We called her Mother. Not mom. I don’t know why, nor do I know if it matters. It wasn’t about the title.

Mother was amazing.  She wasn’t perfect, she was a mom. I’ll bet $100 she never read a parenting book.  When would she have time?  A Parenting magazine, would have been too expensive.  It wasn’t about the technique.

She loving stayed by her husbands side until they were parted by death.  Her death.  She graciously brought up 10 children.  I wonder how many times she thought, “Never in my wildest dreams” or “did I leave anyone behind?”  I don’t remember what we ate. Isn’t that odd?. I love food.  I remember a few basic meals, like tamale pie, tacos on Saturday nights and waffles or pancakes on Sunday morning. Seems like we had a lot of hot cereal in the mornings.  It wasn’t about the food, or the amount of food!

My clearest memory of my mother from my childhood was me walking down what seemed like a really long hallway (which of course it’s not!) and seeing mother in those early hours of the morning sitting in a rocking chair by the front window reading from her Bible and her Daily Bread.  You see, what it was about was the relationship. Her relationship with Jesus is what made her mother. Not the bazillion kids, or the countless meals or all the laundry that could dwarf a mountain range.  It was WHO she was, not what she did or who she did it for. She was a real person. A human, numbered among the billions during her too-short a lifetime.  But she was God’s child, she was fully aware of who Jesus was and what He did for her. And she trained up her children to know Him and take Him seriously.  And so we do. That’s what it’s all about.

7 thoughts on “Mother

  1. Patty

    I find it absolutely amazing all of us have that same memory of Mother. Knowing she spent every single morning in the Word. I miss her. I often wonder what my kids will remember. Probably newsboys played loud. Thanks for this post Mark, you are a really good younger brother and I love you.
    btw, we ate mac and cheese and peanut butter. lots of peanut butter!!!

  2. From my sister, Janet:
    Absolutely beautiful!
    When people I know hear me say Mother and Daddy, they assume that Mother was the strict one and Daddy the easy one…what a hoot!

    I remember early mornings – in Navojoa, in Mante, in Chihuahua, in Tucson, and even in Kino…always in a chair near a window with her Bible.

    One of the things I remember about the food is that she never stressed out when guests showed up just at meal time – and somehow there was always enough!

    The greatest blessing for me during that last year of her life was that even when her mind wandered and she could not remember what she had eaten for lunch, she still remembered verses she had memorized and the words to her favorite hymns. Her body and her physical brain were diminishing, but her spirit was alive, well, and continuing to thrive. Mother was a radiant object lesson of ‘life in Christ’.

    And, after all these years, I still miss her!!!!

  3. Ned Cantrell

    Pastor Mark, I do not ever remember meeting your Mother, But I have met most of your siblings. Your Mother surely was a wise, and patient, Godly lady.

    I miss my mother and we are loosing a sister as we write. God knows all of our situations.

  4. Quitojim

    Thank you , my young brother!
    I loved your comments about my Mother.

    Her quiver was full. Her heart was full.
    And she made each of us feel like we were her favorite!

  5. Pastor Mark, Thank you for sharing your remembrances of your mother and for your sermon on Sunday. So often I start stressing about doing everything as a mom right: healthy meals, the best Biblical child training technique, engaging school curriculum, a chore chart, etc. The longer I parent, the more I realize that my relationship with the Lord and how I walk is the most important thing – unfortunately sometimes it feels like the hardest thing.

    Both Tom and I really appreciated your comments on remembering yesterday, embracing today, and having a long-view of parenting. It was convicting, encouraging, and affirming.

  6. George

    Wonderful memories. Thanks JMark. I can honestly say that it was Mother’s instruction that brought me to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, the mighty Saviour. She taught us to pray, to read our Bible; and she was the epitomy of the faithful, patient Christian lady and mother. I do miss her, but we are closer to seeing her again.
    As for the food, you do have a good memory. That is exactly what she fixed on those days. I thought everyone ate good stuff like we did. Dad used to say, “We have a democracy here, I have the vote”. And of course there was no hassle, no questioning. It was all good. Thanks.

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