Filed under Motherhood Tributes
My mom is the worthiest woman I know to honor. When I consider the life she has lived as a single-mom for so many years and the way she has sacrificially laid down her life day after day, well, I am left speechless and in wonder of how to thank such a person.
My childhood memories mostly start after my dad left, and they are filled with images of a woman who, hour by hour lived in service to her 2 daughters. She would awake every morning serving us, go to work at a full-time job and then come home to ALWAYS cook a hot meal for us. And then, if there were church activities in the evenings, off we went to drive the 30 minutes from where we lived so we could participate. This often meant she needed to find something to do, while she waited for us. I never once remember my mom ever doing anything that wasn’t in service to us and I never once remember her complaining.
Her time was not her own. Even things such as hobbies, meeting with friends, or even trying to find another husband, never crossed her mind. Simply put, her life was completely dedicated to two little girls and that clearly spoke volumes of the gospel to our watching eyes. And what’s more amazing is that everything she ever did (and still does) was done with joy!
There was a time during my early teens, when my mom was very limited in how much time she could devote to teaching me certain homemaking skills, child-training skills, and other things. It was just not possible for her, working full-time. So, in the mornings of my summer vacation, my mom would drop me off at another house – a family in the church who had young children. It was here that I learned many skills pertaining to being a wife, mom, and homemaker. She wanted me to be around them – to have the opportunity both to serve and to learn. I learned SO much, but never once was she bitter or jealous for not being able to do this herself. Instead, to this day, only gratefulness fills her heart toward this family. The skills I learned from this mother have so served me as I am now a wife, mom, and homemaker. But I know that it was primarily because of my mom’s heart for me and due to her service to me, that I could learn these things.
It was not until I was married that I began to realize the extent of all that my mom has done for me over the years. And then when I had my daughter and found out how hard mothering can be, I was freshly amazed. I don’t even work full-time and I still can’t imagine how she managed to be the homemaker and mother that she was to us. All I can say is that, “isn’t grace amazing?!!!”
Her life so testifies to the amazing grace of our Savior. Her life to this day continues to amaze me by how much she does, in now caring for her elderly mother, leading both a care group and a discipleship group at our church, babysitting for grandkids to name a few, all while still working full time. The service never ended, even after my sister and I were married. It just extended to different people and in different avenues. It all points to grace, enabling grace to do all that she does. And to a watching world, the gospel is clearly being demonstrated.
There was a quote that Carolyn mentioned in her post, "Washing the Feet of the Saints." When I read it, I thought right away, “what a picture of my mom.” John MacArthur writes, in reference to washing feet, "The menial task of washing the feet spoke metaphorically of humility (Jn. 13:5-17). The requirement, then, stresses that a widow have a humble servant’s heart. She gives her life in lowly service to those in need."
My mom’s life is completely characterized by giving her self in lowly service to those in need. I am so grateful my children now have the opportunity to know her as I do. I look forward to the day when my now 2-year old and baby (to be born in less than a month) are old enough, so I can point them to my mom and say, “girls, you are rich children because of the legacy your Noni has left you. Many of the blessings and the grace that you receive is in large part because of her life and the sacrifices she has made.” Even more so, I look forward to That Day, when I will be one the loudest, cheering her on, as she stands before our Lord to receive her reward. I believe she will receive one big, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
I want to honor my mom for the way she honors her mom.
In doing this, I cannot overlook the fact that my mom rises early each day (4:15am) to meet with the Lord and is active in going after her heart. Because of her faithfulness in meeting with God, He has poured out grace, in posturing her heart to serve her 84 year old mother and to lay down her life in a way that is foreign in our culture.
One year ago, my grammy moved in with my mom. This was an answer of prayer for us all, to have her closer and be able to care for her. Prior to this my mom was actively seeking the Lord in preparing her heart to serve Grammy and also to return unkind words and actions with love. As we all know, God uses whomever we live with to expose our hearts, but it is even harder when that person is not a believer. Gram is adamantly opposed to Christ and the church.
In these past months, I have watched up close the influence of my mom’s example on my Gram. When conflicts arose, Mom admitted her sin and she humbly returned to seek forgiveness. Her witness affected Grammy, such that in one instance when my Gram had done something against my mom, she called my mom at work to apologize. Gram NEVER did this before.
With all this, I have observed my mom be more aware of her failings and her impatience with Gram. Yet recently, when Grammy was asked to describe mom in one word, she chose “Kind.” And I would like to share why she would characterize Mom in this way.
After the Lord, Mom has made Grammy her utmost priority. Not that she neglects serving our church in any way, but she evaluates what she does in a new way. She amazes me in how she currently serves as a care group assistant in the singles ministry as well as leading a discipleship group of young women. She works a full-time job, has a home and yard to care for. On top of that she now cleans Gram’s suite and has taken the financial burden of the extra utility costs. She truly has laid her life down for her mom.
Every weekend she carves out time to get Grammy out of the house. For the most part it is shopping, other times it is taking off work to take her downtown to see the cherry blossoms. It can be to see a movie or going out to eat. This could be viewed as fun but it is also hard work. Due to Grammy’s arthritis she cannot walk for long periods, so it requires Mom pushing her in a wheelchair wherever they go. And this is always done with much joy and never a complaint.
We ourselves have seen the fruit of Mom’s sacrifices and labor’s in Grammy’s life. Grammy’s heart is softening. And I think, no I know, it is that she observes the Gospel being lived out before her as Mom cares for her. This is God’s common grace on Grammy and an effect of Mom’s love for her.