My family and I were on vacation for Mother’s Day so I missed the opportunity to write a Mother’s Day post…. but I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to express my gratefulness for these amazing women in my life, so it’s still Mother’s Day week and Mother’s Day month, right? Right!
My First Mom
This is my second Mother’s Day with children, and in the past two years I think I’ve grown to appreciate my mother more than in the previous almost 3 decades she’s been in my life.
My mom, Karen, is truly the best mother I could ever have asked for. She created a childhood for me that was happy, healthy, holy and FUN. She taught me to love Jesus Christ, to love people, and to love life.
Two things stick out to me in sharp detail about my Mom’s way of mothering: two things that I desire to emulate in my own motherhood.
First, I don’t recall observing selfishness in my mom. She never put herself first, making her needs a priority over my dad’s or her children’s. Family always came first for my mom. I’ve observed some women (hellooo mirror!) who verbally or frequently express their need for “girl time,” “alone time,” “new clothes”, “a break!” or the like. And these needs are natural to ALL mothers I think. However, I don’t remember hearing my Mom verbalize these needs. She must’ve kept them to herself – or at least she certainly didn’t dump them on her kids. On Mother’s Day and her birthday and other random occasions I remember my Dad would give her an envelope of cash or some department store gift cards with a post-it note saying “This is money to spend on YOU – you are not allowed to spend it on household items, food, or kids clothes!” and send her out the door for some alone time. She gratefully accepted it, but these small gifts from my dad weren’t the result of my mom begging for time away or time to herself – they were gifts given to a woman who didn’t focus on what she had given up, but reveled in the family she had created.
The second thing that impresses my socks off about my mom, and goes hand in hand with her lack of selfishness, is her lack of complaining. I have racked my brain for memories and I just can’t come up with images of Mom complaining. I’m sure – scratch that, I KNOW – that my dad and us kids gave her lots and lots and LOTS of valid reasons to verbally complain. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to have a half dozen kids all under double digits, homeschooling them, pregnant, breast-feeding, cooking, keeping an attractive home. How did she do it? I. have. no. idea.!!! But she DID do it, and she did it without complaining. She is truly a model of St. Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 2:14 “Do everything without complaining or arguing…”
Mom, I am so grateful for these motherhood lessons you taught me by your example. I have a LONG way to go but I will try each day to be more of a mom like you. Happy Mother’s Day!
My Second Mama
My second Mom is a woman I’ve never met, but I love her dearly. Cancer claimed the life of my mother-in-law, Sharon Weinert, the summer her youngest child (my husband) turned 12.
Even though we never met in this life, I feel like I know her well, through the lives of her husband and four children and the wonderful stories and memories they share about her .
My mother-in-law has taught me many lessons, but these three really stand out as things I want to emulate in my own life:
First, Sharon was a woman who loved Jesus Christ dearly, and taught her children to do the same. All four of her children are 1000000% committed Christians, in love with Jesus Christ and his Church. In today’s world, that says a LOT about the kind of mother Sharon was. She obviously lived her life and taught her children in a way that the Faith stuck with her family, even years and decades after she was gone.
Secondly, Sharon taught her children to love each other. Rarely have I met a family where the parents and siblings love each other so much, and express their affection for each other so openly and often. The Weinert siblings are amazing with each other, verbally affirming each other’s accomplishments, respecting each other’s decisions even when they differ from their own, making random phone calls or sending random text messages just to say “I love you Bro” or “Love you Sis!”. I feel tremendously blessed and humbled to now be counted among them. I truly hope I can teach my own children to love, respect, and affirm each other as much as Sharon and my father-in-law taught their children to do so.
Thirdly, Sharon taught her children not only how to live well, but also how to die well. From the stories I’ve heard and the pictures I’ve seen, I know she died a slow and excruciating death. And yet, her kids say of her what I’ve expressed about my mom Karen – they don’t recall her complaining. I marvel at this, thinking of how often I complain about a life that is in comparison easy and pain free! Sharon truly taught all of us how to pick up our cross and follow Him, both in this life and into the next.
Thank you, Mama Sharon. Can’t wait to meet you and give you a BIG hug! Please pray often for your rambunctious Bear Cub Grandsons!!!
P.S. to my Readers: In case you ever wonder at the fact I have a 25 lbs five-month-old, just take a look at Sharon holding that chunky boy in the picture above. I married that Hunk of a Babe. 😉