Thursday, May 5, 2011
When I think of my mother, so many thoughts come to mind and yet I find myself unable to put into words just how much she means to me. My mom. The one who carried me for nine months, gave birth to me, nurtured me, sang to me, taught me, loved me. She kept me clean, washed my clothes, fed me, kissed my boo boos, answered my "why" questions, combed my hair, and laughed at my imagination. My mom accepted countless bouquets of wildflowers from me, encouraged me when I was sad, corrected me, listened to my hopes and dreams, read the Bible to me and when I was at the tender age of five, she sat and prayed with me as I began my first steps in following Him.
I could talk to my mom about anything. From a very young age, we would walk through the neighborhood and the fields that were close by. She listened to my endless chatter and as I grew older, I began to listen to her wisdom. She loved to talk about our family history and her growing up years. Stories of family members who knew General George Washington, a grandmother who shook Abraham Lincoln's hand, or an uncle who fought for the U.S. Cavalry all captivated me as my mom had a wonderful story-telling ability. The stories of her life on the farm were just as exciting and at other times touching, as she spoke of my grandmother's faith in the Lord, how they raised nearly everything on their land from cattle and pigs to a spacious garden and a fruit orchard and how Mom and her sisters would play in their woods where their imaginations would run wild.
Mom taught me much about nature and how to recognize various trees and flowers. She shared a love for birds and for wildlife as my father did.
Mom shared her love for music and was always singing around the house or making sure beautiful music was playing.
Above all of those things, Mom talked about the Lord. She not only talked about Him, but she lived out her faith. I used to love looking through her very worn and well highlighted Bible as she studied it daily. Mom was an authentic example to me of someone that desired to know and love God and to follow Him every day of her life.
There were hard times. During a difficult period when my dad was out of work, Mom was there, keeping things together, praying, supporting Dad and teaching us the difference between needs and wants. Mom was not a spender. She made sure we got what we needed, but did not buy much for herself. When I was ten years old, Mom went to work. It was a challenge for me to accept this change. Mom was always at home waiting for me to return from school. I appreciated our talks after my long day and she helped me to make sense of things, counseling me and teaching me truth when I was confused. But, even after going to work, she continued to take the time to talk to me after her long day. We would talk as she fixed dinner and even continued our talks late into the evening.
During those years at home, my mom was very good at leaving encouraging notes for me and when I left for college, the notes continued. When I married my husband and left home for good, she still wrote letters. I missed our heart to heart talks, but her letters were the boost I needed as I was so far away as a young Navy wife.
My mom and I have had our share of misunderstandings. Sometimes, words were said or not said that hurt us both but, many times, things were said out of care for the other. My mom and I also don't walk in each other's shoes. We've experienced some of the same things in life, but our lives are also very different. I believe we've both grown through all of the difficult times and I so appreciate her love through it all.
My mom has so much love for all of us. It is felt every time we see each other. It is felt in every kind word on the phone or in her letters. I see it in the way she holds our babies and in the way she talks to each of our children, being interested in what they are interested in, just like she was with me as a little girl. I see her love in the way she cares for my dad after having his stroke. She is not only a blessing to us, but to everyone around her. Mom is truly a precious servant and a beautiful woman and I thank the Lord for every day that I still have with her. Like her mother, my mom is leaving a Godly heritage and I only pray that I can do the same for my children.
"Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
'Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.'
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
Thank you, dear Mom for being that woman. I love you.