Happy Birthday Mother Dearest.

(Did I get an eye roll, out of you Momma? I know how you love being called Mother Dearest.)

Oh, Momma. I have always thought that the verse about rising up and calling your mother blessed and singing her praises was just simply cause and effect. If the mother was good enough, then it would just naturally happen. I realized though that  when God put it on my heart for Dad’s birthday that it is a command to obey. The text is saying IF YOU HAVE a holy, righteous, God-loving mother GET UP and BLESS HER.

So, momma this is me getting up already, and gladly obeying what I believe to be a command of Scripture. I am happy to bless you, because I am happy to have you.
As I think over my childhood, (which seems to be getting further and further away) I think that one of the most important things you have taught me is that it is possible to have a strong relationship with the Lord in very bad circumstances. That has been an anchor for me. Situations do not dictate my faith. Circumstances do not change my hope. Time passes by and God does not change. I am not sure that I would have understood this truth without your demonstration of it in my life. Thank you for your example of faith, that even when weathered remains steady.

I used to love road trips because I loved listening to you and daddy talk. When I come home and I can manage it, I love waking up when you two are just getting around. Coffee started. Bibles out. I learned from you how to learn from the Bible; how to talk out Scriptures and find how it applies not to life in general but to me as a child of God.

I am very thankful for your friendship. I am thankful for the laughing, the random burst of song and dance, and how you taught me to enjoy life. I honestly think that with out you I would not be near as much fun. I would be much too caught up in legalism to have any time for it, and too worried about being holy to be silly. I am thankful too, that as much as you are my friend you also never stop being mom. You manage both seamlessly.

When people come over and see the picture I have of you in my kitchen, they say I look like you.  (Nothing new there.) I remember you once telling me it bothered you when I complained about being ugly, because it was like I was calling you ugly. Looking like you, and hearing your admonishment taught me about being made in God’s image. When you love the one you resemble, it changes how you treat yourself. Now, when people say we look alike, I laugh and I say, “Yeah, strong genes. Isn't she pretty?”  And likewise, when people tell me that I am kind or good, I say, “Oh, that’s the power of God.”

Thank you for forcing me to be kind even when I did not feel like it. Thank you for teaching me to smile and shake people’s hands even when I was scared of it. People often say I am outgoing, if I am it is only because I was forced to be by you. You taught me that making others welcome is more important than my own comfort and pride. It is not natural for people to put others before them, thank you for teaching me that (at least in our family) it is expected.

I already loved you a lot, but somehow when Gramomma went to be with Jesus, I learned to love you more. You are so very precious to me. I can’t wait to get home, and be able to just spend time with you. Drink your coffee. Eat your food. Talk.

Mostly, thank you for teaching me that home is family. It is not where familiar walls are built. Or comfortable furniture awaits. Home is not a building that you can walk in and out of…it is a love that remains and stays with you. A love so strong that even from miles away you never doubt it. It is the security of your love that has demonstrated what it really means to never be plucked out of the Father’s hand. Family is the permanent kind of love that you cannot get out of, thank you for making that a seen truth in my life.

Funny, I am rising up and trying to call you blessed, but when I read over this all I hear is how blessed I am. I think that might be what the command of blessing is all about. I am praising you, and as an effect seeing how you have been a servant to us girls, to dad, and to God. And just like with dad, I realize I need to thank you for being my Paul; for being my example of what a women of God looks like.

I want to be like you. Not so that people will say, “Wow it’s Candi all over again.” but because I know you walk with God.

I love you momma. Glad you are mine; and even more thankful that I am yours. 

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