My Mother at 60
Today, my role model and best friend turns 60. My mother dearest. You’ve heard from her before. She is so precious and wrote me a notebook of advice for this blog and I love to flip through it and choose what I think you might want to hear on what day. This so perfectly sums up her style as a mom and IT IS SOLID PARENTING ADVICE! I will prove it. I remember being taught truth and being in church and learning that God loved me and seeing my parents in the Word.
However, what I remember the most about my lessons on Christ, love, values and life are the things I saw them do in person, not just say. My mom’s belief was to LOVE us to the absolute core, unconditionally (even when we went totally wild in high school and college and disappointed them greatly – no details in this post because it’s her birthday).
Note: “We” means just me/Kerri – I shouldn’t throw poor innocent pastor Drew under the bus.
She also believed in keeping a relationship and communication with us. I ALWAYS knew I could still run to her loving arms even when I wasn’t being the daughter that made her proud. Thinking back to my childhood, I vividly remember how she just lived out the values and biblical principles in such a fun way that it wasn’t forced or punishment or ho-hum. She focused more on INSTILLING values in us by BEING, DOING and LETTING US SEE.
A Godly wife: I watched how she navigated disagreements and respected my Dad for the last 40 years.
A true friend: I watched her drop everything (except for us kids of course) to be there for a friend in need.
A servant: I watched her cook and plan and prep a party or an event or anything someone needed. She has a GIFT of hospitality and making others feel soooo special.
An encourager: If you need to get a lift, please drive to my mom’s house. Oh how she lifts a soul with her peppy voice and perfect and specific words of encouragement.
I watched her treat the people at the grocery store with the same love as the pastor at our church. She walked the talk. I watched her take money to strangers that mentioned hard times. I watched her DO STUFF when God nudged her heart my whole life.
BY LETTING THEM SEE …
So, my mother dearest, I am Exhibit B in the Case of your great parenting style. By Being, Doing and Letting Them See… it works. We not only SAW IT, we are imitating right now. I can only hope to be half the mom you were to us one day. I do find myself doing many things like you without knowing it. It’s not too bad to just naturally “encourage” or “love” or “notice the unnoticed” because that’s the kind of mom you had.
YOU are one of the single biggest blessings of my life. I watch you read books to my kids and I almost cry every time.
I want to jump back in that trance and be little again. Your voice hasn’t changed. I watch you rub their faces and ears the same way.
I watch you teach them every name of the birds and the trees and tell them such sweet details of God’s creations. The very same things you taught me, Kerri and Drew.
I am so grateful I get to see how you grandparent to experience it all over again. You are a jewel that is priceless to me.
And, so is this lesson for all of us.
Forget the scripture cards (well not really everyone :), forget the flip charts, the rules, the rigor, the stress… let’s just focus on BEING and DOING and LETTING THEM SEE.
WHAT DID YOUR MOM DO REALLY WELL THAT YOU WANT TO IMITATE OR REPEAT?
TO MOTHER: RESIST the urge to comment on all the things you didn’t do well. Just receive this love on your birthday because every word of it is true. In your truest and most beautiful heart, you are humble and don’t like attention. This is also another sign that God is in you. We know you would give HIM all the glory. And we know you weren’t perfect. You never tried to be. Reason 2,345 why I love you.