Happy Mother’s Day. I always hate living so far away from you, but it’s even tougher on days like today. From all six of us in Texas: We love you, miss you, and wish you a Happy Mother’s (Grandmother’s) Day!
A few years ago I wrote a tribute to Mic called Five Lessons Learned From My Step-Dad. In that post, I shared five things I learned from him over the years. In honor of Mother’s Day, it’s only fair (and right) for me now to share a few lessons I’ve learned from you over the past 44 years. While it’s hard to share only five things, I’ll limit this post to five Lessons I learned from you so I can be consistent with dad’s tribute:
1. Beauty can grow out of adversity. If others get the chance to meet you, I want them to ask you to share your story with them. You’re one of 10 children born to my grandparents, and you were born in modern-day Jerusalem in 1945. Due to literal wars being fought in the city, my grandparents (your parents) were forced to flee from your home for fear of getting captured or killed. You ran from home to home and finally migrated to Canada, where you grew up.
I know life wasn’t easy for you for so many reasons. Language barriers, financial challenges, and growing up in a large family were just a few of the many trials you faced. But, you loved each other and shared many unforgettable memories around the dinner table, in your home, and in the community. I love watching you and your siblings interact all these years down the road. It’s a beauty that’s born out of the adversity you faced.
2. The Value of Fun and Laughter. You know how to laugh and have fun. When I look at my boys, I know where they get their sense of humor and fun. You’re playful, like to laugh, and in spite of the many challenges you’ve faced, your smile goes ear to ear. I love watching you interact with Duncan: the ways you play games together on your iPad, talk about the books you’re reading, and snuggle up together on the couch when you come visit us. You buy them games like Mashball and Spikeball because you enjoy watching them have fun.
As I think back on our home life growing up, you created so many moments of fun and laughter. Even after dad passed away, you knew how to make Chris and me laugh. Thank you, Mom.
3. How to be a Selfless Spouse. I’ve shared about this one before on my blog. You loved Mic in the great times and in the trying times. Anyone can love their spouse when life is good and the world is marked by “better, richer, and health.” It takes a special spouse to love when married life is marked by “for worse, in poorer, and in sickness.” Yet, you loved Mic no matter what, all the way up to his last days.
You showed me what marriage should look like. Even though I’m a marriage pastor who helps others, you taught me more valuable lessons than I’ve ever read in a book or taught from a pulpit. Thank you for modeling Christ’s love for us in the way you cared for and loved Mic. I wasn’t old enough to remember how you loved Dad when he passed away when I was six, but I’m confident you loved him in the same, selfless way.
4. How to roll up your sleeves and do what you need to do. Dad died when he was 39 years old. I was six and Chris was three years old. You raised us as a single parent for almost four years, not to mention the two years prior to dad passing away when he was not able to help much. You did what you needed to do, and you sacrificed and worked hard.
For years, as a single parent, you raised us, parented us, and provided an income. If you didn’t, we wouldn’t eat or have the money to pay bills. Those were some hard years after dad passed away. You are so strong. I remember so many of the sacrifices you made for our family, as well as all the ways you still made us laugh.
I’ve never been a single parent, but I know it’s a 24-hour/day, thankless job. Thank you for the sacrifices you made for Chris and me. You are my hero.
5. How to navigate blended family life. I know from working with many blended families, that stepfamily life can be extremely challenging. Between ex-spouses, co-parenting issues, and different expectations, most blended families struggle in many ways. You excel in this area, by the ways you love and care for Mic’s three children. You treat them like they’re your own, value your relationship with them, and include them in all that you do. Chris and I have a great relationship with all three of them, largely because of the ways you’ve built a relationship with them.
I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!
I know for many of you, memories of mom might bring up pain, hurt, and brokenness. I grieve for you and see challenges all around me in marriage ministry with families of origin. If this is your story, please read my friend Elizabeth’s post: It’s Mother’s Day… Go Ahead and Cry. Her words will bring you comfort and remind you that you’re not alone.
- What letter would you write to your mom? How would you encourage her? What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from your mom?
- Enjoy a great video from Igniter Media & RT Creative – Mom!
- If you feel so inclined, write something on Facebook, Instagram, or on your own blog and include the hashtag: #dearmom17 (Thank you for the challenge, Tim Challies!).
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