Following on the theme of Ann Voskamp at The One Thousand Moms Project, what is the best gift your mother gave to you?
Mine would be a life by example. Putting her family first. There is no way it could have been easy. Mama and Daddy had six kids in 10 years. I am the oldest, and when I was six we moved to Indiana so Daddy could go to college, studying to be used of God in service. There were three of us kids at that time, with a fourth on the way. While we were in Indiana, two more were born. The fourth child was born with a birth defect and if not for the great doctors of the Chicago hospitals, he would not now be a wonderful husband and father of three great children. There was a year or two of time in and out of the hospital, surgery, etc. Daddy was in college, although he took time off with the problems of the fourth child. Somehow, life went on normally for us kids. Daddy worked full time and went to school full time. And Mama worked full time to support the family. We kids never knew the struggles that were going on.
When I was growing up, I took life for granted. I never understood or even thought about the sacrifices that were made by my parents. By my mom. For us. What they went through with a child who had a life threatening birth defect. With three other kids, one only a year old. Now as a mom myself, and having had to give one of my own children back to God, I understand just a tiny bit what my parents went through. Having a child hurting, standing by and watching, not knowing what the outcome will be, tears a mother's (and dad's) heart out. What does that do to relationships? Relationships with each other, with God?
Thanks to both my parents for their strong faith in God, for leading by example, and for staying with each other for 45 years (this June).
I love you!