Today marks the completion of Mom’s first year in heaven. Since there’s no time there, I imagine it only feels like a few moments to her. Whenever I sing “Revelation Song,” I imagine her in heaven singing too, only she’s with the angels and the elders and those crazy-looking creatures in Revelation, right at the foot of His throne. For me, the year’s been marked by firsts…Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, her birthday, Christmas…each without her and each colored with varying emotions. For today’s first, I wanted to honor my mom by sharing with you three of the most important things she taught me.
Physical touch is powerful. My brother and I had lots of cuddle time with Mom. When we were quite small, we’d pile into my parents’ bed for a snuggle after my dad went to work, playing made-up games and singing silly songs (admittedly, “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms/ice cream/pizza/light bulbs” probably wasn’t the best song selection…and why did my brother always eventually land on light bulbs?!). Whenever I had trouble sleeping, Mom would sit at my bedside and “soft” my face (which was really just our kid-word for “caress”) until I was out. When I got older, she and I would trade back rubs while watching TV. Now, even as an adult, there are few things that make me feel safer, happier, or more content than the touch of a loved one…and I recognize my capacity to bestow those same feelings on others with the simplest of touches.
Stay humble. I became interested in music when I was very young. Before I was old enough to sing in the children’s choir at church, I started taking piano lessons. Mom would listen to me practice and playfully shout “clunker!” from the next room when I made a mistake. Once I reached the right age, I also joined my friends in choir. As I began to grow and develop in my gifts, opportunities to exercise them publicly began to crop up. She was careful to remind me it was God who gave me every ability I had…because He wanted to, not because I’d done anything to earn them. I firmly believe it was her influence that kept me from becoming a prima donna and instilled in me thankfulness and wonder that God would entrust me with beautiful things.
God comes first. Mom was the one who brought me to church at an early age. She and I would put on our Sunday best and leave the house each week, rain or shine, to worship. I usually preferred sitting in the adult service with her over going to children’s church, although it was children’s church where I invited Jesus into my heart. When I was very young, Sundays were long because Mom sang in the choir – three morning services with a rehearsal squeezed in! I remember drawing on offering envelopes to pass the time while they practiced. The seeds she planted and the environment she immersed me in kept me in church throughout my life and even though my relationship with the Lord has had its ups and downs, I’ve never abandoned Him. I’m thankful that while I can’t see her now, I know Mom’s cheering me on and one day I’ll get to see her again.
I miss her. I love her. I remember.
Now it’s your turn. What are the most important things you learned from your mom?