Posts Tagged ‘moms’
Today’s my mother’s birthday. She would have been 92. She left us quietly from a hospice room one sunny December day in Ft. Myers, Florida, nearly 7 ½ years ago. She was a deep believer, and I know one day I will see her again. So why am I still crying?
Well, for starters: She was, next to my husband, my best friend. Being my mother, she knew me in a way no one else could. Mothers are really the only ones on the planet who know us through and through, know us from the very beginning—and love us anyway!
She was also a great listener. She felt my sorrows along with me—maybe even more deeply than I did. You know that old saying: “This hurts me more than it does you.” I never believed it as a kid. It took becoming a mother to “get it.” Now, as mother and grandmother, I get it. Big time!
And she was funny. And spunky. And smart. Not highly educated—but very smart. Once a hugely successful realtor, she retired “cold turkey” when she moved to live near us. She channeled all that energy and drive and love of people into her grandchildren, and into the many women she mentored in Mom to Mom and at Women’s Bible Study at our church.
She was also my biggest prayer partner. She was the first one I called with every prayer request, large or small. Or even trivial. I would blab my heart out, and she would listen and empathize. And pray. When I hung up, I felt so much better—and I bet she felt a whole lot worse! (Remember the part about mothers feeling their children’s pain?)
Recently I attended the funeral of a wonderful woman of God who reminded me a little of my mother. Her daughter, the mother of three daughters herself, read a beautiful piece she had written for her daughters about their grandmother—and the two generations of women before her. It began: “You stand on the shoulders of four.”
I was immediately taken back to memories of not only my mother, but my two grandmothers. They were very different. Grandma was a farm lady from a tiny town in western Minnesota. The other, my mother’s mother and my Nana, was the wife of a jeweler/postal carrier/watch repairman in Springfield, Illinois. They had very different lives and they had very different personalities.
But they had one thing in common. Each of them came to faith through evangelistic crusades in their towns. Each of them got out of their seats and went forward alone, eventually leading their husband and families into Bible-preaching, Christ-centered churches in which to raise their children. Each of them became strong women of faith and faithful prayer warriors.
My dad loved to tell the story of how when his mother (Grandma) went forward, her husband (Grandpa) said, “Anna, you sit down. You’re a good church woman. You don’t need to go up there.” But Anna did not sit down. How thankful I am for that—I, along with her six other grandchildren, now having raised our own children in the path of her prayers.
Her prayers. And Nana’s. And my mom’s and dad’s prayers as well.
It’s those prayers that live on. What did E. M. Bounds say? “Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who utter them.” It’s those prayers that help me this morning to turn my tears into gratitude, my mourning into dancing.
But I still wish we had phone lines—or at least internet connections—with Heaven.
Moms, Moms Everywhere—that’s actually the title of a LifeWay webcast in which I participated recently (to be aired today at noon (CDT), Tuesday, September 18 and available at Lifeway Women Live). But it’s also how I feel this time of year.
OK, so I see moms everywhere all year round. But recently I’ve been particularly impressed by how much we moms need each other. As the school year opens, I always hear (and sometimes see) the excitement of moms reconnecting at their Mom to Mom groups—or starting a new one. This coming weekend I’ll be with hundreds of moms at the wonderful .Mom conference in Birmingham (I think you can still register!) Then next month I’ll be in Colorado with loads of moms at the Hearts at Home conference in Colorado Springs. And then in November with many more at Hearts at Home in Rochester, Minnesota. Moms, Moms everywhere—and I love it!
But it’s not just at big conferences or even in Mom to Mom groups. I see moms in our neighborhood, at the supermarket, at church, at the mall—really, everywhere I go. They are old and young, biological moms and adoptive moms and foster moms and blended-family moms, grandmoms raising grandchildren—all kinds of moms.
But there’s a common theme. I see it in their faces and body language and I hear it in their tone of voice. Moms need encouragement. Lots of encouragement. Last week I spoke at a local Mom to Mom, and a conversation with one mom captured it. It was this woman’s first time at Mom to Mom. At the end, she stopped and talked with me. She wanted to thank me for “doing this.” She told me about her own mom, her husband and family, and how she was doing as a mom. “I think I need spiritual mothering,” she said. She went on to tell me why. But she ended her conversation with this: “Thank you. This has been so helpful. I just feel so encouraged.”
Praise God! Just want we want to do at Mom to Mom: encourage moms. Just what the people who plan big mom-conferences want to do: encourage moms. And just what every one of us can look to do in our own lives: encourage moms. Whether you’re a new mom or an experienced mom with grown kids or grandkids, whether you are part of a moms’ group or not—wherever you live, whatever you do, there are moms everywhere around you that you can encourage. With a smile. With a word of affirmation. With a helping hand at the door of Walmart or the public library. With a meal to a sick mom. Or, best of all, some spiritual encouragement: let a mom know you’ll pray for her (and DO it!), invite her into your moms’ group or Bible Study, or watch her kids when they’re sick so she can go to her Bible Study or moms’ group.
A challenge: Look around you and look for a mom you can encourage—today. It’s much-needed. It’s fun. And it’s Biblical: “So encourage one another daily…” (Hebrews 3:13) Do it!
And if any of you have some creative suggestions for encouraging moms, or can share an experience where you were encouraged by another mom—I’d love to hear from you! Or, if by chance you’re going to be in Birmingham September 21-22; in Colorado Springs October 12-13; or Rochester, Minnesota, November 9-10, come see me. We can encourage each other!
I’m excited to invite you all to LifeWay’s first-ever conference just for moms! It will be held September 23–24, 2011, in Birmingham. Alabama. Featured keynoters will include women whom some of you may know as favorite Bible Study teachers. They are also moms: Priscilla Shirer, Vicki Courtney, and Angela Thomas, among others. There will be tons of breakouts to choose from, lots of laughs guaranteed, and a “Mom Squad” to answer questions you might have.
Mom to Mom will be there, too. I’ll be doing two of the breakout sessions, and we’ll be exhibiting, so we hope you’ll stop by and see us!
We’re so excited about this that we’re planning to give away two tickets to winners we’ll draw from those who comment on either of my next two blog posts (First Post, Second Post) by noon (EDT) on Thursday, July 28. Winners will be announced on Friday, July 29. Don’t miss this chance! And for more details on the conference, check out this link.