Happy Mother's Day to all Moms!!
May 16, 2010 my Mom saw Jesus. As her children, grandchildren, daughters-in-law and sons-in-law made a semi-circle around her bed in that hospital room, there was a sense of expectation that I cannot explain. We knew it wouldn't be long, we knew where she was going, we were excited for her to get there, but saddened at her passing. She died quietly, peacefully, just as she had lived for almost 90 years. She made no huge discoveries that changed mankind, she didn't work at an exciting job, or knew what we call important people. She just lived her life, loved her husband of 70 years, loved her children, loved her church and her friends. By the world's standard she was a simple woman of her time. Born July 3, 1920, she lived through the Great Depression, WW2, and saw many changes in our country. She was what some would call "old fashioned", but I call conservative. She was modest in her dress, her actions, and truly a lady. She raised 10 children in the same church where she became a Christian at the age of 9 years old, and where she served as a member for 80 years.
As she and my Dad began their life together, I'm sure neither of them could have imagined such a large family. I'm also sure they didn't have a clue what God would do with their faithfulness and obedience, nor could she have known that their influence would still be felt today and will be for a long, long time. But if you will indulge me for just a moment, I do have a point to this remembrance of my Mom.
In our family (children and grandchildren) there are school teachers, musicians, song writers, published authors, artist, CPA's, business owners, an interior designer and pastor's wife, 7 Baptist preachers, an inventor, (and I'm sure I'm leaving someone out) but my point is this: every Mom has the God-given potential to raise great kids and influence generations to come, despite huge obstacles. My Mom and Dad faced many huge obstacles raising us kids, and if they could do it, you can too!!
As a Mom, you have the most important job in the whole wide world. Kingdoms rise and fall by the influence of a Mother. (Just read 1st and 2nd Chronicles) You "will" leave a legacy, whether intentional or not, and that legacy has already started.
Here are 4 "legacy making attributes" I saw in my Mom that I believe will help every Mom leave a lasting legacy of Christ-like influence on her children.
1. Mama was a Christian, and not in just name only.
No matter how hard a Mom may try, unless this one thing is settled, she cannot spiritually influence her children. Good people can raise good kids, but only Christian Moms and Dads can raise them in the spiritual realm.
2. Mama put her children's needs above her own.
We've heard the expression, "It's not about me" and when it comes to mothering, that is so true. Children need to know that they are a priority with us and that we'll gladly forego our own comforts, miss a nights sleep, and do whatever is necessary to see that our children are loved and cared for.
3. Mama prayed for us and we knew it.
I recently had a young woman in my Bible Study Class ask me what she should pray for her children who were still very young. I told her to first and foremost pray for their salvation, then pray for whom they will they marry. She thought that was sort of funny until she thought about it for awhile. But with homes having the troubles they are having, it's never too early to pray for our children's future mate. It is also important for Moms to pray for "God's calling upon her children." God has a plan for each and every person (Jer.29:11) and our role as Moms is to pray God's plan for our kids; they are never too old, and never too young for us ask God to call our children to serve Him.
4. Mama was our Mom, not our friend.
I had lots of friends, but only one Mom. As an adult woman, she and I developed a friendship that was built upon our roles as Mother and daughter. But as a child, she was Mama and I was Penny. No one can take the place of Mom in a child's life.
When you know for sure that you are a Christian, you willingly put your children's needs above your own, you pray for your children to be saved, to marry the right person the first time, to become all God wants them to be, and you be Mom and let your kids be your kids, you will be building a legacy that will influence generation, after generation, after generation to come.
Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears (respects, reverences, lives in awe of Him) the Lord, she shall be praised.
This my Mom, Shellie Russ, the way I will always remember her.
Happy, Blessed Mother's Day!!