Abraham Lincoln once said:
“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”
This got me thinking about my own mother and the many ways she has influenced me. I grew up in a busy home on a sheep property, lots of space to run around and be noisy!
I used to look at my mum and think, ‘Sigh, I want to be just like her!’ Mum always let us climb up on to her lap for a cuddle even when our legs were too long and had to be arranged awkwardly over the arm rest. She went from reading aloud to us to reading every book that we did, and we often discussed these books as we bent our hands to some other task. She happily baked for us and we rarely had store-bought bickies, cakes or dinners.
When I was afraid, or awakened in the night with terrors, she taught me that nothing was going to happen today that God and I together can’t handle. She taught me to pray daily, not just when I felt like it. She taught me to be kind to people. She taught me to share what I had with others even when I didn’t want to. She taught me to always, always ask first. She taught me to remember the simple blessing of a ‘please’ and a ‘thank you’. She taught me to notice people around me, whether they were happy, sad, scared or lonely. She taught me to always make time for a friend. She taught me that family was important, and it’s a place where you honour each other.
She trusted me with simple jobs and I felt big and important. She let me be responsible for the washing. As soon as I was able she let me iron dad’s hankies (I still enjoy ironing hankies). She taught me how to put a roast on as soon as I could lift the tray. She taught me to be gentle with new babies and to hold their heads just so. She taught me to drive and to reverse a car (something I was terrified of at the age of 10). She taught me the power of the written word with every faithfully handwritten letter I received whilst at boarding school. I love my mum! I didn’t realise quite how much she did for us, how many times she put our needs before her own, how many times she stayed up late decorating our birthday cakes, wrapping our gifts or sewing up my boarding school uniforms. I honestly did not fully comprehend the many ways she invested herself into my life – until I became a mum myself.
So much of my life is about my children, what they need and how I can teach them. What opportunities do I allow them to pursue? Which character traits do I need to draw out? Which aspects of their personalities do I need to address? What is important in life? I have traded in the latest fashions for sleepless nights; impromptu outings and clear laundry for this deep-seated desire to make a better world for my kids. Better mums really do make a better world!
We, as a generation, are horrified by violence, oppression, exploitation, poverty and natural disasters. We long to do something to put the world right again. We can… you and I! Day by day as we write our mothering stories, as we raise up a generation of children who love the one true God, we are making a difference. As we embrace our identity in Christ, and influence those around us we are called to shine our lights brightly in our communities, taking other mums gently by the hand and leading them into a relationship with our Lord and Saviour. We are called to share the hope we have in Jesus! We are equipped with all we need to raise our families and provide a kingdom influence to those around us.
Are you willing to let God write your 2012 mothering story? Are you willing to let God write your 2012 MOPS story? Serve where you are, with what you have, as He leads and you will make a better world!
N.T. Regional Coordinator