As I sit in the silence of early morning hours and wait for the thundering footsteps of my children when they wake up, I think about my mother.
My mom’s life is one of constant love, sacrifice, and loyalty to those she loves. She gives the best of herself to her family.
I don’t remember the sleepless nights she had trying to get her babies to rest. I can’t recall the times she was sick and yet pushed through the physical weakness to take care of her children. In fact, I can’t think of a time that she was sick at all (most likely because I was so self-absorbed). I did not recognize fatigue as she shuttled my siblings and I from place to place, helped supply for our needs, and ensured our home was clean and warm with all of the little touches a mother gives. I never saw tears from the moments she felt frustrated, overwhelmed, defeated, or alone. She didn’t tell us about the countless sacrifices she made so that we could have more.
My mother was always there for us. She loved. She was constantly doing. She was always giving and forfeiting her own desires. She challenged and encouraged us. She helped us discover our gifts and talents. She set the bar high.
She once asked me, “Did you have a good childhood?” I thought it was a ridiculous question. Of course we did! Why would she even ask?
Then I became a mother. I began to experience what mother’s do and, suddenly, my mom’s question did not seem silly.
And I wonder if she understands how significant those years of mothering where and the importance of what she did. She was not just a mom. She was our mom; perfectly designed by the One who had entrusted us to her care.
My mom is not flawless but, as I’ve grown, I have come to understand that God uses imperfect people to draw us closer to Him. I’ve learned much about humility, faithfulness, endurance, grace, and forgiveness from my childhood. Some lessons were beautiful while others were ugly, but God used them all to reveal Himself to me.
There was a time I could not see you, Mom, beyond myself. I failed to understand or care that you experienced good, bad, joys, and heartaches. God used motherhood to open my eyes so that I could begin to view you in a new light.
I suppose you must be like most of us mothers out there from time to time. Maybe you sit in those places you feel you’ve failed with regret. Maybe you wonder what you could have have done differently. Maybe you fail to see the roses among the thorns. I know there are times I do!
God used you to forever touch and influence me, Mom. He used you to help shape my character and being. You were one of His tools used in the setting of the foundation that Eric and I are building upon today. Our family would not be as it is had it not been for your continual obedience to God in the role you played as a mother.
You are a motivation to me to keep pressing forward and not give up. God uses you to give me hope. It’s not a hope that all things will work out exactly as one would dream, but that the price to follow Him is worth it.
We all have questions. None of us on this earth see the big picture fully. But when you look back at your life and then at the present, know this: You are a blessing to your family and that God is using your influence to touch generations. Your prayers and labor are not in vain. I am forever changed. Thank you planting the seeds.