In Church today we read the passage in Timothy where Paul talks to Timothy and reminds him of his mom and grandma and the faith they passed on to him. We were challenged to write to our own moms and share what you have contributed to my own faith. So that's what I'm doing-and there is much!
Mom, from as early as I remember you loved Jesus and his Word and singing to Him-and you shared that with us. I remember praying together, reading Bible stories together, singing Bible memory songs. On our long car rides to grandparents I remember singing songs all together that were Scripture or had Bible principles. We listened to tapes such as Little Tree and the Stories That Live Bible stories and the Chronicles of Narnia. You taught us to pray, not memorized scripted prayers, but free thoughts from our hearts. You taught us to pray on our own when we needed to, and you taught us how to pray out loud around others. You were consistent to point out answers to our prayers so we learned that God is not just like Santa to present a list to, but more like Dad-someone who loves to hear our hearts and respond. You pointed things out in Dad that pointed us toward our Heavenly Father. You respected Dad and taught us to respect our Father in Heaven through that. You loved studying your Bible and sharing that with other ladies. I remember seeing you prepare and then go off to lead and participate in other studies. That made me interested in what it was that captured your heart about the Bible.
I learned the art of hospitality and loving the widow and orphan through you, Mom. This brought alive what we learned in our Bible stories. I remember Christmas times where we saved and bought presents then delivered them along with food and other necessary items to a family who needed them. I remember you and dad taking us along and wanting to personally be involved-not just drop things off at a massive collection. I remember going to visit older people in the church with you. You learned from their wealth of wisdom and shared us (your young kids) with grandparents who didn't have family nearby. I remember going along to help rake yards of widows and pick potatoes with Granny Mae. I remember making ornaments and little gifts to take to older people with little gifts. You taught us to befriend the neighbors and I loved May Day when we would take flowers to Mr. and Mrs. Hill. You taught me how to live in community the way you invited Mr. Parker to make Christmas cookies-my young, single elementary school teacher, invited into a family when he was far from his own. You showed me how to be open and vulnerable walking out faith with others-from camping and life and small groups with Irv and Becki to wrestling tourneys with Gabe and Diane to walking through heartache and pain with Lisa and Norris. That couldn't be taught by words alone.
Mom, you taught me what it looked like to love my kids. You showed me how to play with them, teach them, pray for them and discipline them. And you know what? Everywhere we go, people comment on our children and their behavior and character. That is an honor and tribute to you and how you have taught me to be a mom.
I am sure there are many things you think back on with regret or wonder if you should have done it differently. Mom, I want you to know that you shouldn't spend any time wondering about the past or feeling guilty for failures there. By the grace of God, you have raised 4 of us kids to know Jesus. And now, your grandkids are meeting him too. Thank you for sharing your faith with us! Thank you for faithfully praying for us week after week our entire lives and even before we were born! Thank you for loving us still and sharing how you are continuing to grow and know Jesus more.
So, to my mom who loves to laugh and play and teach and learn and love-I love you mom! I'm SO thankful you are my mom! I am sure one day J and E will talk about the faith of their mom AND grandma as well.
Happy (Belated) Mother's day!