|My mom loving my kids.|
It was only a little story told to encourage and inspire, but a week later I'm still thinking about it. The gist of it was a couple men standing around discussing their favorite Bible translation. The first extolled the King James Version, for the reverence and majesty it preserved. The second liked the NIV, for it's simplicity. The third man thought for a moment, then stated that he preferred his mother's translation. The other two men looked at him, a bit surprised, and asked which version she'd helped to translate. The man simply answered "my mother translated the Bible into life."
I couldn't help but to think of my own dear Mom as I heard this story. I can easily say that so much of what I know in life, at least what's really worth knowing, I've learned from her. Here are a few of the ways she's translated God's love into life:
She put her family first. My mom served us night and day, year after year, in little ways and big ways. I really don't remember her having hobbies or interests that didn't revolve around her family. What she did, she did for us. And not only for us, but with us. I learned to sew on her lap, a skill I later was able to use professionally. I learned to cook at her side, another skill I've used not only to pay the bills, but to bless people all over the world. I learned to care for babies, to love my husband, to be a good friend, from hanging out with my mom. I never felt like an interruption into her life. Day or night, I could go to my mom, and she would welcome me.
She loved God, and naturally shared that love with us. It was common for her to sit down for a few minutes and open her well worn Bible. When I was afraid, which was often, she would read me Scriptures of comfort and peace. She prayed with us and for us. (I've written here about her Bible, and one of the ways she's prayed for us.)
She loved others. There was always room at our table for some lonely soul; a traveling salesman, an older person with no family, a troubled teenager. If they couldn't come to us, it was common for her to take a meal to them. We never had a lot, but there was always enough to share. She's always been full of mercy, quick to help bear the burdens of others.
I wrote these things in the past tense, but they're still true. Even though her five children are grown, she still pours her life into us. We're all married with our own families, eleven grandchildren for her to love. And love them she does. It blesses me so much to see the relationship my kids have with their grandma. I can still count on my mom to be there for me, day or night. (And yes, I do call her in the middle of the night sometimes, to ask a question about a sick child, or to have her to pray with me.) She still seeks God, she still prays for us. She comes over and helps me when I'm overwhelmed, or sick, or just because. She still cares for those around her, serving the poor of our community, feeding the homeless, loving the unloveable. She still cooks amazing meals for her family and friends, and there is always enough to share.
|My Mom with a newborn me, 1975|
She has translated the Gospel for me, into life. She has showed me what this looks like, to live a life empty of self and full of Love. I'm so thankful for the gift she's given me, the gift she continues to give. She would probably want me to point out that she's far from perfect, so I will. But she is remarkable.
I struggle each day with emptying myself, with giving up the things I desire in order to serve and love my family. I falter through each day, getting impatient, apologizing, laughing, crying, seeking to translate God's love into life for my own children. By God's grace, I hope to do it half as well as my Mom has.
Thank you Mom, for all you do and for being who you are. I love you so much. Happy Mother's Day!