She was one of the most patient women I’ve ever known. Tiny and tough. Courageously she chose to follow the Jesus of the Bible when it meant rejection and her own mother not attending her wedding. Tough with an inner strength of character. My mama. I’m grateful for her character that taught me so much about forgiveness and loving well. Her heart of love was enormous, her body petite. At every stage of my life, she was always genuinely interested in my world. She influenced my children to know her God. She loved my husband dearly.
My friends from college would come to our home because they loved hanging out with Mom… and Dad. The next generation, their grandchildren, brought friends too. Not only were they hospitable and ready to feed you, they found ways to encourage each person as an individual. Loved, valued and respected for who they were no matter the differences. And always sharing the ways of Jesus with each one. She connected and loved in a way that made you want to be your best self.
It seems to me that our world is lacking true mothers and fathers. Mom would have been 93 today. She ‘mothered’ many young women in her community. She ‘mothered’ others long after her own children were grown. Many can give birth, but not all give real life.
I’ve followed in some of her footsteps… with writing and bringing hope to women and sharing hospitality, but I’m not as patient or tough! Her father died when she was a teenager. She had to be tough. She milked cows and baled hay as a young woman. She could calm their ferocious rottweiler with one word so the delivery man would be safe. She partnered with Dad in starting two successful businesses. She cared for her mother-in-law later in life. She learned to do email because she valued connecting to others. She went for a para-plane ride for her 70th birthday. Raised as a little Amish girl, she lived outside her comfort zone in many ways.
If you weren’t blessed with such a parent, ask God to bring you one no matter what your age. If you can parent with the father-heart of God, be courageous and do it. Go for the adventure! It would make the world a better place.