To Moms Everywhere …
This is your day! We celebrate the height, the depth, and the breadth of your love. We celebrate the rare beauty that radiates from you as you love others. We extol your ability to be thankful in all things and understand more than most Who is the Giver of all good things. We marvel at your wisdom and nestle into the comfort of your loving arms.
As we celebrate all of you, grant me the privilege of celebrating my own precious mother, using the excerpt from First Fruits on Encouragement …
Do you have someone in your life who is a champion of encouragement to you? I hope so. In my life, there are two women who stand tall in matters of encouragement. The first, I am happy to say, is my mother. She introduced me to The Savior, and continually encouraged me to walk in His Ways. She led by example and was eager to underscore her words with The Word of God. My failure and disobedience never kept her captive, but only gave her inspiration to encourage me all the more. No matter what I might say or do that would discourage another mother, my mom found the silver lining in all my efforts. It is as if she refused to focus on my weaknesses, but rather my strengths. (Like the day I painted her best friends’ brand new washing machine red – though mortified in the most obvious sense, she was probably thinking on another level how creative I was!) What a great role model she has been!
The second woman is a dear friend who has been with the Lord for a number of years. Her name is Tommie Sue. We met when she moved here from Houston with her husband, Dan, who joined our ministerial staff. A few of us helped her unpack and set up her kitchen in a home just a block from our church. What struck me about Tommie Sue was her generous spirit and her smile. We became fast friends and the next fall she taught the first Prestonwood Injoy Women’s Bible study in my home.
She introduced me to Psalm 37:4 (NASB): “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” She set such a good example of doing just that, as I watched her set her sights on the Lord in everything. She encouraged me all the time; sometimes with words, but most often with her actions. Her coffers were full with a husband she adored and three daughters who exemplified the love and encouragement she gave so freely.
I thought of Tommie Sue today as I began refinishing a mantel I purchased recently. As I applied the stripping agent and began scraping away all the layers of paint and varnish, the years seemed to fade away, as I remembered the day God gave Tommie Sue one of the desires of her heart—this mantel. She was so excited with her big smile and those bright eyes shining, as she exclaimed, “Suzy, just look what Dan has given me!” Did I mention that back then, she was the only one who called me Suzy besides my mom? What a blessing to have this mantel as a reminder of a dear friend who impacted my life more than she ever knew.
I am convinced God places people in our lives to encourage us—to make us more determined, hopeful and confident. Thank God for the encourager in your life. And if you don’t think you have one, think again … “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NLT)