Thursday, 2 January 2014

A Tribute To My Mother In Honor Of Her Birthday

Dear Mom,
Happy Birthday! I wanted to write you a letter to tell you how wonderful you are. And while I could have sent it to you privately, I decided to send it publically, for all the world to see! (All 97 of them!)
I choose to do this, because I want to honor you......
......because I love you.
First of all, I want to thank you for all of your love and support throughout my entire life. And while others might think that I was a dream child, you and I (and Dad) know differently, don't we? I was not always easy. Especially after I graduated. Those were a rough few years. At that time I was living a life that did not honor you......or me. And now 20 years later, I can begin to understand how that would have hurt you. And yet, you were always there for me. Loving me, praying for me. Your door was always open to me. And when the day came that I would have to tell you that I was pregnant, instead of being angry, you put your arms around me and told me you wanted a girl. (We didn't get a girl, did we? But we did get the best Nicholas in the entire world!) I don't think I ever told you what that meant to me. Because Mom, it was in that moment that I knew no matter what, I would always have my mother in corner. In that moment , I knew your love would never fail. And it never has.

Thank you for loving my children like they were your own. I see it. I feel it.
And so do they.

Thank you for hurting for me, when I hurt.

And thank you for cheering me on when I need cheering.

Thank you for always telling me how beautiful I am. It's such a little thing, and I do realize that you are slightly biased, but it has always meant the world to me.
I am investing those same words into my own beautiful daughter.
And thank-you for teaching me about putting things into perspective. I remember one time asking you the whereabouts of  some special glass candle holder (I think it was from party-lite!) that you had, and you told me that dad had knocked it off the shelf and had broken it. It was a favorite of yours, and I commented that you must have been really mad at dad for breaking it. To this day, I have never forgotten your response. You said that while you were disappointed that it was broken, your weren't mad at dad, because he was much more important than any special candle holder. And I would also like to tell you, that when a month later, Nicholas knocked my favorite party-lite candle holder off a table and broke it, in that moment, I remembered your words.

Mom, I also want to tell you how beautiful you are. I don't think you realize it. And I'm not just talking about your outward appearance. Because while you are so very beautiful on the outside, it is your heart that is the most beautiful of all. I don't know what it is about you, but you have this way of making people feel loved. All people. Every-one. In all 41 years off my life, I have seen you invest in peoples lives. I bet you never realized you were doing that, did you? I bet you just thought you were inviting people over for dinner. I bet you thought you were just playing games around the kitchen table. But you were doing so much more. You still are. Your home is so often filled with people. Your spare bedrooms are so often occupied. Your kitchen is so often bursting with food, and more importantly, it is always bursting with love. You are making a difference in people's lives. People are experiencing Jesus in your home, and in your heart.

There is a passage in Matthew 25 that I think of when I think of you.

31-33 “When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
This is who you are.
And this is what I love best about you in the whole world.
It is why I am so proud of you.
This is why I want to be like you.
This is what makes you, you.
And this is why I why I want to honor you.
You are the best woman I know.
I love you, mom.
Happy Birthday!