One of the greatest blessings God bestowed on me came in the form of a petite, quiet, gentle-spirited woman. She never held any high-powered job, although she is extremely intelligent. She was never rich in material possessions and never sought after fame or fortune. She was content to “feather her nest” and make a wonderful home for her loving husband and two sometimes appreciative children. She lovingly cooked our meals, sewed us lovely clothes, and played dolls and baseball and board games without complaint. She kept her house tidy and organized and drove us to baseball games and play practices, youth groups and music lessons. She submissively served her husband and packed our household and moved us cross-country more than once, even when it was not what she wanted. She took care of us when we were sick (which in my case, was a lot!), dried our tears and shared our laughter. Our friends wanted to play at our house because she was so welcoming. They wanted to eat at our house because she was such a good cook. Most of all, they just wanted to be included in her circle of loving…and she always complied, even if she was tired, or had a headache, or just wanted to be alone.
Without her, I don’t know who I would be. She inspired me to respect and desire the role of motherhood. She taught me to love my Heavenly Father and desire to serve Him first. She taught me what a quiet and gentle spirit looks like in real life. She gently countered the worldly influence telling me that I needed to attain some great career, not stay at home and mother children. She showed me all I ever needed to know about grace and beauty and contentment. She taught me how to listen, really listen, with my heart as well as my ears. She taught me to love words and reading and writing, and encouraged my first efforts at expressing myself through the written word.
She showed me I was important by the way she dropped everything when I arrived home from school and allowed me to tell her the most insignificant details of my day over a snack. She gave me confidence by listening with her full attention. She taught me the value of touch as she lovingly stroked my hair as I lay with my head in her lap after a rough day. She demonstrated the necessity of spending quiet time with God as I watched her with her Bible open on her lap and a cup of tea on the table by her spot on the couch.
Everything I needed to know, I learned not at the hands of my kindergarten teacher, but by the side of my precious mother. Her sacrifices, her patience, her tenderness all communicated to me that I was loved, I was important, and that my choices mattered. In the process of growing up, I may have wanted to be a doctor, a veterinarian and a singer, but deep down I knew I really only wanted to be one thing when I grew up…I wanted to be just like my mother.
I pray that someday, my children will look on me with the love and respect I hold for my mother, even though I don’t deserve it. I pray that somehow, through the grace of God, they will learn from me what it means to be unconditionally loved and accepted, and that my daughters will grow up desiring this most divine calling of motherhood.
I’m humbly grateful that I had a mother of such “noble character” and this Mother’s Day, I “rise up and bless her” (Proverbs 31:10, 28). Happy Mother’s Day, Mom…I will always love you.
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