Well, let me begin this post by saying "Happy Mother's Day" to all mothers and spiritual mothers reading this blog. I realize this day can be a weary time for a woman (mother or not).
I have a Proverbs 31 mother. My momma would sew, cook, and stayed home with me until I was in the third grade. I admire my mom! In fact, I admire her so much that I have always answered the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" with "I want to be like my mom." I even wanted to be a pastor's wife. I loved seeing my mom support my dad's ministry. She never spoke out of turn with the church or our church family. Daddy was called away at times, but she never talked against those people. I think she is part of God's plan of keeping my family on the straight and narrow. Don't get me wrong, we are not perfect, but we are a family that strives to be like Christ.
I want to thank my mother for her godly example of how a wife should be submissive to her husband. My momma is very funny. I'm finding more of her sense of humor since the passing of my daddy. I asked her about it, "mom I once thought that daddy was the funny one, but you are really funny too." She said, "I wanted him to have the spotlight." How precious is that!! My mom took a step back to allow her husband to shine. I love that fact!
Even though I still have my mother in my life, I also have many women I look up to as spiritual mothers and advise givers. I love having these ladies in my life and I just wanted to write a few things about them to honor them on this day as well.
Becky Thompson - Becky is my oldest sister. She has never had children, but does have children in her life with whom she can share wisdom to. I also can gain from her wisdom. She is very supportive in my healthy life choices :)
Leah Kessinger - Leah is my next sister. She has three boys of her own. Leah married later in her 20's and her children came close to her 30's and into her 40's. I never expected Leah to be a mother. She was a career girl. But I have to say, seeing her with her children you may never expect that she once was all about her career.
Mary Knipp - Mary is my sister closest to me in age. Mary and I grew up together and didn't always get along, but now we have got each other's backs. No one messes with my sister now and gets by with it. Mary is the kind of mother I would have dreamed of being. She home schools her children, she is the cool mom where all the kids want to hang out with. She opens her home to activity nights and serves the coolest refreshments. Mary has three children (2 boys and a girl). One is married already, one is graduated and heading to college this fall, and one is still in school. I admire that she did a lot of the parenting with her husband away on leave. I know they had many prayer times together when they were able to speak to each other...and now with skype it's at least a little easier for them.
Tonda Jayne - Tonda is the wife of my brother Tim. She has one daughter and a couple of grandchildren. When I look back on the influence of Tonda in my life, I remember a specific time that she prayed for me. I was in a relationship with a christian man, but she didn't see certain leadership qualities that she thought would be good for me in my marriage. Instead of approaching me about this, she just began to pray and she let God change my heart. How many of us would have made the wrong decision and argued our point to try to get the person to change? I know I haven't always been the first to pray about it.
Susan Jayne - Susan is married to my brother David. Susan has a girl and a boy, and recently became a grandmother to Landon - one of the cutest kids I have ever seen. Susan is another prayer warrior. But I'm thankful for Susan's ability to encourage - especially in my new healthy lifestyle choices. I know I can call Susan and talk to her about different foods I have bought and she is praying for me with this change. It's great to know people are praying specifically for me.
Cindy Jayne - Cindy is married to my brother Paul. She has a son and a daughter. Cindy is learning how to cope with her new empty nest. I love Cindy's vulnerability and ability to encourage. She is also good with decorating and making things feel like home.
Donna Vanover (Momma Ninja) - Momma ninja is my friend Sara's mom. She has become an adoptive mother to me. She keeps gum on hand for me and hand-sanitizer when I need it. She also prays for me too.
Rhonda Jenkins - Rhonda is my pastor's wife. Rhonda has been in my life since I was in the fourth grade. She was my Sunday school teacher when we moved to a new place. I remember she was really excited to have me in her Sunday school class. That made me feel special. She was the wife of my youth leader, and now that he is my pastor, she is in my life again. I love Rhonda!
Deanna Haas - Deanna is my accountability partner. She keeps in check with me in my spiritual walk. Even though life gets in the way of us meeting at times, we still are able to check via Facebook, email, text, etc. I love that! And even if it's been awhile since we have gotten together, when we do get together, it's like no time has passed.
Ruth Collins - Ruthie is one of the ladies from my church. I love Ruthie because she is cool. She watches Chicago Fire and Chicago PD and we are able to talk about it and such at church. When I was out of high school, I started hanging out with her daughter. In fact, I had broken my finger and spent the night at her because I felt comfortable enough being there. (although my own momma came to the hospital to make sure I was okay).
There are many others who I can could put in here. Like Marisa, Karis, and Amanda (even though these girls are younger than me, their lives as wife and mother to those in their life show me examples of how Christian women support their families. Joy (our neighbor) who is a special lady who takes care of me and my momma. Or Judy Hayes, a spiritual momma at my church - she is a prayer warrior too!
I'm thankful God has given these people in my life. I am the lady I am today because of influences from each of these ladies. Because of these ladies, I am able to put myself in kids lives that I teach at church, those young people that I like to give a hard time to, but love with my heart.
So...happy mother's day! Be thankful for those special women in your life!