Honor, Praise, and Thank Mothers

May 9, 2010

Friends,
I hope everyone has a Happy Mother’s Day –and that’s a prayer for even those who are not mothers. For I know it’s very sad for some women who have never had children; sad for some who have lost their mother to death; sad for those who are estranged from their mother; sad for those whose mother is in prison; sad for those who can’t say they have a good mother; sad for those men who are divorced and don’t have the mother of their children there like “old times”… Yes, there is a lot of sadness around this particular holiday. So may we be sensitive to each other –for we have no idea of the emotions someone else may be dealing with.

However, even though we must be sensitive, I do believe in this holiday. I believe it is definitely appropriate to set aside a day to honor our mothers with special treatment and words of praise and thanks. –Because most mothers have given sacrificially to their families and have worked hard to teach, protect, and comfort their children with loving service and care.

My mom is one such mom. In fact, I sincerely believe she’s the best mom in the world. She’s my second best friend (along with my husband –the Lord being my very best Friend!–), and she’s a ton of fun. She prays for me all the time, and her prayers change things. She has always encouraged me in my ministry of witnessing on the streets –even years ago when no other friend thought anything of it. She would even make treat bags with me by the dozens (back when I used to do that) and pass them out with me downtown as a way to approach people to speak to them about the Lord. She was bold too. And brave. She loved it like I did. And now, when she’s gotten too old to walk the streets with me for hours, she still tries to go at holidays for a couple of hours at the train depot.

My mom is remarkable. She and my dad just got back last month from a two month mission trip to the jungle where my two siblings and I grew up. And they still “rough it” at their age. They loved their work of developing an alphabet, making a dictionary, and translating the New Testament into the previously unwritten language. They helped the people medically when they could, though they too lived dirt poor –in a thatch and bamboo house on stilts with no running water, no electricity, no phone, and sometimes little food. They did so much for the people… Like one night in the 1980s, my mom hiked to the hut of a dying man and prayed with him for his healing and salvation. Even though she came home with his feces all over her, the next day she was rejoicing, for this man was completely better! My mom’s prayers had been heard by our merciful God, this man began Bible study, and he still lives today.

Since I went away to the mission boarding school from second grade on (that’s how all missionaries did it in those days), my mom usually wrote me 3 letters a week and often sent me gift packages. All of us mission kids believed in our parents’ work, (at least, my siblings and I did), so though we missed our parents, they did make us feel loved. My mom sewed me a horse pillow one time, and such things gave me comfort. Now, in my adult years, my husband and I have lived in the same area as my parents for 24 years, and the Lord has more than made the separation up to us, for we’ve had exceptional fellowship — especially in the spiritual unity the Lord has given us.

I could go on and on about how wonderful my mom is. She’s a great cook… and an unselfish, caring wife to my dad… She’s always ready to be adventurous –go swimming, boating, fishing, horse-back riding, blueberry picking… She often helped me grade papers when I used to teach in the public schools… She listens to me for hours and gives wise insight as we discuss theology, relationship dynamics, politics, or memories from the past. She’s been there to comfort me when I’m down or afraid or weak. She says cute things and makes me laugh a lot…

Furthermore, besides God’s Word, my mom’s character has probably been one of the greatest factors in enabling me to grasp the amazing character of our Heavenly Father –how strong, forgiving, tender, compassionate, and caring He is.

Like I said, I could go on and on about my excellent mom. For she deserves to have “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Prov. 31:28-30)

Therefore, if anyone’s mother has qualities that are “admirable –if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things.” (Phil. 4:8) And may the thoughts be turned into verbal expressions of gratefulness to “Mom”. For as the last verse of Prov. 31 says, “Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” (v. 31)

So may we all honor, praise, and thank our moms in the sight and hearing of others –even the whole world.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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