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Happy Birthday, MOM!

Today I have the privilege of sending my mom a birthday greeting across the cyber waves. My mom is a fairly faithful reader of this blog and she doesn’t have a clue that I’m using today to thank her for her investment in me and our family . . . so, surprise, Mom!

Yesterday, we had the real celebration. We surprised my mom with one of her favorite meals and the house was filled with her offspring, spanning several decades. I wish you could’ve been there to join in on the fun! This is an open “Thank You” letter to my mom, but I hope you’ll be able to receive something from it as well.

Have you thanked your mom, lately?

Maybe you struggle in your relationship with your mom, as most of us have at some point. Consider today’s post as an opportunity to find at least one thing you can thank your mom for today and relay your gratitude to her. If you are a mom, perhaps as you read this post, something will come to mind that you can incorporate in your relationship with your family.

Thank you, Mom, that . . .

You consistently put your family’s needs before your own . . . 

When I was little, I never had to wonder if you would be there for me. You chose to stay at home rather than brave the “work world,” but it wasn’t a leisurely choice. You were always working! Whether it was getting a hot breakfast on the table before we headed out the door to school or your daily mopping of the kitchen floor . . . you were tireless. I never remember you taking a day to “sleep in” or just be lazy. You saw your work in the home as a way to provide us with a clean and comfortable atmosphere—and that was a means of communicating your love and care to us, so thank you!

You listened to me . . .

Oh,my, how you listened! You were sensitive to slip into my room and check on me when I was having a bad day. You invited me to share my heart and you listened. You consistently counseled me to not let my “imagination run away!” Which has been a good word for me to this day (Philippians 4:8).

You provided me with the confidence to step into the scary unknown . . . 

You believed in me. You continually encouraged me and filled me with the confidence to take on difficult challenges—whether it was reaching out to make new friends, going to a new high-school, starting a new job, giving a speech to a roomful of adults, or trying a crazy new recipe. You didn’t squash my dreams or cast doubt on my abilities, so thank you!

You gave me room to grow . . .

You didn’t insist that I see and do everything just like you. You seemed to enjoy the fact that our personalities were different (you are shy, I’m an extrovert). You invited me into your world of painting and creativity, but you encouraged me when I found other interests. You passed on to me your love for music, travel, and good food! You supported me when I decided to seek out a different church body as a young teen and seemed to understood my desire “for more” than what I was seeing around me. You let me grow, thank you, Mom!

You faithfully cared for Daddy to the end . . .

Through his ten-year-battle with lymphoma, you were his biggest cheerleader and greatest comfort. In the last four years of his life, we watched this hulk of a man—this highly intelligent man—lose his ability to walk, to bathe himself, to feed himself, to toilet himself. And I watched you, as his primary caregiver, do all of those things for him for years, at the cost of your health at times. When people would ask you, “Why do you keep doing this?” you would always reply, “I love him. I made a commitment—for better, for worse; in sickness and in health.” You gave me the finest example of marital commitment I’ve ever seen, thank you, Mom!

You taught me what compassion looks like . . .

Whether it was caring for a stray puppy, or getting up with a sick little one in the middle of the night, you have consistently shown me what compassion looks like. One thing that stands out in my memory is your faithfulness to find the little girls in my school who were orphans, or in need, and bring them home with us for an overnight stay so you could love on them. You’d find a pretty dress or shoes, or something to send home with them that they needed. You hurt when others hurt. You seek to help the helpless. You’ve always had a heart for those truly in need, and you’ve shown me what compassion looks like in action, thank you, Mom!

There is much more I could thank you for—homemade clothes that looked store-bought, cooking lessons, letting me play dress-up in your closet, slumber parties, camping trips at the beach, and spontaneous adventures! Mom, I hope you know you are greatly loved and admired for all the ways you gave.

Thank you, Mom!