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What I Love About My Mom

May 7, 2019

As Mother’s Day approaches, I remember with fresh intensity the things I love most about my mother. Oh, there are countless things I love and remember with such gratitude. Mom was a great cook, so you know I loved that. I particularly loved her fried chicken and mashed potatoes. She was a southern girl and learned early to do all the things that made a smooth-running home. I loved that she decorated and kept our home clean and nice where we were always proud to bring our friends. I loved the way she kept our clothes clean and mended and put us, her family, first after Jesus. I could go on for quite a while about what I love about my mom.

But I want to tell you a couple of things I love about my mom that are still paying benefits in my life today. The cooking and cleaning are over, but these things remain.

1. I love that my mother was desperate for us to know and follow Jesus. Mom gave us the greatest example with her life. She prayed, she read her Bible, she followed Jesus as closely as she knew how. She was constantly reading books, collecting articles, and saving them in books for us to read to help us in our relationships, choices, and spiritual journey. There are at least two dozen journals and large binders of materials she wrote and made for us. All of them say, “Please read. This will help you and change your life.” All of us got a letter or two from her, painstakingly prayed over and handwritten, when she was concerned about a choice we were headed toward, or we seemed to be straying from Jesus. Jesus is the Shepherd, but Mom was His sheepdog. 😊 She was always keeping watch over our souls.

2. I love that my mother so completely and faithfully loved my dad. Mom’s sincerest and best efforts after her relationship with Jesus went to making sure my dad was encouraged, affirmed, loved, and blessed every day of his life. She was an asset to his ministry in every way. She represented him and Jesus incredibly well. She never spoke badly of him to her children or anyone else. She affirmed him to us. In fact, our mother believed she was married to the greatest man in the world, and made sure we knew by the way she spoke to him, about him, and treated him that we had the greatest dad on the planet. Sometimes she might have believed in him a little more than was merited in the moment, but her belief in him caused him to grow and become all she thought him to be. He often said, “Your mother has caused me to be the man I am, even eclipsing my own mother.” Together they gave me an ideal of manhood and marriage for which to aim.

3. I love that my mother was joyful. Mom was a “melancholy” by nature. She had a personality that desired perfection and set high standards for herself. She came from a southern family of builders/contractors, and higher than normal income. She, however, married a low-income pastor and spent most of her life in ancient, falling-apart parsonages. I have witnessed my mother cry the first day when they moved into a disheveled house, badly in need of repair and restoration, and then pull herself together through prayer and character. The next day she would roll up her sleeves and began to work to make it as beautiful as possible. It was amazing what hard work and paint could do. She decided to love her home and be joyful. She was joyful enough to laugh; she laughed A LOT, and frequently, at herself. Mom could laugh so hard she would go limp. She couldn’t sit straight in her seat! Everyone laughed when Mom was laughing, and so often it set the tone for all of us for the day. Our home was a happy place, and Mom’s joyful decisions, even though they went against her personality and desires much of the time, were a big reason for it.
There are so many more things I could share about my love for my mother and why she was pivotal in my development, but I’ll end with this one:

4. I love my mother because her life showed me what I needed in a wife and mother for my children. When I fell in love with Patty, Mom fell in love too. She was thrilled that I had found such a beautiful, wonderful woman, and gave me full-on permission to make Patty the number-one woman in my life. The most important things my mother personified; Patty embodies too. As much as my mother has done for me and as massive the impact she has had on my life, just like my dad, Patty has helped me immeasurably to be the man that I am, eclipsing even my own mother.

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies! You make an eternal mark.