In the last month, I’ve blogged more about motherhood than any other topic, which seems odd, since I’m not a mom. But all this blogging, reading, guest posting, and email communication with other moms has gotten me thinking a great deal about motherhood and about womanhood.
So naturally, this mother’s day, I took some time to think about my own mother and the values she taught me. No mother is perfect, but my mother is a godly woman, who was incredibly intentional about teaching her daughters about what is most important in life. During our Dear Mom Friend discussions, we talked about the deeper stuff of mothering. So I thought today, I’d post a belated Mother’s Day tribute to my mom, in gratitude for the values she passed on to me.
1) Investing in People – I learned very early that my sister and I weren’t my mom’s only kids. My mom has mentored countless women over the years, who she considers spiritual daughters. She and my dad have counseled many couples, as well. Some of my earliest memories include my mom leading Bible studies with neighborhood moms (while I played in another room), late night dessert with couples (after we were put to bed), or coming home from school to find my mom deep in conversation with a young woman. My mom taught me through her actions that people are a key investment.
2) Centrality of Scripture – Growing up, I could count on walking down the stairs every morning, and finding my mother sitting in her blue and cream plaid chair reading her Bible. And I knew that what she read stuck with her because more often than not, when I was hurt or anxious, my mom would remind me of a verse that I needed to hear (she still does that).
3) Importance of Prayer – One of my mom’s constant phrases growing up and now is, “Let’s pray about it.” Every day, my mom and dad walk and pray. I know that my parents are my biggest prayer warriors, and I am so grateful for that. They parented out of prayer, not instinct or technique.
4) Hospitality – My mom is the queen of hospitality. She loves hosting and serving people. Some of my earliest memories are of dinners around my home table with missionaries, teachers, and other church folks. My mom knows how to make a fantastic meal on a dime, and makes it look pretty in the process. If you haven’t been to my mom’s house, you should, and I promise, she’d love to have you!
5) Giving Radically – My parents never have much money to spare, but they incredibly generous with what they have, in fact, they are more generous with what little they have than most. I have a vivid memory from elementary school when our family didn’t have much food in the pantry, and a homeless family showed up at the parsonage door asking for money. Insetead, of giving money, my mom took what food we had and made sandwiches and snacks for the family. She gave generously, because my mom knew that God would provide for our family. Radical faith in God’s provision leads to radical giving. I’m incredibly thankful for my mom modeling this.
6) Value of Women – My mom taught me through her actions and her empowering of others that women have great value, and that women can change the world. I love my mom’s firey passion to empower women in the Body of Christ, and I hope to carry on this legacy.
7) Lifelong Learner – My mom reads constantly, and not fluffy books, either. She reads books about faith, martyrdom, and women in Islamic nations. She is always reading to learn more about how to impact the world and I love that.
8) Eternal Focus – My mom lives her life with an eternal focus. She isn’t focused on acquiring wealth or taking luxurious vacations or watching her favorite tv shows. Her priorities are in order. She values people, she takes risks, and she has great faith. It’s amazing!
So my fellow women, who nurture others (whether that’s through being a mom or a mentor or a friend), I hope this challenges you to think about what values you are passing on to others. I hope it helps you to get perspective on all the routine and monotony that every day life brings, and reminds you that your character and your priorities are most important. That’s what your kids, or mentees, or friends are going to blog about one day.