When Mama gets ready for the day, she is perfectly put-together and fashionable. No hair is left unsprayed. Her purse always matches her outfit, and she is accessorized to a “T.” I love exploring the treasure trove that is her closet.

Don’t let her lovely appearance fool you, though. My Mama is a worker—a grinder, some might say. Whether she’s ironing school uniforms, cooking dinner, filling prescriptions in Nicaragua, or working {a paying job} outside the home, she knows how to work hard and get it done.

My Mama knows how to make a house feel like a home. I remember how weird {and messy} the house felt after school on those days when she hadn’t been home. She had a way of always making the house feel pretty and tidy and warm. She decorates for every season, and she makes our house look absolutely magical at Christmas time.

Mama makes birthdays a big deal. She’s the best gift-giver. Every gift is chosen with careful thought and consideration. She still fills our stockings at Christmas and mails us “happies” for different occasions even though we’re grownups.

Mama knows what it means to sacrifice for your kids. She made the choice to leave a lucrative career in order to stay home and raise three babies. She knows what it’s like to sometimes feel lonely and to wonder if your life has any real purpose when all you seem to do is fold laundry, wash dishes, and wipe heinies.

Mama knows what it’s like to lose sleep for your children—sleep lost because of late night feedings and late night conversations with God. She knows what it means to be on your knees for your kids, begging God to protect them from the lies of the enemy and keep them walking in truth. My Mama is a prayer warrior.

Mama has been there for us during all the exciting times. She’s attended school plays and pageants, as well as numerous performances in her living room and on her front porch. She’s cheered at countless football, baseball, and softball games. She’s clapped proudly at numerous award’s ceremonies. She’s been shopping for too many prom dresses to count. She’s put together a wedding that would never have happened without her.

More importantly, Mama’s been there for us in all the hard times too. During those years of high school when I made body image my god and developed extremely unhealthy eating patterns, Mama was there. She fervently counseled me in the truth for months, reminding me that, in Christ, I had power over the lies of the enemy. She played a pivotal role in my finding freedom. When my little brother found himself in a hospital bed for weeks on end, wondering if God was about to call him home, Mama was right beside him. She cared for him when he wasn’t getting the best hospital care. She trusted that God was in control even in the face of possibly losing a child. When I struggled with the “baby blues” after L was born, Mama drove 8 hours to stay with me and cook for me and help me adjust to life as a new mom. She didn’t think twice about it.

My Mama understands that being a good mom isn’t always glamorous, and it’s definitely not easy. Being a good mom means being in the trenches with your kids–weeping for them, praying for them, and guiding them in the truth as they come face to face with the troubles of this broken world. Being a good mom means being a nurse, a teacher, and counselor too.

Mama’s still guiding us and fighting for us on her knees, even though we’re all out of the house.

My Mama is the real deal. She knows her Christ, and her life’s work has been to point her children to Him. And, therein, lies great purpose. Changing dirty diapers, cheering at softball games, making math practice tests, and folding clean laundry are all significant  pieces of that great life work. Because pointing children to Jesus doesn’t just happen in formal conversations, with Bibles open, around the kitchen table. It happens in the mundane workings of the day-to-day. And it happens in the trenches.

So, thank you, Mama. Those words fall so short, but I can’t say them enough. Thank you. I understand the depth of your love and sacrifice in a whole new way this year, and I am forever grateful.

Mama and me–circa 1986

3 thoughts on “Mama

  1. How awesome that you recognize all that! The rest of us would be lucky to do only half of what she has done… And three beautiful, God-fearing children is a pretty good earthly reward!

  2. Such a sweet post about your mom. I can “Amen” so much of it about my own mother. Praise the Lord for godly, wonderful mothers. Miss you, S!

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