I know that lots of Hallmark greeting cards say something like, "To the World's Best Mom," but here's the truth - and I don't say that word "truth" lightly - my mama is the world's best. I'm 35 years old and I've met and heard about a lot of other mothers. Mothers who win gold medals in the Olympics, mothers who are successful businesswomen, mothers who homeschool and sew all their children's clothes, mothers who are gourmet chefs, Martha Stewart mothers who keep an immaculate house, mothers who always look "together," mothers who have an amazing teaching ministry, mothers who travel the world, and sadly, I've heard of lots of mothers who don't really mother at all. But then, there's my mama. Nobody is better at mothering than she is. Really, nobody. She has three children who still adore her and don't have any "mother issues" as grown adults. :) Seriously, that's a rarity these days!
My mom is so good at mothering and nurturing and loving people that she loves on lots of other children, young people, and adults who need a little extra mothering. I couldn't begin to list all the people that call my mama, "Mom." All kinds of people. "Fixed" people and broken people. Big black men (my mom is smiling right now because she knows exactly who I'm talking about!) and petite white ladies. People who are making right choices and people making hurtful choices. Loveable and unlovable people. You see my mama is just good at loving. Not that it's easy for her to love so much, sometimes it's very hard and sometimes hurtful. Sometimes, we live up to her hopes for us and sometimes we don't. Sometimes she doesn't see the "payoff" of so much investing. But! She keeps loving anyway. And that makes her amazing.
Sometimes I wonder how my mom can love so much. I think it's because she's been loved by God so much. She knows the incredible difference that God's love made in her own life. And she wants other people to know that too. She continues to be the godliest woman I know. I also think she's good at loving because she had a mom and dad that loved her very much.
I also think she's good at loving because she had a mom and dad that loved her very much. So today, I'm thankful for them too because even though they died when I was really young, so much of who I am is because of who they were. If they hadn't loved my mama so, I'm pretty sure it would be harder for her to love me the way she does.
Here are just a few of the ways my mama loves me so well...
- On any given day, whether I was 5 years old or 35 years old, she will always give me the last bite of her cookie.
- When I go home to visit, she still comes into my room to say goodnight and “tuck me in.”
- She fights in prayer for me and my joy and purpose at times when I can’t fight for myself.
- When she had to face breast cancer, she was concerned about how the news would affect me.
- When I was a teenager she would take me bargain shopping at Foley’s Red Apple sales so that I could look cooler than we could actually afford. ;)
- She does little things to make me feel special like putting a miniature rose in a vase by my bed and pulling back my covers.
- She thinks everything I write is just wonderful.
- She saw what God could do through me when other people didn’t see it yet.
- She graciously supported me whenever I’ve gone on a mission trip or even when I moved to
even though it was really difficult to let me go. She and my dad were even brave enough to travel for their very first time over the ocean to come visit me! Turkey
- When I was little and would get sick in the night and would walk to her bedroom, she would immediately wake up and say, “What’s the matter Baby?” as soon as my little foot stepped inside the room.
- No matter my age or stage in life, she still thinks I’m the neatest thing since sliced bread.
- She went back to work as a kindergarten teacher when I was in junior high so that she could pay for my sister and brother and I to get braces and go to college!
- Last year she flew to
just to be at my birthday party that my sister planned for me – my sister, Kate, is really good at nurturing and loving too! Houston
- She drove Kate and I to hundreds and hundreds of dance classes growing up – not to mention coming to – and actually loving – all of our recitals. (I guess the greater miracle is that my sweet dad came to all of those recitals too!)
- She taught me about Jesus and of God’s great faithfulness…so many times I think of how she made us read our Bibles 10 minutes every day.
In a million teensy ways (many that I’ve never even seen) and lots of huge life-changing ways, my mama has loved me well and I’m so very grateful.
So, Mama, thank you. Thank you for loving me the way that you do. Thank you for so much willing sacrifice for me. Thank you for making me a mostly well-adjusted happy person! J I know God loves me because of you. I love God because of you. The way you mothered me, the way you love on so many people, matters. It makes a difference, an eternal difference. Thank you. I love you so very much.