Sooo…tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Without having a living mother or children of my own, I’d honestly rather just skip it altogether. If I could, I’d stay home from church and watch it online, order a pizza and hang out in my pajamas all day. I was talking with my friend S. earlier this evening and shared that sentiment with him and he challenged my wish to check out on mother’s day, saying that my mom would not have wanted that. He is right, of course. He never even met my mom and he is right. (Don’t tell him I said so!) I know mother’s day is not about those of us that aren’t mothers, it’s about those that are! It’s not about me at all, so I should be thankful for my mom and the awesome years I had with her. Though I thought I’d have her around for many more decades, I am thankful for the years I did have with my awesome mom. I am acutely aware that I have had some excellent motherin’. I had the chance to write about her in our church’s Worship Folder (aka: the bulletin) and it was nice to write a little bit about her to people who didn’t know her. What I wrote feels very personal for that kind of wide distribution, but I wrote it because I sensed the Lord telling me to write it. After having thought about it for a few days, I don’t necessarily think that the article was for other people…I think I had to write it for me. I need to reframe my thoughts about my mom to focus on her life and not on her death. To focus on her death cheats her legacy, and her life is worth celebrating! Sure, her death completely sucked, but there was a lot of fantasticness about her life that I should remember and be joyful about.
I also have reason to celebrate because I feel like I’ve been set free from the worst of the crushing grief I have been carrying with me over the last 6 1/2 years. That is reason to celebrate for sure! I have been blessed by time spent with friends, old and new, and am so thankful for the people who make my life richer and better. I can see how God is shaping and forming me, healing and restoring me, and that is humbling and exciting. I sense there is great change ahead and that’s also very exciting. I know God is preparing me for what’s next, and that’s the most exciting thing of all. How can I serve him? How can I use the gifts he’s given me to show him to others? What a joy!
So even though writing the article below felt like it was overly personal for the Worship Folder, it feels just about right for my blog, even if the tone is quite formal. I post this here as a reminder that the stuff that has happened in my life isn’t really my story, it’s God’s story and my life is a tiny piece of the mosaic he is creating.
My sister and I had the privilege of being raised in a loving, Christian home. Our parents did everything they could to see that we had the opportunity to be involved with our local church, and as a result, we had the chance to go on mission trips, attend summer camps and participate in all kinds of youth group activities. Some of my best memories from childhood and adolescence involve my friends at church and learning about how to apply God’s principles for living to our lives, even from a very young age. While our church did a great job teaching us about God’s word, it was the lessons my sister I learned at home that made the biggest impression.
Though I had good relationships with both of my parents, I had a special bond with my mother. When I was growing up and even into adulthood, I thought my mom was invincible in the way that kids often think their parents are. When people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn’t always have a ready answer as related to a profession, but I knew I wanted to be like my mom. She demonstrated the fruit of the Spirit as a way of life, and I realized that if I learned to be like Jesus, I would also look a lot like my mom.
Whenever I was faced with some kind of dilemma, my mother always had a word of godly wisdom for me. Though it was not always what I wanted to hear, it was always what I needed to hear. She so frequently quoted Scripture that I became familiar with the practical truths of James, the encouragement from the Psalms and the wisdom of Proverbs through her words. What a treasure to discover that the insight she’d been sharing for years was truth from God’s word! She demonstrated her love of God and His word by making it a part of her life.
My mother also exhibited selflessness in her service to others. During the holidays, particularly Thanksgiving, my mom loved to host people who didn’t have family nearby and might otherwise have been alone. She and my dad always opened our home and our table to friends, old and new. I can’t remember a Thanksgiving with just my mom, dad, sister and me; Thanksgiving was her very favorite holiday, and she experienced joy by providing food and fellowship for others on the day we specifically set aside to give thanks.
Moving in a way that only God can, my mom passed away unexpectedly on Thanksgiving Day a few years ago. Even in the midst of grief over her death, it always seemed fitting that the Lord would call her home on her favorite day – she feasted with the Father that day, and every day since. We still miss her, especially on days like Mother’s Day, but I am so thankful for the godly heritage she left behind. Her love of Scripture and her faithful service are just a few reminders of the powerful legacy of a Christ-like mother.