Glory! by Lynette Roth: 1st Place Winner – 2016 45th Parallel Contest

Written by on April 17, 2016


I’m excited to share today’s post, the first place winner of The 45th Parallel Contest 2016. Glory! is by phenomenal photographer and writer Lynette Roth.

Lynette took first place in last year’s contest, too. Congratulations, Lynette! Way to go!


My mother asked me, worriedly, “What do I have to do today?”

I told her she did not have to do anything; we were having a quiet day at home. Three minutes later, she asked me the same question. Two minutes later, she asked it again.

My very industrious mother has dementia, and she struggles with the tasks of living. For 80 years, she ran a household of five daughters, her husband, and then multiple grandchildren and sons-in-law. She sewed and mended our clothes, canned hundreds of jars of tomatoes and green beans, created beautiful quilts, and taught neighborhood Bible studies and kids’ clubs. Now she struggles to dress herself. Is there any glory in this?

I took this picture in Colorado on a fall hike through the aspen. During the industrious summer months, these aspen leaves are green, busily providing food for the tree and shelter for the forest. Now, in the fall of the year, the cold weather has ended their productivity. All they can do is let their previously hidden colors show. And such beauty it is! “Colorado gold,” the tourism brochures call it, and thousands of people flock to the mountains to stare in awe. Glory!

The Creator, who designed the aspen to be beautifully glorious in the fall, after their productive months are over, also designed my mother’s life. Is it possible that my mother is displaying the Creator’s glory, but I am missing it because I value her productive years more than the “fall” of her life?

After my mother asked me, for the third time, what she had to do, I put my arms around her. We relaxed into each other’s love.

My mother finally said, “I guess the only thing I have to do today is love you.”

 Yes, Mom, that is enough. That is all I want or need. Glory!

 Lord, give me eyes to see your Glory during this season in my mother’s life. And give me grace to let my true self display your Glory in every season of my life, even at the end.

Lynette Roth & Mother


Lynette lives in Colorado, where a good day is any day spent on a mountain trail, camera in hand, and a good night is any night spent in a tent.  On other days, she works as a technology business analyst and takes care of her land ladies, two elderly cats.


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Click here to see Lynette’s photos on Flickr

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  1. Susan   On   April 18, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Lynette, thank you. Your honesty as you struggled to see God’s purpose and will in an aging and ailing loved one is greatly appreciated. Making sense of it from God’s perspective has been one of my recent challenges too. While it remains a challenge, your perspective has helped me. Again, thank you.

  2. Lynette Roth   On   April 24, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Last night, I had dinner with a friend who had emergency brain surgery in January. She is recovering, although her short term memory is very impaired. I thought again about what it means to reflect the glory of our Creator in the “fall season” — because she is still a beautiful person, reflecting the glory of God, despite her diminished memory. And we people who worship our Creator are the ones who can spread that message.

    • Lynn Hare   On   April 25, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      I love that. What a beautiful opportunity for the rest of us to live “in the moment,” apart from our past and future. I love that worshiping Christ is at the core of all we do.

  3. Joanna E   On   April 27, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Oh, how BEAUTIFUL! Both the photo (I love Colorado’s golden glory!) and the thought. How truly lovely, Lynette. Thank you for sharing about your mom and for honoring her by caring for her in her autumn season. And I love what your mom said, “I guess the only thing I have to do today is love you.” What if we busy, busy young moms took that same approach, even though we have a million things to do? “The most important thing for me to do today is to love you.”

    • Lynn Hare   On   April 27, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      Nice, Joanna. I hope I do that with my own family, no matter how old or young! From my 85-year-old parents to my 2.5-year-old grandson. “The most important thing for me to do today is to love you.”

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