M.O.M.

Mother’s Day, 2011.  I am so thankful for my mother, and that we still have her here with us.  I am thankful she is a Christian mother, and brought us up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  It was at her side that I learned about Jesus and faith and prayer.  It was following in her footsteps that I became a mother just like her.

On this Mother’s Day I am thankful to be a mom—and a grandmother.  There were times in my life when I dreamed of other paths for my life; even times when I regretted that I did not have some sort of great career, but God knew what was best for me and in His great wisdom He set me on the path He had designed for me and made me a mother.  I could not ask for a greater joy—unless it is to be a grandma, as well!

Every year someone comes up with a different estimation as to the dollar value of a mother’s job.  When they add in all the roles a mother must play—housekeeper, cook, laundress, nurse, chauffeur, psychologist, teacher and so on—the figure recently has ranged anywhere from $61,436 to $117,000.  Somehow my paycheck has never appeared in my mailbox!  Ah, well…  I’ll console myself with the fact that my rewards for a job well done as a mother will be in Heaven with me someday!

A Christian mother has so many more roles to play than just the obvious, of course.  My own mother was a fine example to me of what a mom should be.  She taught me that a MOM is a:

Master Of Management – This is the obvious.  Some of us are better at it than others, of course, but what mom hasn’t been the one who finds whatever it is that is lost?  Mom, have you seen my ______?  (Fill in the blank.)  We are, if not the actual doers (and we usually are), then the designators—the ones ultimately responsible for keeping home and hearth running smoothly.  We are the ones who remember the appointments and schedules, make sure the homework gets done, sees that everyone’s needs are met for the next day…and so on.  Proverbs 31 gives us a perfect example of a M.O.M.—Master Of Management.  The Virtuous Woman had it all together.  My mom did a great job, too.  She kept a clean house, clean kids, and somehow, even when money was tight and she did not have all the technology that we have today, made it all work so that we felt secure and well-cared for.

Mender Of Mayhem – Of course, things don’t always go right but when they don’t, Mom is the band-aid dispenser, the fixer-upper, the problem-solver.  Nothing makes it feel better than a Mommy’s kiss and a hug, or her words of sympathy.  I have discovered the truth to the old axiom, “Little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems.”  A mom will always be a mom, no matter how old her children get.  She will try to be the one to fix the problem, or if she cannot, she will wish with all her heart she could.  She will wish she could reach through the telephone lines to give her crying daughter a hug.  She will sacrifice to “make it right.”  I am fifty-nine years old and my mother is eighty.  The band-aid days are long past, but she still tries to be the fixer-upper and problem solver.  A mom will always be a MOM—a Mender Of Mayhem and the example of Galatians 6:2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

Molder Of Morals – A mom is our first teacher.  The one at whose knee we begin to learn the difference between right and wrong.  The one who teaches us to share, to obey, to be a helper.  The one who firmly, but in love, disciplines because she knows it is the best interest of the child.  She is the one who begins to shape our character and wants more than anything to see her children grow up to be fine adults and, if she is a Christian herself, godly followers of Jesus Christ.  The Christian mother loves God’s Word and will take seriously the admonition in Deuteronomy 6:6, 7, And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  My mother raised five children to love the Lord, His Word and His people, and to be responsible members of society, even though it might have been a whole lot easier just to let us do whatever we wanted.  I am grateful that she was a MOM—a Molder of Morals—to us.  What she taught us, will be carried through for generations.

Minister Of Motivation – There are no more treasured words of encouragement and support than those that come from our mothers (and dads!)  From the time that we are little ones, we delight in Mommy cheering us on as we roll over for the first time, or take our first steps, or go potty in the potty!  She is there to encourage and guide as we learn to tie our shoes “all by myself!”  Her words of praise as we learn to read and write are music to our ears.  We go on to conquer math problems, enter the science fair, make the team, get our first job with her words of encouragement to spur us on.  Proverbs 25:11 says, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.  I always knew my mother stood behind me, supporting and encouraging me in whatever I attempted.  She had faith in me, even when I didn’t have faith in myself.  And it was not only her words that encouraged me, but the example of her life.  I was motivated to be a woman and mother like my mom—my Minister Of Motivation.

Maker Of Memories – My husband grew up in a family that had very few traditions or family celebrations, or even simple family times together.  I think that is why he has always appreciated the traditions that we have established in our own family and the family times—special or simple day-to-day—that we celebrate.  I learned the importance of those things from my mother.  We still treasure and replay the memories we share over and over.  We giggle over the silly things and get misty-eyed over sentimental things.  And though the traditions and family celebrations are important to me, my memories of the simple times with my mom are just as precious.  Memories of drying dishes while she washed and we shared the events of the day.  Memories of her setting my hair on Saturday night in preparation for church the next day while we talked.  Memories of running home from school and finding her there and good smells coming from the oven.  The memories I have of my past and my mother tell me that nothing was more important to her than family.  MOM was the Maker of Memories back then, and I will treasure my memories of her always, Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ… (I Thessalonians 1:3)—and go on making precious memories with my own family.

Mistress Of Merriment – There’s an old saying that goes, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”  Mom sets the tone in the home.  Mark Lowry, the Christian comedian, does a hilarious bit called “Mama was a Screamer.”  I am sure there are times when most mothers can relate to feeling pushed to the limit and wanting to pull their hair out in frustration, but hopefully they’re not screamers on a regular basis!  No one wants to walk around on egg shells, afraid to set Mom off on a rant, or feeling like they are constantly under the black cloud of Mom’s depression.  A peaceful, joyful home is founded on trust in the Lord.  Mom knows God will see them through, even in the hard times.  She is secure in the knowledge that He will provide, protect and guide and lives by the words of Psalm 5:11, “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” The Lord puts a song in our hearts and in our mouths when we trust in Him.   My mother was a whistler and a singer as she went about the house.  I learned the old, old hymns from her and learned to whistle, too!  And now I follow in her footsteps, happily singing, whistling, humming as I go about my work.  Proverbs 15: 13, 15 says, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken…All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.”  Proverbs 17:22 goes on to say, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”  Proverbs even tells us what it is like to live with a woman who is not joyful: “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” (Proverbs 21:19) and “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” (Proverbs 27:15)  I would far rather be a MOM—Mistress of Merriment and make Home be a happy, joyful, fun place, with laughter and music echoing off the walls!

Mover Of Mountains – What a blessing it is to have a mother who is a MOM—Mover of Mountains!  My mother is a woman of faith and a prayer warrior.  I grew up knowing what it meant to simply trust God even when I didn’t understand.  I knew what it meant to have a mother who was praying for me and many, many others.  Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”  Mom’s faith was simple and is summed up in a verse we lived by in our home—Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”  My mother believed God’s Word and trusted Him to keep it and taught her children to believe, as well.  She could not have given us a greater gift, or taught a more valuable truth.  It is her example, I think, that instilled in me the desire to be a woman of faith and prayer like my mother, a MOM—Mover of Mountains.

Model Of Motherhood – My mother was an example to me in all the areas of my life and in all the functions of a mother that I wanted to instill into my own daughters.  I looked at her as a young teenager, and I can actually remember thinking, “I want to be a mother like my mom.”  I don’t think there can be a higher compliment.  Oh, of course she wasn’t perfect, but she was a great mother (still is!) and a beautiful MOM—Model of Motherhood.  We, as mothers, know all too well our own shortcomings and failures, our strengths and weaknesses, and we often feel guilty that we are not “perfect.”  I have news for you—God does not expect you to be perfect, and neither do your children!  We do need to strive, however, to the best of our ability, to be the best role model we can be for our daughters of a godly mother and to our sons of the kind of girl he ought to look for in a wife someday—“a girl like the girl who married dear, old dad!”  We are role models, as well, to others who may not have a good mother, and to the coming generations.  Titus 2:3-5 tells older women to be role models to the younger women.  “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” 

Mother’s Day is nice.  It is good to feel appreciated and to receive little tokens of our family’s love and thanks.  Four year old Matthew told me he got earrings for his mommy—“white stars with pokey things that stick in her ears.”  He picked them out himself, so pleased and proud to buy Mommy a gift.  Unfortunately the good feelings didn’t quite last.  I’m told he marched into the house Saturday night with his gift, tired and cranky after all that shopping, and before anyone could stop him, threw them at his mother!  Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, I guess!

Whether a mother’s worth in dollar and cents is $61,436 or $117,000 by the world’s standards, the value of a Christian MOM—priceless!

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