In 27 days my whole world is going to change. I will live in a new place. I will have a new name. I will have a new title. I will have new responsibilities and expectations placed on me. That’s a lot of changes to get accustomed to! Am I freaking out? Not really. Know why? Because I have the world’s best role model who showed me how to handle all of those things all the years of my life. I call her Mom.
My mother was one of the best pictures of Jesus I had growing up, because she modeled sacrificial love to all of her kids every single day. It says in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down in life for his friends,” and in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” My mom modeled both of these verses daily, because she was constantly sacrificing so her kids could have the best of everything. Sometimes it was simple things, like turning the channel from the episode of “Little House on the Prairie” that she really wanted to watch to “Richard Scarry’s Busytown” or “Blue’s Clues”—shows she had most likely seen every single episode about five times and probably wanted to pull her hair out if she had to watch them again. Did I ever hear her complain about it though? Sure didn’t. She changed the channel willingly because she loved us.
Sometimes the sacrifice is bigger. My sister Katie and I both felt called to invest in a private, Christian education—an education with a hefty price tag. While we had both worked part-time jobs and saved money for college while in high school, we still needed help, and my mom was able to supplement when things got tight because of the long hours she worked and continues to work. Sacrificing time and money is a hard thing to repay, and I hope my Mom knows how much we both appreciate her willingness to work long hours so we can have a good future.
I could go on and on and give countless examples of how my Mom has sacrificed so that her kids could benefit. If you spend any amount of time with her, you know one of her love languages is giving gifts—be it time, money, and especially love—it just overflows from her heart. That’s why she was in the audience for every single school performance any of us kids were in. Every “Writer’s Round Table,” school concert and play, every soccer, volleyball and basketball game, every cross country and track meet. It’s why her amazingly loud whistle could be heard after all of those performances. It’s why she was jumping up and down on the sidelines as I raced by. It’s why she willingly hugged my smelly, sweaty body at the finish line of every race. She loves better than anyone I know because she does it when it’s not convenient, and that is a priceless lesson she has given me.
She is why when we moved Ben into our new apartment, every floor was scrubbed and every inch of the place was dusted and cleaned. She is why there is a good, home-cooked meal on the table most nights of the week and why there is constantly a candle burning somewhere in our new place.
She is the reason I am able to love. Because she showed me Christ’s love through her actions, Christ’s love is in me, and it’s why I am confident in my soon to be role as wife and the role of mother I hope the play in the years to come. Because of her willingness to sacrifice so many things for us, I can walk confidently into an unknown future. And when that future unfolds and brings about bumps and hardships, she will be there, because she is fiercely loyal and full of love.
I am thankful for that.
"Who can find a virtuous woman? She is far more precious than jewels...Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: Many women are capable, but you surpass them all! Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised."
Proverbs 31:10, 25-30