With Mother’s Day fast approaching it seemed appropriate to do a blog post on the mom that made me. With that being said, it’s hard to narrow down a lifetime of learning to three lessons. My mom is a pretty incredible lady. She raised 5 of her own kids and influenced countless of others with a home daycare that she operated my entire childhood. Starting as a volunteer, she is now on staff and runs Baby Bay, the nursery environment at NewSpring Church and has done so for many years now.
So to boil down everything this woman has done, taught, and influenced me in, to 3 points is quite a feat ladies and gentlemen. Seriously you should be impressed. (Okay maybe one of the lessons that didn’t make this list is to stay humble- which she did teach me-so I’ll try)
The point is that this list is by no means exhaustive but for the OCD, ADD side of me, three seemed like a good number to start. Regardless, I owe much of the blessings in my life to my two awesome parents and especially my mother who passed on a heritage of faith, love, and humility.
- Love God — Trust God:
One thing is for sure I owe my faith to my mom. My mom took all 5 of us kids to church every Sunday. If the church was open we were there. It wasn’t just about church though. When I was in the fourth grade our church was going through some turmoil. There was some infighting, some cliques, some petty power struggles. You know, the basic things that happen in church, that shouldn’t happen in church, but for some reason still happen in church. My mom had to face the decision of either staying or moving to another church. But it wasn’t about a building or just tradition. Despite the fact that she had to look for a new church on her own. Despite the fact that there were whispers about anyone who left our old church. Despite the fact that my siblings and me dragged our feet every step of the stinkin’ way. My mom moved churches. It was because she knew that she wanted her kids to love and serve God. As a mother she felt she had a call to serve God by teaching her kids about Him. So we moved churches so that she could do that. I remember that transition. As a kid I remember overhearing conversations about how hard it was for her and not completely understanding. The fact of the matter is though, without that one act of bravery, independence, and faith I wouldn’t have as strong of a faith as I do today. I wouldn’t have met the amazing wife and mother to my children that I have today. I wouldn’t have the job I have today. She taught me early on that a life worth living is a life serving the God that made and ultimately died for me.
- Family Matters
The longer I’m in ministry the more I come to understand that my family experience is the exception. Most families don’t experience a mom and a dad that stick together for over 30 years. Most families don’t have siblings that spend time together often and enjoy it. I’m incredibly blessed to be a part of the family that I am and I owe a lot of that to my parents. I remember one time specifically when as a moody middle schooler I shouted “I wish you weren’t my brother!”
It did not end well for me.
I remember once, in high school, after a long, tedious, tiring day of daycare asking my mom why she started a home daycare. The thing you have to understand about her home daycare was that the entire first floor of our house was covered in…well daycare. My mom took her work and put it in her home…where she was around it…all the time. That takes a toll.
The funny thing was the response when I asked. I remember her saying that at her old job she couldn’t spend enough time at home. Taking her home life and turning it into a work life was a way that she could spend more time with her kids. Now I understand the working from home solution doesn’t work for everyone but as a highschooler, only concerned with my stuff, thinking about all of my goals and aspirations for a career? That response surprised me. It wasn’t about what was best for my mom it was about what she felt was best for her family.
I learned there were a lot of times my family came before my mom. That was a big deal.
- Work is Worth It
It’s true that “more is caught then taught”. I don’t necessarily remember my parents sitting me down and saying: “Jesse, you work hard, that’s important.”
Here’s what I know though. “Mahannah stubbornness” could be a trademarked term. For better or worse Mahannah’s have this stubborn streak that runs through them. It gets us into trouble sometimes. Honestly though, that stubbornness is born out of the understanding that work is worth it.
If you don’t have the answer–find it.
If you can’t the first time–do it again.
If you were there at the start–you’re there at the finish.
Much of the way I approach work, problems, and issues comes from my mom’s tireless approach to raising 5 rambunctious kids.
So there are three lessons that I learned from my mom. Of course, as I said before it’s not exhaustive but it is representative of the great mom that helped me become the man I am today. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, my amazing wife, Sarah, and all you mom’s who teach more than you’ll ever know.