My Mom's Greatest Sacrifice for Me . . . Plus More


Paula Hendricks has a candid discussion with her mom about motherhood.

Q: You know I'm not one of those girls who has always wanted to be a mom. Should that concern me? Tell me what you thought about motherhood before you had me and how my birth changed the way you felt.

A: Well, Paula, I personally was not a girl who adored babies, nor was I particularly wanting to be a mom, either. When I found I was going to have a baby, I actually thought I would have enjoyed it just being me and my new husband for a little longer. But all of that changed when you were born. I fell in love with you that first day when I held you in my arms.

Q: What was the most challenging part of being a mom?

A: I don't really feel anything was challenging or difficult about bringing up you children, but what comes to mind is to be wise as a mother, to know when to correct and when to let something go, for example when perhaps my feelings were hurt a little bit by the behavior of a frustrated teenager. 

Q: What was the most rewarding part?

A: Being a mom has probably been the greatest joy of my life. Just having little people around me to love and care for, to have endless hugs and sweetness.... The bond between a mother and her children is very, very powerful.

Q: What was one of the greatest personal sacrifices you were ever called to make for me? Was it worth it?

A: Probably the greatest personal sacrifice I was ever called to make was to work through difficult times in my marriage to your dad. Marriage is not easy, as women are very different from men, and also your dad and I have very different personalities. We are deceived in this culture to think that to fall in love and to marry will fulfill all of our heart's longings, but we will only find that in our Savior Jesus Christ. And yes, it was worth it! God knows children need both a mom and a dad. It's a much more difficult life for those who are single parents.

Q: When were you the most concerned for me? How did you pray for me at that time?

A: I think of the two times you went to China. I was afraid for your safety and gave up dessert when you were gone as a form of fasting. I just looked in my journal to see what I prayed for you at that time and have written down that I reminded myself you do not belong to me, but to God. I thanked God that you have a heart for the Lord and a concept of the larger, eternal picture rather than just a small, temporary, "here-and-now" view of life. I prayed that, like Paul in Ephesians 6:19, you would open your mouth boldly to make known the gospel.

Q: If someday I have children, what's the most important advice you have for me?

A: "Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Read the Bible to your children each day. "Come ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD" (Psalm 34:11). When your children fear the Lord, they have a reason to obey Mom and Dad, a reason to cultivate a good character, and the foundation for a balanced, emotionally-healthy life.

Q: What legacy do you think you left for me, Kim, TJ, and Bruce?

A: I hope I left for you the memory of a mother who loved the Lord, who obeyed God's Word, and who made attractive to you a life of faith. 

Q: What do you hope we remember most from your life once you're no longer here?

A: A mom who loved you with all her heart and who encouraged you in the Lord through Scripture.

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