This is an article I wrote to enter a Mother’s Day Contest. I lost. The theme was to write about how your mother reminded you of God’s love. So this was my losing attempt. No reward for me, but a mighty fine subject for a Positive Post Tuesday.
It is not easy being my mother. I think that’s why God gave me to a real champ- any other woman may not have found the challenge of raising me all that fun. I lied constantly as a child, I refused to be kind to any of my sisters, and I tended to take a nap on the couch after every soccer game I played. Without taking a shower to wash off the sweat. While I usually inhabit Selfish-ville, my mom has permanent residence in the land of Loving Others More.
Mama’s favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Each year, by the end of October, she is already scouring the Internet and her cookbooks for a new recipe to debut. The kitchen begins to fill with grocery items that we are absolutely not allowed to touch under any circumstances. On Thanksgiving morning, she gets up early to prepare the food that will be consumed, mostly by my male cousins. Then, as we all lounge around and watch football, she loads the dishwasher and washes the pots and pans. Before the game is over, she has Tupperware containers packed with leftovers for the carloads to eat as they drive away. Mama gives her time for us because she gets her joy from seeing all of us gather together.
Just like God.
In September of 2007, as a 27-year-old independent adult, I had my tonsils removed. For the next two weeks, I was at the complete mercy of my mother. As a young woman living on my own for almost ten years, it was a strange phenomenon to be back under the constant wing of my mother’s care. And I loved it. I prepared no meals, measured no medications, paid no bills, washed no clothes. She even took my car and got the oil changed! Mama made sure that I had everything I needed, and then went above and beyond that.
Just like God.
A few nights ago, Mama and I had a serious conversation. I had made a few mistakes and she knew it. She didn’t hop off the couch and embrace me. She didn’t tell me that all would be well. “But Mama,” I said, “it will be fine. It always is.” She looked at me with a stern face and told me truth. “Annie, this is an issue between you and God this will NOT be fine until you decide to change. It doesn’t even have to do with the other people. Just you. And God.” I thought about this, a grimace on my face, and I wanted to blame the people who had hurt me. Yet I knew she was right. She continued, “You need to fix this. You need to let God fix this in you.” I asked her, “Are you mad at me, Mama?” She replied, “No, but I’m very concerned. I just don’t want anything to stand between you and the plans that God has for you.” She asked me to rise higher than my hurt and to stop sinning out of pain. Her wisdom was not full of anger, but full of hope. Mama forgave my mistakes and spoke truth into my future.
Just like God.
How does she do it? Why did she never roll my sweaty self off her expensive couch? Why doesn’t she assign someone else to do the dishes or load the Tupperware? Why does she forgive my repeated mistakes? Why in the world did she get my oil changed?
Because she wants to love me, love our family, just like God does.
There is no one I know that has a heart for God like Mama. She wakes up early every morning to seek Him, to pray for us, to be nearer to Him. She depends on Him for everything. She does none of this out of her own strength. That would have run out long before the delicious Thanksgiving leftovers. Her strength comes from depending on His strength. Her love comes from knowing His love. She lives out of the life of God in her.
I have watched my mother through the years. As the oldest child in the family, I am blessed to have no other role model but her. So I watched, and I decided not only what I wanted to be, but who I wanted to be. She is a woman who has filled many roles – successful lawyer, classroom mom, Bible study teacher, brave small business owner, family genealogist, PTA president and many more. But there are no roles as respectable and honorable as her role as a God-seeking mother. My God-seeking mother.
I look forward to having my own kids. I will try to love them the way that God does. I will serve them so they will learn to serve others. I will support their dreams and drive them around town. I will cheer loudly and hug tightly. I will seek God first, knowing that only in Him will I find strength to be His hands, His feet, and His heart to my family.
Just like Mama.