[Photo by Melenbacker Photography]
Now that I am a mom myself, my own mother has become that much more dear to me. When I envision the type of mother I want to be, my mom's example comes to mind again and again. Above all else, I want to emulate her selflessness. I cannot stress enough how much my mom uses her life to serve others (Matthew 23:11). As I've grown older and met more and more people, I've come to realize how unusual this is. More times than I can count, I have been the recipient of her thoughtfulness, creativity, and generosity, and I have often witnessed her giving in the same way to others.
My mom practices hospitality (Romans 12:13), often inviting those who are unmarried or have no nearby family to her home. I have known other women who practice hospitality, but what sets my mom apart is her faithfulness in doing so. It is easy to invite someone over, then think to yourself, "OK, I've done my duty," and proceed to neglect the friendship you've just initiated, or wait for them to make the next move (been there, done that). Mom frequently invites the same unmarried or widowed friends over for Sunday meals and has done so for the past five or six years. Her recurring invitations show her genuine love for her guests. And beyond meals, she has also offered her spare beds to countless overnight visitors, whose stays have ranged from one night to a year or more.
My mom is creative. When my brother and I were young, we lived in a neighborhood with lots of kids, but not as much parental involvement from other families. Mom was often the one guiding our collective energy into wholesome and entertaining activities. One time, we hosted a miniature bake sale, baking lots of diminutive treats to sell at bargain prices to our friends. Another time, all the kids got involved in putting on an elaborate circus in our backyard. My brother and I always had wonderfully fun and creative "theme" birthday parties (we got to choose each year's theme, and my mom would do the planning and hard work!). You can imagine how this creativity extended into our homeschool time, too.
Mom "does not eat the bread of idleness" (Proverbs 31:27). I never see her sit down to aimlessly surf the web, watch a movie (unless she is joining others for a social activity), or read frivolously for excessive amounts of time (I have been guilty of all three). Although she does find opportunities to rest and relax, she is wise with her time and does not waste it in idle pursuits. She is also generous and energetic with her time and resources. Whenever she comes to visit me, she is always willing to pitch in and help me with whatever tasks need doing. During her latest visit, she did some hand-stitching for me, washed my kitchen floor (even moving the fridge and stove!), helped me cook, played with Edmund, went shopping with me for groceries, vacuumed my carpet, and many other helpful things, too.
My mom loves God and His Word. When I was living at home before my marriage, I would often come down in the morning to find my mom sitting on the couch or her favorite armchair, patiently tolerating my cat on her lap and poring over her Bible. She takes opportunities to memorize scripture and hymns, and often has an apt verse on her lips for whatever life situation arises. Her love of God is evident in the fruit of the Spirit that marks her life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Mom, I love and admire you, and I'm so grateful for your godly example. May the Lord bless you as you have blessed others!