Looking Back

When I was a kid, I didn’t want to be a mom. I wanted to travel the world, give my life to missions, go skydiving, have all the adventures, see all the things, and skip the whole childbirth and diapers scene. When I was old enough to start babysitting, it only reconfirmed my suspicions: screaming babies and whiny toddlers were not for me. Then as I started doing missions, I thought, “Well, maybe adoption is for me.” I wanted to adopt every orphan I met, but I still wasn’t into the whole having babies scene, or really into boys for that matter. I felt like a boy would just slow me down. Unfortunately, meeting a boy was kind of essential to being a mom, so I wasn’t super interested in either. Eventually, however, I grew up, met a boy, and yes, we had babies. For someone who loved traveling, adventuring, and doing missions work, I was fully shocked to realize that being a mom is even more fulfilling than all the other things. There is nothing like it and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

As Mother’s Day rolls around each year, I don’t really expect a lot of fanfare or attention. But as the years go on, I realize just how much moms give and give and give, expecting nothing in return. Hoping, maybe, but not expecting. This year has been a little rough as we move farther into the teenage years with our older two kids. Last year I was really thrilled when Jake and Asia begged me to serve at church camp. They actually still wanted me around. I was super blessed to serve one week at high school camp doing photography with Jake, who was doing videography. This year, I can tell there is less enthusiasm, from one of them anyway, about me going to camp, so I remain undecided. I know it’s normal, but it still hurts a little. Which leads me to think about all the ways I may have underappreciated my own mom.

I know a lot of people who had moms that let them down time and time again, but who turned out to be amazing God loving adults. But there is no denying that moms play a huge role in our lives, often molding us into who we are without us even realizing the degree to which it’s happening. My own mom was amazing, and I thank God for the role she played in molding me into who I am today. And, like I hinted at earlier, the farther I get into motherhood, the more I respect, admire, and appreciate her. And the more I regret not recognizing the sacrifices she made earlier in my life. I know I am not alone in those feelings and that this whole experience is repeated with every generation with few exceptions. But I thought about how, growing up, all my mom ever wanted for Mother’s Day, or her birthday, was a card. So, this year, I thought I’d write one in the form of a blog.

I think a lot of times when we think about moms, we go to Proverbs 31, but in this case, my mind goes to 1 Corinthians 13. I am going to play with the original text a little, but I don’t think God will mind. You see, when I think about my mom, I see all the ways she loved. She loved us well…. us, my dad, and the people around her. She was patient and kind. She didn’t envy or boast. She didn’t rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoiced with the truth. My mom bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Her love never seems to end. She also protected us. Maybe that’s included in the “bears” all things part. (Probably only my Dad will get that joke, so that’s for you Dad). My parents always put others first. My mom was stronger than me in a lot of ways, in ways that inspire me to grow more. She is one of my best friends and I wish that I had taken advantage of that friendship at every stage of my life. I want to be like her when I grow up.

I have known my mom-in-law for almost twenty years now and can say the same things about her. She puts others first even to her own detriment. Even through hardships she raised Erich to be the man he is today, and I have much love and admiration for her as well.

So, to all the moms out there, giving and serving and sacrificing. I know, for the most part, you expect nothing in return. We do what we do out of love. And while we don’t seek fanfare or attention, sometimes it’s easy to feel unseen. And maybe we will feel unseen for a season, but we are molding the next generation. We are discipling world leaders: future fathers and mothers, teachers, pastors, missionaries. And someday, when they are parents, hopefully they will look back on us with the same love, respect, and admiration that we look back on our parents with. This Mother’s Day I am full of gratitude for the impact that my mom and Erich’s mom had in each of our lives. I think we can be thankful for all the good moms and even the not-so-great moms, since they both inspire us to be better.  I am grateful for my mom and grateful for the privilege of being a mom. I hope my kids turn out as good as I did. =)

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