Saturday, May 9, 2009
Mother's Day doesn't seem like a holiday for me. It's all about MY mother (as if, after 25 years of motherhood, I don't quite have the "mother" identity yet). She is the most special woman in my life, the one I adore the most, the one I'd choose to spend time with over all others.
I don't say it often enough: I just love her to pieces, and here are a mere ten reasons why (I don't have space here for the other 3 million):
1. Her kind and caring heart. I don't know anyone else who cares so very deeply about people. Her prayer list must be endless, because she doesn't just promise to pray when you ask her, she really does. She takes on the cares and worries of others in a way that makes you feel truly loved. She has the gift of crying with those who mourn and rejoicing with those who are glad.
2. Her deep spirituality. I've known about God since shortly after my birth, because Mom made sure we kids were in Sunday School and church several times a week. But more than that, she has always modeled a relationship with Jesus and a trust and faith in God that I made sure I had for myself. Her example has helped me to worry less and believe more.
3. Her wit. Mom is fun to be around. She sees the irony in situations that would pass most people by, and her sense of humor ranges from an appreciation of the absurd to an enjoyment of silly stories. When she emails me something funny, I know it'll be worth checking out.
4. Her intelligence. Scott and I joke that Mom provides tech support for the entire community of Lyle, but we aren't far off the truth. She continues to learn and master technology, contraptions, and inventions. Some of my earliest and favorite memories are playing word games with her, and I give her a lot of credit for my love of learning.
5. Her love for growing things. There is hardly a houseplant or garden flower, shrub, or bulb she can't coax into full beauty. Her green thumb is evident in her shelves of blooming African violets and front and back yards full of dozens of varieties of flowers. She transformed a barren hillside into an oasis. I always try to take a tour of the gardens when I visit, to see what's new and what's in bloom.
6. Her patience. When one 3-year-old boy tells another, "She doesn't yell at you when you spill things," you know you're in the presence of someone special. Things like spilled milk or a broken vase simply don't upset her because, as she says, "What will it matter in five years?" People young and old feel comfortable in her home because she doesn't stress over perfection. People come first, not things.
7. Her optimism. Mom's philosophy has long been that it's better to be an optimist because worrying doesn't change anything anyway (she has a better way of saying it). My often-fearful heart is comforted by knowing that Mom has set a grand example of trusting the Lord to take care of things. And it's not just lip service; she truly lives her belief.
8. Her generosity and selflessness. If you needed it, Mom would literally give you the shirt off her back. She is always on the lookout for things other people might want, things she can share, and things she can give away. More than that, she responds in a practical way when she hears about a need. If it's possible for her to meet it or to help in any way, she will do it.
9. Her perseverance. Mom is like a pit bull when it comes to getting things done. She is the best I've seen at following up on everything from technical issues to people issues. Problems others would drop as too complex are a challenge she embraces, and it's rare for her to not be successful. I love hearing her stories about working through difficulties!
10. Her ability to enjoy and understand children. Mom must have been one of the best kindergarten teachers ever, because her former students, now in their 30s, 40s and beyond, are still coming up to her to visit and reminisce. She's definitely one of the best-ever grandmothers, beloved by my children and her other grandchildren, along with great nieces, great nephews, and basically any child that comes into her presence. She is a loving grandma who sings, plays, reads books, cuddles, laughs, and can relate to the children in her life.
Thanks, Mom, for giving me the gift of YOU and for teaching me how to be a godly woman, kind and generous, spiritual, optimistic (still working on that one), a lover of flowers and children, giving, and determined. You are the best mother God could have given me, and I'm so very grateful.