I'll admit that in a land untouched by Hallmark or American Greetings, and owning no American calendar, I didn't know that today was Mother's Day until a few days ago. Fortunately, I almost always call my mother on Sunday mornings (her time); but it would have been shameful to call and forget to acknowledge the occasion. So, I thank God that somehow, I was reminded.
There is no other job I'd rather have than that of mother. These eighteen years have enriched my life like I never could have imagined. I am grateful to the Lord for the mothers he's put into my life for the purpose of teaching me wisdom and practical skills.
My mother, Sherry (above, with my brother and me), blesses my life. I'm so glad to be her daughter. She has taught me the importance of hard work and shown a strong example of being a pillar in the extended family, enduring hard times and answering the call of duty in difficult situations. She's beautiful, generous, smart, dependable, and loyal. I've learned from her how to be resourceful and creative in the kitchen, and she first sparked my interest in sewing and crafts. Mummie, as I call her, has been a loving, kind, and very giving grandmother to our children, and she has welcomed Craig as a son. Thank you, Mom!
Craig's mother, Beverly, has had an impact on our family that will affect generations. Her diligent study of the Bible has given Craig a love for God's Word that is demonstrated in our household as he gently and lovingly teaches our children to fear God and serve Him only. I am thankful for a mother-in-law who regularly prays for our family and sends encouraging notes to uplift our spirits. Thank you, Mom!
There I was, seventeen years ago, learning to make wreaths with my friend, Cristie (far right), at Renate's (center) house in Salinas, CA.
When Craig and I were newly married and moved to California (my first time living away from home, other than one year on a nearby college campus), it was Renate who invested her time and patience in me to lead me along a biblical path of womanhood. It was she who boldly offered wise counsel and admonition when she saw that my attitude or behavior didn't benefit my household, and who gave me books and other resources to encourage a love of my husband and children and wise stewardship of my household, as outlined in Titus 2 and Proverbs 31. Renate has been my "spiritual mother" and friend.
My Grandma Betty recently entered a nursing home and suffers from many ailments at the age of 83. Last week she had a fall that caused a brain injury that we thought might quickly end her life; but praise be to God, she is recovering. When my daughters and I were studying Proverbs 31 a few weeks ago, Caelyn mentioned that she envisions the subject of that chapter literally "attacking" her duties vigorously. That gave me a mental picture of the way Grandma Betty used to clean her house. She would literally break a sweat with the thorough job she'd do. My love of the outdoors came from the many summers I spent as a child going camping with her and Poppy, and it was she who first taught me how to play cards. I have so many wonderful memories of spending weekends with her and Poppy, eating her homemade pie, shopping, and going to her house with the rest of the family for the Christmas "after party" once everyone left our house. (My parents' house was always the holiday "hub" when I was growing up, as it was the biggest.)
Vovo, my Brazilian grandmother, came into our lives just fourteen years ago. She is the lovely, stylish woman that has been Grandpap's faithful wife and loyal companion since shortly after my Grandma Evelyn died. Vovo has taken such wonderful care of Grandpap (now 95 and also in a nursing home). Her vivacious character has encouraged him to live with gusto -- continuing his singing, learning a new language (Portuguese), traveling, and spending time with friends. Having lived away for almost the entire time that Vovo has been in the family, it took me a while to bond with her. However, I am so grateful for her deep, abiding love for my sweet Grandpap, and her dedication to the preservation of his well-being.
To the other mothers who have influenced my life -- Gena, a fit mother of seven and grandmother of two, who inspires me to keep working out; Lauren, a young mother (twelve years younger than me) who wisely manages her home and teaches her children, and has taught me a lot, despite her youth (and whose birthday is today); Karyn, another fit mother of seven and grandmother of three who is such a gracious and joyful encourager; Joanna, an Army wife and mother of eight whose fortitude is inspiring; Cornelia, a mother of two grown sons who is a stellar example of a loving wife, and who also spurs me on to diligently study the Bible; Terri, a mother of nine whose industrious pursuits and fantastic sense of humor made me never want to leave her house -- just to name a few: May the Lord strengthen you to press on in your high calling for His glory! Happy Mother's Day!
Finally, a very Happy Birthday to my big brother, Bruce, pictured above. I wish I could give him a hug.