What I’m about to say is quite possibly one of the most controversial statements I’ve ever put on my site.
My mother is the best mother in the entire world.
I know, I know, you may think differently. That tends to happen. When it comes to mothers, there seems to be an unspoken rule that everyone can agree to disagree about which are the best. We’re hardly objective after all.
So your mother can keep her ‘Best Mother in the World’ coffee mug – and mine could keep the one I’d give her if she actually liked coffee (to say she doesn’t is an understatement).
In all seriousness though…for someone who spends much of her time writing, I struggle to even find the words to describe my mother half as well as she deserves. Some people may claim their mothers are perfect, but I won’t claim that. Instead, the fact that she’s not – the fact that she hurts and is tempted, that she gets stressed and struggles with life – and is still so incredible is impossibly inspiring to me.
Growing up, I took for granted the childhood and the parents God blessed me with. Not in any extreme, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the childhood I experienced is not the normal. Instead, I’ve heard numerous heartbreaking stories and seen the harsh effects on people whose mothers weren’t present. Weren’t loving. Weren’t interested.
It’s a broken world, filled with broken people. And that’s just one reason I’m so grateful to God for blessing me with the mom He did. Rather than being a source of grief, she’s been a support, a comfort, and an inspiration in the midst of life’s griefs.
Through every loss. Every obstacle. Every crisis. No matter what I need – whether encouragement or advice or just a hug – I can always trust that she’s there for me.
And I know I’m not always an easy person to be there for.
Looking back, I cringe at my child self, haha. I was a wild creature. A blonde fireball of energy, determination, and strong will – and very few listening skills. A handful if ever there was one.
With the years, I’ve mellowed energy-wise, but I know my will, my opinions, and my personality have made life challenging for my parents often enough. I can’t imagine parenting myself, haha.
More and more though, especially recently, I’ve been able to look back and examine events in my life more objectively. Without the angsty teenage filter I was viewing life through at the time. And as I’ve continued to do that, I’ve also continued to gain more respect, love, appreciation, and thankfulness for both of my parents.
I don’t know how they’ve managed it, but they have. They’ve been amazing. And still are.
With today being Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about how my mom has blessed and influenced my life. I’ve taken time to reflect on all the things she’s taught me – about God, about people, about work…about every aspect of life on this crazy planet. And just as I am every time I stop and dwell on how God’s worked through her, I’m awed.
And I’m so glad and so grateful that God let her be my mother. That I can be her daughter.
Where would I be without all the things she’s taught me?
She’s taught me to give generously.
No matter what, I know I can always count on my mom to help people. Be it through giving meals, money, time, household items, hugs – you name it – my mom will give it to you if she thinks it can be of any help. While she’s not frivolous, and she doesn’t give away too much to allow her to care for her own family, she trusts God.
She doesn’t agonize over whether she should really help others through giving. She just gives, and God has blessed that giving by continuing to provide everything we need and more. Through her willingness to bless others through giving, she’s shown me what true generosity looks like in action. I pray I’ll follow her example.
She’s taught me to remain faithful.
My mom is a rock, okay. And before you think I mean that in a bad way, let me clarify. She’s always there when I need her. She’s always ready and willing to help, to give advice, to do the right thing, and to comfort and encourage. When I need one of those things, I never have to fret over whether she’ll be there for me.
Do we agree on everything? Nope. I don’t always agree with the advice she gives me (even though it has a strange way of being completely right…), but especially when it comes to the things that really count, I know that she will be there for me. I know she and my dad will stay together, and I know she will never leave us as long as the choice is hers to make. I know that she is striving to follow God and glorify Him with each moment of her life.
She’s taught me to work hard.
My mom is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen. If something needs to be done, she’ll do it. She’ll do it well, and she won’t rest until it’s finished. Baking or cooking (without recipes is her specialty), gardening, fixing things, cleaning, building, caring for others, crafting…it doesn’t matter what the task is. She’ll give it her all.
Even if it’s hard. Sweaty. Filthy. When she’s on the job, you can rest assured knowing she’s going to do her very best – and her very best is phenomenal. In fact, it’s the getting her to stop helping people so much and recharge that can be problematic sometimes. Days like Mothers’ Day are convenient times to take over her duties and spoil her as she deserves.
She’s taught me to love deeply.
Over the years, I’ve seen how much my mom loves people. People she’s related to, people she’s just met, people she agrees with, people she doesn’t…whoever it is, she loves them with Christlike love. I don’t know how she does it, but I’m always inspired by the way she will set aside her own discomfort, her own desires and impulses – and just do whatever it takes to make that person feel loved.
Whether that’s through serving them, encouraging them, comforting them, giving to them, simply being with them, or anything else that person may need at that moment, she’s willing. And it’s such a good reminder to me to set myself aside and put others first. To do what Christ would do and love them as God’s children, regardless of what they’ve done, what their views are, or how they’ve treated me.
And she’s taught me to trust God – no matter what.
Life has not been easy. Even just since I’ve been old enough to recognize and remember them, we’ve had a lot of rough spots. Storms. Situations that could and often do rattle people so hard that they stumble away from Christ. Obstacles that have sent a lot of people off railing at God, blaming Him and wanting nothing more to do with Him.
But I’ve never seen that with my mom. I don’t know exactly how she’s felt after these ordeals. After the shock, grief, and raw pain. But I’ve never once heard her say anything against God. Even when she doesn’t understand why He’s letting these things happen. Even when it’s completely rocked our life and introduced a new wave of anguish. Instead, she’s been a constant reminder to me to continue trusting God. To continue believing that He knows best, and that He is working.
And she’s right of course. I’ve seen it firsthand too many times to count now. But without her example – among others – I don’t know if I’d have stayed on the path long enough to recognize the ways God’s worked. She’s been like glue, holding everything together when it only seems to be falling apart. And without that, I don’t know where I’d be right now.
The older I get and the more I learn to look closely and appreciate the many ways my mom models Christ in my life, the more in awe I am of this amazing woman. I don’t deserve her. But I sure am thankful for her.
Because of her, I’m inspired to give generously. I’m motivated to remain faithful in others’ lives. I’m challenged to give my all in every circumstance. I’m compelled to love others just like Christ would, no matter who it is. And I’m constantly reminded that our God is worth trusting. In the mountains and the valleys, in the joyful moments and the rough patches, and from the time I wake up in the mornings until I fall asleep – and then all over again.
Every moment spent with her, every minute learning from her, is a blessing. I thank God for the time I’ve had with her so far, and pray that I’ll be able to have many more years of the same. I – and the rest of my siblings – love her very much.
So yes, I’m biased. But you can still take my word for it. She’s awesome.
Love, grace, faithfulness, generosity, wit, laughter, patience, dedication, beauty…she’s got it all. And I’m beyond humbled and overwhelmingly blessed to get to claim her as my mother.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
(Proverbs 31: 28-30 NIV)