I Remember Mama Movie Review

Movie review, I Remember Mama
Movie review

Bonus Mother’s Day Post

As we approach Mother’s Day, I thought I’d give an extra bonus movie review. I’m always reminded of this old movie that my daughter and I found while homeschooling. We were learning about immigration at the time and came across this wonderful black & white movie based on the book, Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes. {affilitate}

The story of Kathryn’s recollection of her life growing up being immigrants to America from Norway. She recalls all the ups and downs and financial struggles of being in a new land.

I Remember Mama – movie plot

Loosely based on Kathryn Forbes’ book -Mama’s Bank Account-, this film actually contains richer detail and more intricate characterizations. In turn-of-the-century San Francisco, young Katrina Hansen chronicles episodes of life with her extended family, who combine traditional Norwegian values with “modern” American ways. So successful that it became a popular radio show, and then a TV sitcom, both with Barbara Bel Geddes and Irene Dunne from the film.


Molly Malloy <mailcall@intersource.com>

I didn’t realize this

I didn’t realize until now looking up information that I Remember Mama became a popular radio show and a TV sitcom.

At the time of this post, the movie is available on Amazon Streaming for $2.99 rental or or purchase the DVD for $13.99. {affiliate} The TV Series is available on HULU with your subscription.


It’s a wonderful movie for Mother’s Day because their mother was the rock in the family. You will also meet their quirky aunts and benevolent uncle. A heartwarming story.

Another Review


In the format of a story, aspiring writer Katrin Hanson recollects her life growing up in the early twentieth century San Francisco with her Norwegian immigrant family: her siblings Nels, Christine and Dagmar; and her Papa and Mama named Lars and Martha. Mama is the practical one in the family. One of the family’s rituals is doing the household financial accounts every Saturday night.

Using the money brought home by Papa and what is kept in their petty cash tin, Mama would allocate it to the weekly bills.

“It’s good – we do not have to go to the bank” is what Mama would say if they had enough money. Luckily, they never had to go to the bank as dipping into their bank account was the worst thing they could have done.

Beyond her practicality, Mama is truthful and compassionate and will do anything for those she loves. This not only includes her husband and children but also her “scary” Uncle Chris & her trio of sisters. – All four of whom can be difficult to love much of the time. – And their poor boarder, Mr. Hyde, who provides more to the family in his readings than any financial compensation ever could. But Katrin and her siblings learn of a lie told by Mama, all in the name of protecting them.


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Mandy Farmer

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Elisabeth Elliot

Self-Discipline: A Matter of Grit and Grace

Welcome to the first of four LEgacy Link-ups for the summer of 2019! We are so excited! With Mother’s Day coming up, We would like this link-up to be All About Women who have or are Leaving a Legacy for us to follow. I started us out writing about Susie Spurgeon and Susanna Wesley. Now read what guest writer, Michele Morin from Living Our Days wants to share with us. Then write and share your own legacy story at the bottom.

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Self-Discipline: A Matter of Grit and Grace

With an empty house, a clean kitchen, laundry on the line (and even a sleeping dog!), it was a perfect afternoon to study or write. Deadlines were looming; however . . . the sun was shining, bath towels flapped and danced on the clothesline outside, and suddenly, while there was plenty that needed doing, the will to do it was lacking.

“Maybe I’ll call a friend,” I mused. “Or this would be a great day to wash windows!”

An Example to Live by

When I’m pondering the possibility of veering off course in some small way, I remember the faithful example of Elisabeth Elliot, who readily admitted that she was also subject to all the usual distractions and reluctance when it was time to sit down and write. She spoke of “taking herself by the scruff of the neck” and sitting herself down before the task at hand.

SHaping of a Christian Family
TSOACH, Updated in 2005

Raised by attentive parents who set high standards for her behavior, Elisabeth inherited a “habit of order” (TSOACH, 73) and a love for uncluttered efficiency that I have had to live my way into as an adult. Then, in the Ecuadorian jungles, Elisabeth witnessed the patient diligence of tribal people whose very lives depended upon their hard work through mud, thorns, snakes, steep climbing, and deep forests. Measuring her own small inconveniences against the lot of women who regularly carried hundred-pound packs on their backs, she was startled into an awareness of her tendency to complain about small inconveniences.

A Cracked Pot

Elisabeth had no illusions about her own status as a sinner, “a cracked pot” whose supreme privilege it was to reveal in her own life “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) By grace, however, she was able to speak truth with grit, even on topics that are usually off limits. For example, with wry humor, she noted that no one is actually qualified to address self-discipline around eating habits because if you don’t struggle with your weight, you don’t know how hard it is, and if you do struggle, you’ve got no room to talk!

"..if you don’t struggle with your weight, you don’t know how hard it is, and if you do struggle, you’ve got no room to talk!" #Elisabeth Elliot #LegacyLinkUp Click To Tweet

Naturally slender, Elisabeth found to her surprise that as she aged, she could pick up a few extra pounds when she traveled. To avoid gaining weight unawares, she weighed herself daily, reasoning that (1) it’s better to keep weight off than to shed pounds once they have been gained; (2) it’s easier to lose five pounds immediately than fifteen pounds later.

Who Left a Legacy for Elisabeth?

A Lamp For My Feet

Mentored by the writing of Amy Carmichael, Elisabeth endeavored to apply the counsel that shaped Amy’s perspective in doing things that were not to her liking:  “See in it a chance to die.” (ALFMF, 30) The small offerings, tiny deaths to self that we make every day are a way of cooperating with God, and this is a theme that ran through Elisabeth’s writing and speaking ministries—because it also runs through Scripture. She described it as the “interworking of the will of God and the will of man.” (ALFMF, 21) Responding in self-discipline is an opportunity to participate in God’s work here on earth as surely as those who filled the water pots in Cana or distributed the loaves and fish on a grassy Galilean hillside.

So, I’ll do the next thing today, trusting God to put words on the page and grateful for the example of a mentor from afar. Elisabeth Elliot blended grit and grace so consistently that it is impossible to tell—and pointless to wonder—where one ends and the other begins.

-Michele Morin

Works Cited

{affiliate links}

A Lamp for My Feet, 1985 (ALFMF)

The Shaping of a Christian Home, 1992 (TSOACH)
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SUsanna Wesley motherhood

Legacy of Motherhood: The Life of Susanna Wesley

My Mother and the first three kids.
Mom with my brother, sister, and me

For as long as I can remember, my greatest desire was to be a mother. And why not? God blessed me with the greatest examples of motherhood that a girl could have. My own mother was a portrait of motherhood. She had 6 children and countless foster kids. And she loved them all well. She told us often how wonderful it was to have children. Unlike many women today, she dreaded the end of summer and sending her children off to school. She wanted them around her feet, pulling on her skirt tails. There was never any doubt that she was proud to be a momma.

Godly Grandmothers

And then there were my godly grandmothers. Oh my goodness, if I could live up to their lives I would be so proud, but that would just pull me down from the heights of glory because they were all of the humble kind.

One thing my Grandma Dawson was proud of was that I was her namesake. And once I learned what that meant, I was proud of it too.
If you look at my father, uncles, and aunt you know that she was a great example of motherhood. She was a servant of God and man. At her funeral, my Uncle said, “You could always find her on her knees, either in prayer or serving others.

"You could always find her on her knees, either in prayer or service to others." #motherhood #grandmother #legacy Click To Tweet

Grandma Dawson (Amanda Leona) was also named for her Grandmother Amanda Hukill. Though I never knew her, she left a legacy of perseverance and faith enough for all of us. I can look to her whenever I think I have had my share of trials because she dealt with more than I ever have.

I look to her whenever I think I have had more than my fair share of trials. #leavingalegacy Click To Tweet

So Many More Legacy Builders

So you can see that it was easy for me to want to be a momma myself. It seemed the greatest accomplishment to me, it still does. Early on, I began reading about others that have set an example that has passed the test of time. Jackie Green’s book Only One Life speaks of many women who have left a legacy for us. There are two Susanna’s that have stood out for me as perfect examples of motherhood (physically and spiritually), Susie Spurgeon, whom I have already written about and Susannah Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley.

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Susanna motherhood

Susanna Wesley, Wife of a Minister

Susanna, wife of Rev. Samuel Wesley, Sr. and educated herself stayed right up with her husband (and later, her sons) in theological studies, reading anything and everything in her husband’s library. Her husband traveled often to schools and preaching, leaving her to hold down everything at home. They report that while he was away if the substitute priest was not “up to par”, she would have Bible lessons that evening in her home. This grew quickly from just her small brood to include many of the church members.

Mother of Nineteen

Susanna Wesley had nineteen children but only 10 of them reached adulthood (two of which were John and Charles Wesley, founders of Methodism). It was important to her that her children, girls included, would be given an education and she did it. All of them began their formal education at home and the girls completed their education under her teaching. She determined to have a dedicated period of study time set aside for each child, individually, each week. (When I think about this now, and factor in that she was likely pregnant or nursing the entire time, I am amazed. Yikes!)

Susanna's unwavering discipline
photo credit: Holinesstoday.org

Legacy of Discipline & Resilience

Susanna managed the gardening, cooking, and housekeeping along with the children’s studies. She kept a regular time set apart for meditation and self-examination before God, keeping of a spiritual journal and strict adherence to the Sabbath. Susanna, known as a great prayer warrior, with a houseful of activity, would pull her apron up over her head to pray; the signal for no interruptions. She expected the same devotion by her children.. to spend an allocated amount of time in Bible study and prayer. She wrote in a letter for her son Samuel:

I will tell you what rule I observed when I was young, and too much addicted to childish diversions, was this — never spend more time in mere recreation in one day than I spent in private religious devotions.

Eliza Clarke, Susanna Wesley (London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1886), 68

I have often read the writings of young people from earlier centuries and marveled at the depth of thought in young minds. Susanna’s practices, which came from the Puritan heritage, are how such depth of thought can be found. We all might take heed and learn from them.

SUsannah's Devotion to God
www.holinesstoday.org

“Mother of Methodism”

Susanna Wesley, mother of Methodism. Not only because she was the Mother of the founding men, John & Charles, but because she kept up with her husband and sons in their studies. She remained deeply involved with them in establishing the Methodist Church. As I type this, I am realizing that her disciplines stated above were carried into the new Methodist movement. The worship style of Methodism is just that. Methodical and with reason. I also wonder if it wasn’t her Sunday afternoon lessons, that sparked the idea of Sunday School classes for better learning and further teaching. can teach

Susanna Wesley a Legacy of Discipline, Faith & Prayer #leavingalegacy Click To Tweet

Large Shoes to Fill

The Life and Legacy of Susanna Wesley leave much for us to learn and follow. I encourage you to do some research on your own and perhaps take one area to use as an example to follow. There are many sources available for purchase; however, most of what I write today comes from the magazine Holiness Today, September/October 2018 issue which can be read online.

www.holinesstoday.org

What an excellent legacy to follow.

I pray that I do.

Mandy Farmer
summer of legacy

Legacy Link-ups are now Open

Click on the link of the month below.

Each month a different theme

  • May ~ Women
  • June ~ Men
  • July – Leaving a Legacy Through Blended Families (his/hers/ours/theirs or interracial families
  • August ~ Leaving a Legacy Through Adoption (from all viewpoints)

See you next week!