Another Christmas has come and gone where I had the privilege of pondering Jesus like His mother Mary did. Another Christmas has come and gone where I watched mothers and daughter love on each other. Another Christmas has come and gone with “my girls” loving on me and me on them. Another Christmas has come and gone where I was amazed by the gift of grandchildren.
And another Christmas has come and gone without a word, a letter, or a phone call from my Mom. Of course, another Christmas has come and gone for my mom without a word, a letter, or a phone call from her daughter – that be me! Why? What’s the hold-up? Is there still un-forgiveness between us? Do we have irreconcilable differences? Do we not truly love each other? So many questions could be asked, answered, pondered, debated, or argued. But in truth…none of them matter…only that I love my Mom and always will.
A tribute is an expression of gratitude or praise, something said or given to show admiration to someone. Most people write a tribute about somebody they are close to, has had a positive influence on them, or they have a deep love and respect for that other person. Most people do not write a tribute about somebody they haven’t spoken to in nearly six years, whose relationship has always been rocky at best but most often non-existent, where misunderstandings are abundant, and the walls are high and thick between the two.
But that’s exactly what I want to do…My mom is my mom…whether we talk or not, ever see each again other this side of heaven or not, like each other or not…She is my mom! I have only to stop and think my God chose to create me in her womb…isn’t that amazing? He didn’t choose some other woman, but my mom. That makes me smile!
Oh sure…there have been years of tears and no smiles…years of playing the blame and shame game…years of being the victim…years of accusations and wall building…years of complaining and grumbling; years of wishing for something else…years of wasted thoughts…but in the end, my mom is my mom and I love her.
Why do I love her? Because she was chosen for me and I for her! Because she said yes when God gave me to her though she might have wanted to say no; Because she chose life for me and not death; Because she held me close and rocked me at night making me feel wanted; Because she couldn’t just walk away on my first day of kindergarten as I sat, petrified, on the piano bench next to the teacher with tears streaming down my face. She peered through the little window in the door until I calmed down.
Because she cooked great meals and made sure I ate healthy and appreciated food; Because she sang “You Are My Sunshine, my only sunshine” when we did dishes at night. Because she held me close when my eardrums were infected and bursting, crying right along with me. Because she nursed me through chicken pox, fevers, and flu, mended cuts, a crushed trachea, fat lips, and all my other injuries from “going too far”.
Because she held my hand at the dentist and let me hold her hand every Sunday in church as I played with her veins and nail polish (weird but true). Because she took me to church, Sunday School, and youth group. Because she introduced me to independence; letting me play at the park by myself, go ice skating, sledding, snowmobiling, play sports with the boys, even knowing I was going to get hurt.
Because she took me to the state fair every year and bought me goodies. Because she went with me on long bike rides in the summer. Because she signed me up for “beginning” swimming three years in a row because I just couldn’t learn how to swim. Because she let me take part in sports at school even though she never had the opportunity to play herself. Because she was a strong disciplinarian making sure I knew the difference between right and wrong.
Because she forced me to know and appreciate hard work by making me get a full-time babysitting job for three kids when I was fifteen years old, spending the summer wiping noses and changing diapers. Because she went to bat for me so I could get my first “official” job at Bridgeman’s Ice Cream though I had no experience. Then again at Montgomery Wards when I was in college (she worked at one and got me a job at another). Because she dropped me off at college and let me grow up though I was scared and she would be alone. I could go on and on and on.
All this – yet we are not in relationship. We have tried. It just hasn’t worked. I still honor her though. In fact, it’s an honor to honor my mom! The Bible says “Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
I could spend my time trying to figure out how to make right what is all wrong, how to restore what has been stolen, or how to reconstruct what has been dismantled. OR… I will just love my mom for being my mom. I will count my mom as my blessing. I will count it all joy. I will thank God for choosing my mom for me! I won’t try to figure it out anymore. I won’t recount all the bad things .I won’t look at what I don’t have but what I do have. I won’t think what could have been but I will look at what is. I won’t talk about what I wanted but that God has given me what I needed. I can tell you, it has all worked together and it IS good. Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Some of you reading this have great moms; imperfect but great. Some of you wouldn’t say your moms are all that great! If that is you, I pray you look for the greatness of God in the midst of imperfection! I never thought my mom was “great” but now? Wow! She is GREAT! Why? Because she belongs to my great God and He does great things with great people!
Another Christmas has come and gone…the greatness of God is here to stay! Thank You, Father God for my mom. You’re the greatest and You chose my mom FOR ME making her the greatest mom on earth! And mom…here’s to you! You’re the best!