I like my mom. I like her a lot. I felt led to write about her today, on a day that is not Mother’s day or her birthday or any other special day that you would feel like you should write about mothers. Not only do I want her to know that I like her, I want the rest of the world to know, too. It’s very important.
Why do I like her? Well, she’s my mom. Duh. She carried me in her womb and birthed me (and as most of my friends have had or are having babies, I know that’s not an easy thing to do).
Next, she likes me. I know that may seem silly to like your mom because she likes you back, but it’s true. If my mom didn’t like me, I might still love her, but it’d be kind of hard to like her, you know?
She makes laughing easy. She doesn’t take you seriously when you make bathroom jokes or jokes about other things that would be inappropriate in certain contexts. Most of the time, she’ll join in with you and make jokes about the same types of things because she knows you’re only kidding. In fact, sometimes she even leads in the making of these jokes. Maybe that’s why all of her kids find these kinds of jokes funny. Our mom introduced us to the world of bathroom humor. Which, when you really think about it, is kind of strange.
And then, there’s the serious side of Mom. I realize that most of the main things I know about walking with Jesus came from my mom. When I think about some of the cataclysmic books that I’ve read that have helped me grow in my relationship with Christ, she gave most of them to me. It usually annoys me that she has a book for every problem in your life, but then I usually read books when I want to learn about a problem, so it seems I got that habit from her.
I also remember hearing the gospel from her. I know I probably heard it a lot of times before that one day on the floor of the living room, but that was the first time I remember hearing it. I couldn’t read yet, but I remember being fascinated by the letters in the Bible. They were black and then they were red and then they were black again.
I don’t know if she read the story of the crucifixion or if she just told it to me. If I wasn’t old enough to read, death and torture are a pretty heavy thing. I remember being stunned and feeling scared because I didn’t like the idea of anybody having to go through something like that. I don’t know if I understood what Jesus went through or why he went through it, but I do know, that in that moment, Jesus was very real and I felt sorry for him.
Right now, I feel sorry for everyone who didn’t get to share that moment with their mom. I’m glad she was there with me.
My mom was the one who gave me the love of story. She told me stories and read me stories and gave me books that had stories she thought I would like. Of course, all of these stories usually had happy endings. These days, I like sad depressing books, so I kind of digressed from that a little bit. But, story is story whether it’s sad or happy. And I do like happy endings.
She also gave me the love of ministry. She always liked missionaries and missions and she would host all these missionaries in our house when I was growing up. She would tell me stories about missionaries and give me books written by missionaries. She would invite authors of her favorite books to speak at women’s conferences. She was always helping out doing community service stuff and would take us with her. I think she just liked to go and because she had kids we had to go with her, but that’s okay, because I always liked going and helping special needs kids and handing out food at shelters. The only thing I didn’t like was going to nursing homes. I still don’t like going to nursing homes. But Mom always did and still does. She likes to be around people who are older than her. She likes to hear their stories.
I don’t think she knows this, but I wanted to be a writer and a missionary because of her.
Funny how one person can influence your life so much.
It’s got to be a lot of work, being a mom. You put so much work into your kids and you don’t know if you’re going to get anything back. You don’t know if your kids are going to grow up and hate you or if they’re going to grow up and love you. You don’t know if your kids are going to grow up at all (let’s face it, some of us never do).
So if I could do the same thing for my kids that my mom did for me, I’d be passionate about the things I’m passionate about and encourage my kids to be passionate about the things they are passionate about. I’d live the gospel, and I’d read the black and red letters to them starting when they are young, ‘cause I won’t ever know how young is too young to understand Jesus.
I’ll read them my favorite stories and introduce them to my favorite people. I’ll take them to my favorite places and make sure that we laugh at least ten times a day (more if we can manage it).
And I’ll make sure they spend a lot of time with my mom because that’s probably the best thing I could ever do for my kids. ‘Cause making sure I had my mom was the best thing God ever did for me.