In the middle of ever more demanding schedules at work, and less time at home, every day life seems to be tying us down more and more. But the second Sunday of May gives us the thoughtful opportunity to remember the moms in our lives. Sure we should take time more often than that to celebrate the greatness of our moms, but it seems that this is the day of special opportunity to tell her what she means to you. So for this Mother's Day, I'm writing about five of the most meaningful to me qualities I find in my own mom. In large measure, it was her influence, care, and teaching that led me to become the husband and father I am today. This entry is dedicated to my mom: Micki!
I've heard it said that good moms "listen and listen and listen." But true nurturing happens when a mom has listened to their child, and can then encourage the growth and development of the child in a positive and healthy way. Mom has always been a great listener. Even today, with her children (and grandchildren) she is always listening to the stories that made her kid's day. For somewhere in the story-telling expressions of her children, she finds joy. She takes pride in their triumph. She cries with them in their loss. She laughs with them at their jokes and antics. But why not? through her presence and input in their lives, she has created the environment for their pleasure and comfort. When she is present, they all feel safe.
One thing that is certain about Mom was that we knew where she stood on the issues. There is no compromise in her core values. And yet, on matters of opinion, she demonstrates a profound tolerance for ideas and activities that she would not prefer. Being an example is about teaching values--yes. But it's also about teaching laughter and play. It's about teaching life lessons that will carry a child into adulthood. It's about teaching and demonstrating religious faith and belief. It's about discipline. Mom led by example in all these: teasing, playing, teaching... and praying. There is no doubt my mom prayed for me. There is no doubt she still does.
"There is no doubt my mom prayed for me. There is no doubt she still does."
Someone has rightly said, "Waiting is a sign of true love and patience. Anyone can say 'I love you.' But not everyone can wait and prove it's true." If anyone has waited in her life, it's my mom. As a pastor's wife she has waited patiently for Dad to finish a visit or meeting. But as a mom, how many more hours? Now I'm sure the wait portion isn't always the most patient, but we all know we can count on Mom to be there at the end. She waits patiently for her grandson to work through his problems in math as she tutors him via Facetime. Then she waits patiently for her four-year-old granddaughter to pretend she has done math or numbers or some other form of schoolwork. She doesn't want to be left out. And don't be fooled. Not everyone has the patience for seemingly silly things. But to a mom and grandmother, the love is in the patience!
Definition of a mom: A woman who seeing that there is only enough apple pie for four of the five people at the table, will announce she is full and doesn't care for any pie herself. A lot of words to say moms are sacrificial. Sacrifice has been defined as "An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy." I know my mom has sacrificed for my brother and myself. And even as a parent now myself, I don't think I'll ever know the lengths, depth, and distance she went to sacrifice for me. But neither can words express my gratitude toward her or my determination to make good on my life. For the honor I bring to her is truly one of the greatest gifts I could ever give back.
SACRIFICE: An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regard as more important or worthy.
I know moms love their kids. But they may not always "like" their kids. I know there were times when my brother made Mom want to just bang her head against the wall and shout, "Calgon, take me a away!" Okay, okay, I'm sure I made her want to do it too. I know I did because I know I have a smart aleck mouth. I could say mean things before I even thought about it. I know because when I was a kid I would get mad at my parents. And as a parent now, I know it can be hard to hear your kids yelling at you. But I also understand now that it didn't make her mad, as much as it broke her heart. For the heart of a mother yearns for children more powerfully than any other force on earth. So to me, what makes my mom so special, is not that she's witty, spontaneous, or generous--because she is all that and more. It's not that she's a most excellent cook or sacrificial woman--because she is. It's that she loved me--even in my most unlovable moments. Perhaps even more so.
Happy Mother's Day Mom! I love you.