Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12
Mother’s Day celebrates those women who spend nine months being pampered while they carry a new life in their wombs. Pampering is the reward they receive while their bodies are ravaged with morning sickness, imbalanced thermostats, the inability to reach—or even see—their ten toes. Finally, they experience the pains of birth as their child enters the world.
Miraculously, looking into the innocent, dependent face of their newborn annihilates the memory of pain suffered in childbirth. They lavish their new baby with love.
Whether you’ve become a mother through blood, marriage, or adoption, it’s at this point that a mother is responsible for influencing and nurturing another’s life. Not just until the child leaves the home or becomes an adult, but until that child and mother are separated from this earth. We are never too old to need our mothers.
This privileged God-given role for a woman has been held in high esteem since the beginning of time. Indeed, it is a place of honor.
Today, on the beginning of Mother’s Day 2016 weekend, I would like to do just that: honor my mothers. I’ve been blessed to have the influence of three mothers actually. Louise (my birth mother), Doris (my stepmother), and Ruth (my mother-in-law).
What follows is a snapshot of the memories and gratitude I hold in my heart for these women. Each came into my life at different stages with unique influences and divine roles.
Ruth was the birthmother to my husband and his sister. Like Ruth of biblical days, she was a loyal lover of her family. Ruth was an industrious woman who loved to cook and bake. She took food to those who suffered from illness or had deaths in the family. She possessed a servant’s heart. As a creative woman, there wasn’t a craft she didn’t know how to make. She patiently taught me how to stitch and sew (and rip out mistakes even when I didn’t want to) projects of which I could be proud.
Ruth, who is in heaven now, was especially gifted with a listening ear, discernment, and sage advice. I was blessed to have her be a part of my life for 20 years.
Doris is the birth mother to six children and a stepmother to four more. She makes time to see beautiful details around her. Like the baby bluebirds in the birdhouse that hangs in her rose garden. Hospitality is her gift. With flowers cut from her garden and placed in vases all around her house, she whips up food for friends to come enjoy and relax in her home. Having experienced much joy and pain in life, she lends an understanding ear and imparts grace and mercy. As a tenderhearted prayer warrior, she kneels before God bringing all concerns for her family. Thankfully, Doris has been my mom for 37 years.
Louise, my Mother, and I have been together now for almost 60 years. I’m the oldest of her four children. She must have the best sense of humor to endure our pranks. For example, salt in her glass of water at dinner, or chocolate-covered dog food to look like chocolate-covered peanuts. Mother laughs easily and seems to know kids will be kids.
Mother sewed many dresses for her daughters—even matching smocked Easter dresses as was once fashionable. Mother loves holidays, especially Halloween and Christmas. We always had special foods and decorations for these events.
Some other especially delightful memories are that she helped teach me to drive (bless her heart!), and threw a surprise 16th birthday party for me.
Mother has showed me her love in many ways. Her most valuable gift to me is a love for God. She taught me to memorize Bible verses, pray without ceasing, and accept Jesus into my heart as my Savior.
Life requires much navigation. God called these three godly women to mentor and guide me. I pray that my daughters will also be deeply rooted in this generational blessing.
Thank you, Lord, for creating mothers. Indeed, they are your angels—messengers of love.