Today Is A Great Day To Express Love and Appreciation for Mothers
Vanessa and I were visiting with a precious friend just the other day in our home. She was a godly, devoted wife to her husband of more than 30 years before he passed in October 2021. She is a mother of three and a friend to many around the world in her role as a ministry and church leader.
As we talked, her phone buzzed and she apologized as she hurriedly picked up the call from her daughter, who was letting her know that she was coming back to town from an out-of-town trip.
As she and her daughter talked briefly, I smiled as I reflected on one of God’s most amazing gifts to all of creation.
As a husband of nearly 26 years, I have had a personal, upfront view of the fields that my wife Vanessa has patiently sown in the lives of our three sons. Some of those fields had fertile soil but many were raggedy, untended, and require lots of watering. And lest I forget, that includes me!
Bragging on one’s own self is tacky and unbecoming, but as Mother’s Day approaches, please indulge me as I pay tribute to my wife, to our friend, and to the millions of great mothers who make our world warmer, wiser, and more welcoming.
For those men among us who are married with children, I can say that I have learned so much from my wife about proper parenting. Perhaps my biggest Lesson Learned is how she is always so present in the moment. When it comes to the sons, when she is in conversation with them, she not only hears but she listens! When I have one ear to them and my eyes are glued on a worthless rerun of Law And Order, a glance at her has given me reality checks many times. Her attentiveness has reminded me of the great value of being fully present. She listens, she asks questions, and she is genuinely interested in what’s going on in their lives.
I am so grateful that one of the things that I have largely, though not always, done right as a husband and father is loving my wife. Each of our sons has seen this love in action and has commented on the impact my love for her - and her love for me - has made on their lives. We have loved one another through highs and lows, ups and downs, good, bad, and even some ugly. They have recognized the importance of our life statement to them and to one another that we are not going anywhere.
This very week, she is taking her own mother out of town on a trip and spending quality time with her. Her mother, Zelma, is one of my heroes. She raised 11 (no, that’s NOT a typo) children and endured so much in a life that began in a far-different America, the America of the 1930s.
Today, she’s 85 years old and more beautiful than ever in my eyes. Yes, she has “lost a step” but she’s steadfast and immovable in her faith in God and in her belief in family and desire to treat everyone with respect and with goodness. She calls me “Son” and I’m honored every time I’m in her presence. She has always treated me so well, even with a deference that I did not deserve.
My own mother, Flora, turns 81 in late June as the Lord allows, and I’m eternally grateful for her. When my father left three young children, she stayed and did the very best that she could for us. She still does! Did she do it perfectly - of course not. But she sacrificed and often put our interests above her own. My siblings and I thank God for her.
Vanessa told me that when she and I started getting serious, she had an extra level of assurance about me because she would often hear me laughing on the phone with my mother. For the past 40 years, I’ve called my mother every Sunday to catch up on life. As she and I have gotten older, I call more frequently and I recognize that the treasure of a living mother isn’t forever. At some point, there will be a last Sunday that we talk together. We all need to take advantage of our Sundays - only God knows which is our last.
Husbands, fathers, sons and daughters, please take a moment to recognize and honor the good mothers while you can. Certainly there are many who were not blessed, for many reasons, with godly mothers. If that is the case, I would urge forgiveness and reconciliation as much as possible. If she is deceased, give it to God and ask Him to bring you peace. There may not be an instant solution but peace is achievable. There are also mothers who have lost children to death and Mother’s Day carries a harsh, bitter sting as others celebrate. If that is you, you do not mourn alone and we pray a special touch of God for you.
With Him, all things are possible.
Before our friend left our home, we stopped and prayed for one another’s families. As I listened to these two mighty women of God petition Heaven with passion and power, I found myself just saying a simple “thank you” to the Father.
God made such incredible beauty in this world - the colors purple and green and black and red; magnificent oceans teeming with spectacular creatures; plush, exotic rainforests; deep sunsets that leave us speechless; and so much more. But for me, among His greatest achievements - unique, gifted, with indescribable attractiveness and an unmatchable intuition and inner strength - are mothers.
We live in a me-first society that urges - even demands - women to go out and get theirs, to sometimes put personal fulfillment above anything else, including family.
My wife is very ambitious but she has always put family first and that’s the order God intended for us all. She has literally dropped everything to tend to my needs or to the needs of our sons and our family. Work, ministry, and friends are all important to her - but ministry begins at home.
Take a moment this Mother’s Day to express love and appreciation for that special women or women in your life. But don’t wait - do it today! Do it every day! And don't forget to take advantage of those Sundays!