grown up in church and have had many opportunities to minister to others who were going through difficulties. Sometimes I took advantage of those opportunities, sometimes I didn’t. When Mom got sick, I found myself on the receiving end of those ministries. I had so many of my friends and family members bring meals to my home, send me cards to let me know they were praying for me, and even babysit my kids so I could spend as much time with Mom as possible. What a blessing! And I realized more than ever…IT MATTERS.

It changed me. Since Mom has passed away, I have been faced with opportunities to reach out to others in need. I look at those opportunities differently now. For now I know what a difference they can make in someone’s life, including mine.

If you are presented with an opportunity to reach out to someone in need this week or in the future, I want to encourage you to do so. Send a card, take a meal, or make a phone call; whatever it may be….


And may God bless you for blessing others,

(I will share PART II of this post next week.)

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16



The Lettered Cottage


  1. Thanks for this post. My mother too has been suffereing from cancer this past year and we are enjoying every moment we can with her. I too have been humbled by the kind things people have done for our family. I just keep thinking that it's God's way of letting us know he is totally aware of what our family is experiencing. He loves my mom so he is sending his angels on earth to care for us. On my moms birthday she got a stack of cards about 6 inches high in the mail. The day before she almost passed away but some how was still hanging on that day. Those cards gave her a boost that no one elsa could. I wish I could personally thank all the people that sent cards. It was simple but it mattered.

  2. Your mom was so right. Those little things can make a huge difference to the person on the receiving end. It does matter. I think it was wonderful that she encouraged you to do a post about it. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I totally identify with your post today. 3 years back my husband lost his uncle, a wonderful husband, father to 4 amazing children and beloved pastor to a tumor on his brain. We watched how people from all over rallied around the family during this very emotional time. Speaking to my aunt … she too commented how those acts of love carried them through such a tender time. That's what God's love looks life … it is always expressed in action! That is my greatest quest in my journey in this earthly life … to keep learning about His amazing love and to allow Him to love through me. Thanks for sharing such a personal message today. I always love reading your blog.

  4. Thanks Traci. A neighbor of ours lost their son in an accident just before Christmas. Because i don't really know them well I was weondering if It really would matter if I sent them any thing. Now I know Thank you.

  5. I couldn't agree more……when we are given eyes to see such needs and the means to do something that truly does matter, it is a gift in itself to be the hands and feet for Christ. Thanks for sharing!

  6. What a wonderful post…thank you for sharing your heart! I too lost my mom to cancer and I am a cancer survivor myself so I can totally relate to what you're saying. The seemingly little things matter so much more than people ever think. The Lord has put it on my heart to reach out to others more this year by sending cards/e-mails of encouragement,etc. on a regular basis.

    I always enjoy coming to visit here. You've got a sweet spirit and it shines through in your posts…thank you for being you!

  7. Wow, your posts are so inspiring … they always give me chills. Thank-you for reminding us that reaching out does matter. And if you ever wonder … your blog and your posts MATTER to so many of us! Thank-you for the gift you give your readers every time you make a post!

  8. I am a cancer survivor on the receiving end of all things you listed. I was diagnosed in August and I have yet to not receive a card or a prayer or something since then. It does matter! I am back to work and even here, daily, I recieve one or more blessing in the form of a note or an email or small gifts. It does matter. Sometimes I don't even realize that I am down, and then I get the perfect Facebook post or email or card. I feel myself lifting and being able to think about something other than my cancer. Such a good post. It should be in a newspaper or magazine!

  9. Fantastic post Traci (Wanda)! I too have been on the receiving end and it really does matter – no matter how small the "gift" may be. The difference it makes truly is amazing. The kindness of others has helped me get through some very difficult times in my life and, in return, when an opportunity presents itself I do what I can to help others. People make the mistake of thinking they cannot help others because they think of it in financial terms. Simple things to show you care or are thinking about others is more than enough. Hugs, companionship, run an errand, a handpicked bouquet of flowers, just to name a few of the simpler things. Your list also shows other great ways to help. There are so many ways to give someone encouragement and support during times of need. I encourage others not to fall into the trap of thinking they have nothing to offer, because they do. Be creative.


  10. Wonderful, inspirational post. I lost my father and sister to cancer. As much as I can, and every year at Christmas I try to help those less fortunate. The money I used to buy their Chrismtas gifts with now goes to World Vision to buy families much needed items. I wish I could do more sometimes.

  11. Just got an e-mail last night from our old church, a young mom with 3 little girls has been fighting luekemia for 2 1/2 years, had a transplant, got host vs graft disease, was told it was all over, stopped all treatment because she was told there was nothing more they could do but she kept getting better, they re tested her weeks later and the host vs graft was gone, then she had a few set backs and learned last week the luekemia was back. I got an e-mail from her 7 days go about her sadness of leaving her husband and girls but she would be meeting THE ONE who took the nails for her, got an e-mail from the pastor last night and she is already non responsive and in her last hours.
    Wish I was there to take a meal

  12. Thanks for this. My dad has cancer and although it has been fairly smooth sailing so far, we got news yesterday that wasnt expected. I will remember this always, that it really does matter…Thanks to you and your mom for reminding us! Sue

  13. Isn't it amazing how something so bad as cancer brings something so good as blessings of friends, neighbors and even strangers. My best friend's daughter was just diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 31. Her prognosis is not good. You just reminded me of how many ways there are to help out. Thank You!

  14. Thank you Traci, for sharing this with us! I am blessed by your posts about your mother. I need these reminders!!! She is smiling from heaven on you right now, how proud she is!!!!!!


  15. Hello Traci,
    The other day I was surfing around and came across your lovely blog. I'm sorry for your loss, your mom seems like a beautiful person. I'm happy that she is waiting for you in heaven. You are so right, the little things do matter. I haven't gone through what you have been through but I have always appreciated the gift of meals after I have a baby. Thank you so much for sharing. Be blessed today!


  16. Traci, God bless you my dear for sharing all that you went though when losing your mom. All the heartach, the love, the learning, the sharing. I am one of the lucky ones that has her mama and I cherish her every day. I almost lost my sister at Christmas time but so far she's holding her own. We just keep praying and hoping. It has brought us so much closer and you are so right, IT ALL MATTERS!!!!
    Thank you for sharing. May God Bless and keep you and your family safe, happy and healthy.

  17. Boy does it ever matter! We have been blessed in much the sme way over the past few weeks in the losso fmy dad. What a blessing to come home and have a meal waiting of or cards in the mail box. It is a great blessing to be on the recieving end of all of this and it truly does matter!!
    Than kyou for sharing.

  18. Thank you for such a touching post and reminder that these things really do matter. It is so wonderful that you are passing along these inspirational lessons from your mother. I will keep this post in mind whenever I'm not sure if I should reach out to someone.

  19. Mom would love this Traci! I know she's smiling! And like you, I'm changed forever! It does matter and I want to make a difference.
    Love your Sis

  20. Yes, it matters. God is showing me that very clearly as I travel a difficult road myself. Thank you for reminding us so poignantly. Blessings!

  21. What a great post! It is the little things to you that may seem like HUGE things to someone else. It does matter! Thanks for the reminder!

  22. Today i was reading a book while getting my oil changed. An older gentle man came in and sat by me. i had a nudge to put my book down and start a conversation with him. we just talked about our cars, when my car was finished i told him it was nice talking with him. i could tell that he really appreciated our little visit that we had, as did i. the little things really do matter~ liz

  23. I'm not even sure how I came across your blog, but I am so glad I did. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I know your mom must be so proud of you. Your words are always so encouraging and I appreciate that you take the time to share with all of us. It matters.

  24. I love this post! You're family seems to be so close and faithful. A true inspiration. I thought you might like this quote. Simple, yet so strong.

    "Never suppress a generous thought."

    –Sister Camilla Eyring Kimball
    (Wife of President Spencer W. Kimball of
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)

  25. It matters! We lost our mom (grandma, and great-grandma) last week, Dec. 31st, and our very large extended family has been blessed many times, by our friends and neighbours, colleagues and church friends. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful and inspiring post.

  26. This great post served as a valuable reminder to me. So often, I find myself being selfish when it comes to reaching out, and not thinking that my kindness does matter… Thank you so much for this! I have only been reading your blog for about a month now, and I absolutely enjoy every single one of your posts, but especially Wednesdays! God bless.

  27. It really does matter. What a good reminder to be more aware of things we can do for others going through trials and show them the love of God.

  28. Oh Traci. What a wonderful post. You are so right it does "matter". What wonderful insight your mom had even in her last days to encourage you to write this post. I was touched.
    Thanks so much for sharing this. I have been meaning to send a card snail mail to a blogging friend who is going through a rough time. This reminded me I need to take a moment and do that.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

  29. Oh, yes it does matter! Our family saw it first hand this year too and it does make your heart so much more tender and compassionate for those around us. I loved this post. You are so precious!

  30. Beautiful post. I love Wednesdays :)

    My daughter worked at the downtown mission tonight, and she came home once again with a humble and grateful heart. She raided her dad's closet for clothing to take down next week.

    When all is said and done, how we touch others and how others touch us is what will remain.

  31. I completely agree. I have had friends who have had love ones pass away. I didn't know what to say or do. Unfortunately I would shy away from the people because I was afraid I would do something or say something wrong. But when my dad passed. I learned that you just need to do something. whether it is a hug with no words, cleaning the house, bringing food, or taking care of little ones so that the adults can try to process what just happened.

  32. How true are those words! Next week will mark four years since I buried my first child. I was completed humbled by the outpouring of goodwill by our friends, family and even strangers. Even now, I cherish every card, meal, prayer, and gesture that was shown toward us. Continued prayers and blessings to you and your family. ~Lisa

  33. Thank you, I needed that. You're mom has been a true blessing in my life and I never had the opportunity to meet her. But I will someday. What an amzaing thought to know I will see her in heaven. Again, thank you for blogging. It is truly a blessing.

  34. What an incredible example she was, and how many beautifull lessons you have learned from her life. Life has changed, and so have you. Her influence will be a part of everything you do and think. Again… a heritage to treasure!

  35. Your post warmed my heart today. My beautiful 39 year old sister-in-law passed in October, just 8 weeks after her cancer diagnosis. Our community, as well as her church family, poured a fountain of love over my brother and their children. Even now, months later, people are still sending gifts, cards, and food. Sophia touched so many throughout her brief life, and now the gift is being returned. You are so right…IT MATTERS.

  36. What an inspirational post. Yes "It matters" Your mom is beautiful. The Lord wants us to see people in HIS eyes. HE wants us to comfort those that need comfort just like he comforts us. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post with us. God Bless you and your family.

  37. I am so glad you shared this. You have inspired me to write a post about responding to friends in need- mainly the words they choose. I have had a tremendous past 2 years but God has been with me the whole way and held my hand. I have been blessed the whole journey. One thing I learned is when somebody is "in need" friends immediately respond. It was hard to see how long that response would last. During a sermon the pastor talked about why that is. Apparently when people are going to "be down" for 6-8 weeks, friends can handle that. If it's going to be much longer, life-long or terminal, friends get uncomfortable and don't know how to handle themselves or what to say so they just do what is natural and retreat. I forwarded this post to friends so they could read it and know how to respond to friends in need. THank you for sharing this.

  38. Thank you for sharing this very personal, but uplifting and inspirational story. It has truly touched me this evening. Many blessings for a wonderful 2011.

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