Things I learned from my mom…
1. How to love everyone…everyone. My mom constantly demonstrated that act of loving the unlovable. She showed no prejudice or favoritism. She opened her home, her time and her heart to everyone God put in her path…poor, rich, ugly, beautiful, unsophisticated, intelligent…everyone. She also told me daily before school, “don’t just be friends with the people that are like you, find someone outside your group of friends that needs a friend. Love them all the same, Charity. Jesus ask us to love the people that are hard to love.”
2. How to give generously. I witnessed my mom giving herself constantly to our family, her friends, our church, my school, my friends and strangers. She gave time and finances with an open hand. It was like she didn’t even think it was giving it appeared to be so natural for her.
3. How to love without boundaries. My mom wears her heart on her sleeve and always lets you in. She is open and honest. She forgives easily, again and again. And she gives and gives and gives.
4. How to have fun, be adventurous and up for anything. My mom was one of the moms all my friends called a second mom…mainly because she was always coming up with ideas for trips to Canton, crazy backroad hill driving, laughter, trips where she was the only adult. She would get in and lead things she knew nothing about if we showed interest, like Girl Scouts, 4H, sports, etc. She is spontaneous and fearless.
5. How to be hospitable. My mom opened her home to everyone and loved it. There was someone living with us about 50% of my childhood, from football coaches to missionaries to friends. I could also come home with 20 friends without notice (pre-cell phone era), and my mom loved it. She always had food on hand and made something for all of us. Offer everyone a blanket, pillow and spot on the floor to spend the night. My mom also knew how to throw a party, for hundreds or for the four of us. She could cook with the best of them. Everything taking hours to prepare. The decorations, china, paper plates, napkins…whatever was needed for the occasion. She also knew where to buy the best food to compliment what she was making. She made everyone feel special.
6. How to work hard. My mom was from a more urban area of New Jersey. She moved to Millersburg, then to the farm. She completely gutted the entire house, down to the studs, she did everything she could herself and coordinated the help she needed. There would be times she was covered head to toe in black dirt or up on a ladder. There was nothing she couldn’t or wouldn’t do. No work was beneath her. She told me if I wanted something with hard work I could achieve it.
7. How to believe in my kids. My mom instilled confidence in me. To this day I think my mom thinks I am capable of doing anything. She constantly told me I was beautiful, smart, kind, hard working, one of a kind. She was there when I tried something and failed, to catch the tears, brush me off and send me back in. She told and showed me often how proud she was of me.
8. How to talk to my kids so they talk to me about everything. I don’t know how she did this but somehow I felt like I wanted to tell my mom everything. She asked great questions and always listened.
9. How to be a servant leader. She laid down herself and her needs for Josh and I. She faithfully loves my dad. Today she gives her life to care for my dad’s mom.
10. How to suffer. When Josh died, dad had his accident and they had to sell the farm…my mom kept serving Jesus. She still smiled. She kept walking!!! She kept her faith. She did not quit.
My mom taught me how to love Jesus and know him. Serving the kids ministry and youth group my entire life. Her faith was one of action. Everything I like about myself I learned from my mom. I hope and pray I am half the mom to my girls that my mom is to me.