2000-05-10 - Thanks Mom
Proverbs 31:25 (LB) She is a woman of strength and dignity and has no fear of old age. 26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says. 27 She watches carefully all that goes on throughout her household and is never lazy. 28 Her children stand and bless her; so does her husband. He praises her with these words: 29 "There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all!"
Sunday is Mother's Day. I am very blessed to have a great mom. This past Tuesday we had a frightening moment. My mom was in the emergency room with all the symptoms of a stroke. Her mom had died suddenly with a stroke. During the tense hours of waiting for test results, my mind was racing in rewind mode, over my entire life. The overriding question going through my mind was, "If mom dies today, will you have any regrets?" The only regret I would have had was never writing her the following thank-you note. I want to share this with you too, for many reasons. If you are a mom, I hope this is motivational and encouraging to you. For the rest of you, I hope you will join me in writing your mom a thank-you note for Sunday. Maybe you need to just write your mom a note saying "I am sorry and I would like to come home." Perhaps all you need to write is a simple "I love you, Mom." Some of you, like my dad, lost your mom, and Mother's Day is not a day of happiness for you. It brings back the pain of your loss. My prayer is that this devotional will shift your thinking from what you lost toward remembering what you have had and what you gained from your mom.
Happy Mother's Day! You gave us quite a scare last Tuesday. I am so thankful your episode was an adverse reaction to your Parkinson's medicine and not something more serious. As we waited for your test results, my mind went into a thank-you mode. Here is a playback of that:
Thank you mom, for having me when you were thirty years old. Lots of people in those days would have been upset, but one of my first memories of you is your assurance that I was a gift from God. Thank you for teaching me to walk and talk. Thank you for always being there. Thanks for the Band-Aids and kisses on the scrapes and cuts. Thanks for reading me Bible stories every night. Thanks for teaching me to pray. Thank you for making God real and relevant to me. I can remember thousands of times, your answers to my childhood questions were simply, "God made it that way" or "because that is how God wanted it." You taught me that everything flows from a loving God. Thanks for making me do all the things that I did not want to do, because you knew they were for my good. You made me use good manners by respecting others, holding doors for others, walking on the roadside of the sidewalk to protect a girl from the splashing water of a passing car; you taught me to go first in a revolving door so that I would be pushing the door and not you. Thanks for teaching me how to cut my pancakes.
Thanks for smiling and laughing when I came home from my first day of elementary school after I had volunteered you to be the grade parent. Thanks for smiling and laughing every year until high school, when I volunteered you each year. Thanks for helping me with my homework and encouraging me to do my best. Thanks for not crushing my spirit with harsh words when I did not do as well as I could in school. "Just try harder; just do your best", you would say as you gave me a hug.
Thanks for not giving up on me when I went through my teenage years. I withdrew from you and dad. I had nothing to say, but you never pushed me. You just let me know you were there for me. Thanks for the boundaries you put around me. They were designed to protect me, not stifle me. Thanks for putting those books on adolescence and growing up in my bedroom. I read them all many times. They helped me understand the changes my little body was going through. Thanks for the booklets on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. They had a strong impact on me. Thanks for the subscriptions to Christian Youth magazines. Thank you for my little Bible. Though I still don't understand everything in it, I do understand you are a mom like God intended Moms to be. I do understand you reflect God's love.
Thanks for not being critical of me dropping out of college away from home and for letting me enroll at college in our town. I was homesick. Thanks for encouraging me to graduate. Thanks for typing all those papers! Thanks for letting me come work in the family business. Thanks for understanding when I did not want to be in insurance as my great-grandfather, grandfather and father before me had. You always encouraged me to do what God gifted me to do.
Thanks for accepting the girl I married as a child of your own. Thanks for letting us have a separate life from you and dad. By the way, thanks for loving dad through thick and thin. Thanks for loving my children as your own. Thanks for understanding when I did not want you to spoil them! Thank you for being a role model for us to follow in raising our kids.
Finally, thank you for our Monday lunch dates. We have missed only four in the past 18 years. It's funny in a strange way, how you used to come pick me up from work on Mondays; then gradually I started coming to get you. We always ate at the same restaurant every Monday. The restaurants came and went, but we would just find another place to eat. It was not the food, but the fellowship that we craved. Now as we have grown older, I bring you lunch. You have apologized for not being able to go out much anymore, but I want to tell you again, it's not the restaurant or the food; it's being with you. Someday I will write the book we are now living, "Mondays with Mom."
Happy Mother's Day mom. I love you,
Father, thank You so much for my mom. Thanks for all the moms out there. Guide them and protect them. Lead them in your ways. We pray for those that are hurting and grieving as Mother's Day approaches. Not all moms are like mine, but surely there is some good to be found in all moms. I pray that someone, somewhere will read this and write a short note of reconciliation to his or her mom, a note of thanks or a simple "I love you, mom." Father, we praise You for families! They are Your plan and Your design. Thank You! In Christ's name, Amen.