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Our Mothers, Part 1

May 5, 2011

Discerning and Wise ~ Kathy Howard

Kathy and her Mom

My mother has always been an incredible judge of character. Now, I recognize her uncanny sense as the spiritual gift of discernment, but when I was a teenager it just annoyed me.

Whenever I introduced her to a new friend she never failed to give me an evaluation later. She always shared her wisdom with tact and love, but when I was in high school I did not want to hear anything negative about my “best friend” of the moment.

Mom never pushed or insisted that I stay away from a particular person. But she did stick close and continue to gently advise. Then when one of those friends showed her true character, Mom always comforted me and helped make things right. And I don’t ever remember hearing her say, “I told you so.”

I’ve tried to follow her example with my own children. I’ve prayed for wisdom to guide my three in their own friendships. I’ve offered a shoulder to cry on. And I’ve really tried hard not to say “I told you so.” Unfortunately, I’ve failed with that one a time or two!

Blessed with Two ~ Stephanie Shott

Stephanie with her Mom and Grandgirl

I left the hospital room with a friend that day and glanced back at my mom. Her weakened condition was only surpassed by the strength of her resolve. We made our way into the elevator where a gentlemen smiled as he said, “Don’t forget Mother’s Day this Sunday. After all…you only have one mother.”

As the door opened and he exited the vertical tram, I smiled at my friend and said, “Well, I’m blessed with two.” The one who loved me enough to choose life for me and put me up for adoption, and the one who raised me and loved me as her own.

That was last year – when my mom was still with us. That was last year – when I could still hold her hand, see her smile and hear her voice. But my mom is with Jesus now.

Steph with her Birthmom and Grandgirl

My birthmom is still with us as she struggles in her own battle with cancer.

My mom has given me a heritage of strength, resolve, hard work and the grace to quietly and courageously walk through difficult times trusting God.

My birthmom is leaving a legacy of a sweet, meek and gentle spirit. She’s a woman of prayer and a woman of faith whose life challenges my own.

Most daughters are blessed with just one mom – I’ve been blessed with two. And I’m so thankful for the life lessons from both.

A Mother’s Garment ~ Julie Sanders

Julie and her Mom

Shopping for winter coats, I found a chocolate one with cream colored ski stripes, just like the ones I saw girls at school wearing. No one had to know mine was on sale or that it was missing the fancy tag inside.  Sporting my fashionable coat, I had to wonder why my mom kept on wearing her worn out coat that was so out of style. In fact, I noticed that she didn’t even look for a coat for herself, and I concluded that when moms get “old,” they lose their sense of style and desire to have the latest ski jacket.

The coat was perfect timing for the snowy winter we had, including all the days we missed school and went sledding, instead.  I remember my mom wearing her thin coat,  while we sported our slope-ready outerwear. It wasn’t until I grew older and had children of my own that I finally figured out why Mom was willing to wear the old coat. She was a woman of priorities, and she knew divas don’t make a good mom. While she wanted to look nice, to dress attractively, and to be her best, when resources were tight and a choice had to be made, Mom didn’t put herself first.  Motherhood and divas don’t mix well.

Like the Proverbs 31 woman, she was not “afraid of snow for her household” (v. 21), because she had prepared us in the best way she could. Clothed in “strength and dignity” (v.25), she looked “well to the ways of her household” (v.27) and worked hard to make what we had go as far as it could. Meeting the needs of others meant someone had to serve and be selfless, and Mom was willing to be that servant.

My brown ski jacket went out of style a long, long time ago, but Mom’s selflessness and her priority of caring for others has endured. Her self sacrifice is a “garment” she challenged me to wear as I became a mother and one I’m honored to put on, even without a cool stripe.

~*~*~*~*~*~

What attribute of your mom’s character are you most thankful for?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2011 10:49 am

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful mom stories. You inspire me to think about my own mom, and my role as as a mother to tween girls. Christine @LifeVerse

    Her children arise and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:28 NIV

    • May 5, 2011 6:45 pm

      And what important years those “tween” years are. The older my kids get, the more that I see nothing was ever wasted. Happy Tween Mother’s Day!

  2. jean.e.lane permalink
    May 5, 2011 11:42 am

    Thank you for your stories. Thank you for encouraging us to think back.

    My favorite memory of my mother is after she had surgery for brain cancer and before she died. She obviously had a revelation sometime in the hospital. One day, as I was disciplining (ok, yelling at) my kids, she tried to calm me down and said, “Jeanne, just love them. That is the most important thing.” This was so out of character for her, as it was from her I learned to yell and hit. But I realized that she must have had an encounter with the living God. But someone who doesn’t have Christ in their life could not understand that comment. Now I do and it is a precious memory. So in her last months of life, she became more unconditionally loving.

    • May 5, 2011 6:44 pm

      What a great example of a merciful Heavenly Father, redeeming a piece of your relationship and giving you a wonderful lingering memory of her. It seems that age and years and hardship help us to whittle down life to those things that matter most. So glad you shared.

  3. May 5, 2011 11:33 pm

    Thank you all for sharing about your mothers. It’s so neat to see what you’ve learned and the pictures too! (Julie and her mom have very similar facial features!)

    I’m thankful my mom nurtured independent thinking in us. That ability to think on our own and not follow “the status quo” or whatever the popular world says helped me when I came to recognize Christ’s love. The world opposes active faith in many ways, so I’m grateful my mom (without knowing where it would lead) taught us to “think for ourselves.”

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