Sunday, May 13, 2012

Generous. Persevering. Faithful.

(Celebrating my birthday on 5/1)

It has been a day of great celebration for many, many mothers today including my own mom. It was a blessing to shower her with love and gifts today. She likes to stay home and relax on Mother’s Day instead of being out with the crowds so my Dad grilled a tasty dinner and we enjoyed the day together. I thought throughout the day about the many amazing characteristics that my Mom possesses. Today a few things stuck out in particular. Generous, persevering, faithful...

For as long as I can remember, my mom has been a giver. On birthdays or special days, she will take the time to make beautiful handmade cards and gift baskets, or simply pick up something little that she knew someone needed. Sometimes it was a day that wasn't so great but she somehow made it special. If she runs out to get her nails done, she always offers to bring me along and pay for a mani-pedi for me, too. (Or, like the other day, she brought me along for her hair appointment and I walked out with a new cut). When she was teaching, she would always pick up little trinkets for her students. Pencils, erasers, candy. If we have company, she'll have little gift bags made up for the kids who are coming so they feel special. My Mom and Dad have never been wealthy but God has always provided all of their needs. I believe with everything inside of me that it’s because of their gratitude for what God's given them and also their generosity towards others. She gives because she enjoys it. But her generosity isn’t because of the presents she surprises us with; it’s deep in her heart and who she is at the core. Mom gives of herself.

She gives because she cares. And she displays that care in so many ways. Little ways and big ways. When I was in school and needed to research something, she would take the time to go look for resources online for me so I wouldn't be pulled away from another assignment. Just recently, our 92-year old family friend, Hilde, has gone through a number of health challenges and Mom was the caregiver for her – dealing with the details of hospitals, appointments, bills, doctors, nursing homes, ambulettes, phone calls, bills, laundry, and Hilde’s overall well-being every day for over two months. Then, at the tail end of all of that, I began to deal with my health issues. You would think that she’d had her fill of doctors and appointments but when I needed to go to the ER, she came and sat with me for hours. When I needed to go for all the tons of tests, she came with me and graciously waited. Never once complaining. I can’t begin to explain what a blessing she has been – not just in the good times, but especially in the difficult times. She is a rock.

I don’t think the average person would even recognize the magnitude of my Mom’s perseverance. She has plowed through some of the most difficult of circumstances without anyone ever knowing. Was Is that easy? No, but she trusts the Lord and clings to the promises of His Word, knowing that He will take care of her and everyone/everything that concerns her. And He has. Observing how she has so selflessly weathered the storms of life and endured trials for the sake of her family has not only blessed me but has served as an example. Her strength in the Lord is great and because of her dependency on Him, she has never faltered in difficult times, she’s only drawn closer to Him. Mom has remained faithful to God and to all the people around her because she recognizes just how faithful He has been (and continues to be) to her.

Every morning (if I am awake early enough), my Mom can be found in her spot on the left side of the couch with her Bible, prayer journal, and coffee. Faithfully seeking the Lord, faithfully honoring Him. Faithfully praying with my Dad every day, even if there’s only a few seconds. Every Sunday she faithfully teaches her Bible study class. Every month she faithfully serves with the women’s ministry. Every year she faithfully takes on the responsibility of directing Vacation Bible School. She is faithful to put surprises in our Christmas stockings (faithful to decorate the house for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving), give us chocolate on Valentine’s Day, and surprise us with little trinkets in an Easter basket – all with her beautiful handmade cards with words of encouragement and blessing. A faithful wife, mother, teacher, friend, and leader. And she is faithful to point to Jesus in everything she does no matter how great or how small.

But most importantly, Mom is faithful to be present and prayerful whenever we need her. Each and every day with love.

In light of all that my Mom has done and continues to do, there really isn’t anything that I could give her that would portray the gratitude that is in my heart for all she has done and continues to do for me. Flowers, balloons, cards, gifts. They’re nice (and by all means important!), but they will never be able to come close to the gift of her presence, of who she is every day. A gift from God that I cherish deeply.

Thank you, Mom, for everything you do and everything you are. I love you, appreciate you, and thank God for you.
Happy Mother’s Day.


lbroth said...

Jenn, What a great tribute to your Mother. Don't forget, she is very lucky to have you and Matt as her children- Anne, too. Of course we can't forget Gracie and Wolfie, too. Linda

Jennifer Roth said...

Thanks, Linda! :)