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Mothers Day Thoughts 2008

Posted: May 11, 2008 - 19:34 CT

It's almost impossible to overestimate the value of a Godly mother.  I was extremely blessed to be raised by one who made sure I was in church from the time I was in diapers.  My mom has been gone for almost eight years now, and I've only recently begun to realize the legacy that she left me.  When I look back at all the boneheaded things I've done in my life, I'm convinced that one of the primary reasons I'm still alive is due to the many hours my mom spent praying for me.  I am also blessed to see many of the same spiritual and motherly instincts in my wife with our two sons.

My two brothers and I were brought up in a little country town in east Texas.  We didn't have much, but my dad worked at the Texas Highway Department (now TXDOT) and started a land surveying business on the side.   Mom worked the evening and night shift as a nurse at the local hospital, so we had enough (although we didn't always think so at the time).  My mom had a disabling disease from the time I was ten, but for the next thirty five years, she rarely let it affect her attitude toward life.  I think it's her courage and sense of humor that I remember most.  Someone sent me a humorous email a few days before she died that has meant a lot to me (I've posted "What My Mother Taught Me"  in our Humor section).

My mother's name was Lillian Nonette.  Her family and friends all called her "Nancy", except for her three daughter-in-laws, who still referred to her as Nonette out of respect.  When things got bad among us, she was always the glue which held everything together. I was the only one in the family who moved off, my brothers staying to take over the surveying business which had become a full-time venture after my dad retired from his first job.  I married my wife in Houston, where we settled for several years.  As much as I loved my dad, I was always a little  disappointed to hear his voice when I called back home.  There's just something about a mother's voice on the other end of the line that can't be described, especially if you're feeling a little down.  Short of prayer, praise and worship, there's nothing as effective for lifting your spirits.

Mom didn't travel much, but she came to visit us shortly before she died.  We were living in Austin, and even as frail as she was, she still insisted on "seeing the sights".  When she returned home, she told everyone that we had just about ran her into the grave, but that she had a great time.  About a year later, just a few days before she died, I spoke with her for the last time.  She must have known, because she broke down crying and apologizing for not being a better mother.  Truth be told, she was the best mother anyone could hope for, but she was always trying to do more.

When she passed from this life, we left her room untouched for seven years.  We only went through her things after my dad died and we decided to sell the house that they bought some fifty years before.  We knew my mother was organized, but were astonished to find the treasures she left.  She had made scrapbooks of each year of our lives, including pictures, newspaper clippings, notes, crafts and many other priceless things that we had long forgotten.  It was a great lesson in the priorities of life.

 After she left the earth, many people told me how sorry they were that I had "lost my mother", but I simply replied that "She is not lost - I know exactly where she is, and I look forward to the day when I see her again".

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