Saturday, May 10, 2014

I Remember Mama

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise) Eph 6:1–2 (NASB95)

When our daughter, Kathy, was participating in a parenting class at her church, she explained to her 6-year-old daughter, Kayla, that she was taking a course to help make her a better mommy. The next Sunday, after church, Kayla became upset and had a tantrum because she was not getting her way. Both parents tried to calm her. But with tears streaming down her face and in a loud voice, Kayla announced to her mother, "You told me you were taking a course to make you a better mommy. Well, it's not working!" – Shirley Ratcliff, "Kids of the Kingdom," Christian Reader (July/August 2003)

I had a great mother! One of the stark realizations of growing up is finding out that’s not true for everybody. I grew up in a neighborhood of good mothers. There were three houses in a row on our street with kids my age. All the mom participated in parenting all of us. It was a great place to be a kid. But for some reason, even though we had the worst yard to play in (smaller, dirt instead of grass, big oak tree with huge roots, etc.) we probably spent more time in our house/yard than the others.

It could have been because my mother was a good cook. But I really think there was more to it. My mother loved people. Oh, she could get aggravated and yell with the best of them. And don’t think it was because she let us get away with things. Nope. I think it was because she was a good mom.

Not only do I remember plenty of people sharing our table, but there was almost always somebody at our house visiting just to drink coffee and talk. That meant there was plenty of laughing and good times. She knew how to make you feel good, feel loved, feel appreciated, feel wanted. The world needs more that!

Don’t misunderstand. My mother was not always the best example. Get her riled and she might let a word slip that the rest of us would get whacked for saying. Her life was not without difficulty and mistakes. My mom and dad divorced when I was twelve. For years she didn’t go to church. She sent me with my aunt who lived down the street, but she didn’t go. She went back when I was a teenager. But I don’t think she ever left her faith. And don’t let anybody mess with her kids. She could be a lion.

Mothers Day is great for a lot of people. Like me, they had great moms. But that’s not true for everyone. Sometimes, moms just fail. It’s sad when that happens because it can affect a person’s whole life. If you know somebody like that, don’t press the issue. Just give them a special hug and let them know that today, right now, you love and appreciate them. If you had a great mom, be thankful. Tell her, if she’s still around. A few words of love and thanks go a very long way.