I dropped her off in Seattle at 5:00 a.m., and whispered loud, “God, thank you for a mother like her.”
She had hugged me long before walking away. And when she walked away, somehow she stayed with me. Because no matter how many changes come, somehow her heart syncs with Christ’s, and I’m in awe of her grace and presence of love.
My mother left a legacy of love behind her. She has more patience and grace for ten children than most have for two, and I’m watching her after thirty seven years so I can learn more of the Christ in her.
My mother cares little for earthly things, but much for heavenly. After, and even during raising her own ten kids, she’d bring in other kids who needed a home. She’d bring out the math books for those kids as well as her own, and she’d hold and nurture them at night just as she held her own.
Now that her ten are grown and most of us have left home, she has four girls in her home from three different families. Girls who need her love and care because they’ve been through more than girls should have to walk through at their ages.
She’s reading books and learning all she can about helping others—and all the while she’s serving her own family.
My mother knew how to turn ancient old houses into cozy homes, how to serve her family without resenting it or thinking she’d be better with a career. She took what money she had, and multiplied it with her contentment. And no matter what, she always loved, laughed, and shared her heart with our own.
A child cannot make her mother her best friend. Only a mother can make herself worthy of that name. My mother did, even through those years many call turbulent teens. Somehow she knew how to require obedience while still holding the heart.
All ten of us knew beyond doubt that mama loved our hearts no matter how icky they were, and that, when our lives were blessed, she was happy enough to soar through the sky with joy. And when we were tots, all of us knew she was in charge and had the final say.
We didn’t get to boss mama around because mama knew that kids in charge of their own lives bear too much weight on their shoulders—weight meant only for adults to carry. She led us to good places because we weren’t wise enough to do so on our own.
We learned that mama meant what she said—and it was all said in love. And I asked her the other day, “Mom, how would you train your eleven year old son to clean his room as I’ve asked him to?”
“Consequences—I just wouldn’t put up with it,” she replied.
I run upstairs and follow through. I know by her example that grace and love doesn’t mean permissive disobedience. It’s a bit like Christ, Whose love washes away sin.
Contrary to what some teach, Christ’s love, when fully realized, removes sin from our lives rather than condones it. No one can know Love without being changed by that Love.
My mother knew that true love in her would guide is to Love Jesus truly—because isn’t that what the heart was created for most of all? She knew that requiring obedience in love would ultimately enable us to know what Christ’s gift of love really meant.
When we’re not changed by Love, we don’t truly know love.
If Love didn’t change lives, it wouldn’t be Love at all.
Perhaps, rather than expecting Love to accept all things, we need to accept that Love changes all things.
Love is what love is—and when you know Love, you do what love does.
What amazes me most about my mama is her lack of pride. She really doesn’t care about any kind of persona—she’s just her, and just being her means her heart is open wide to live and love with no agenda.
Her heart, it’s kinda like an open book. You get to read it, and you also get to have your own heart read. Nothing’s threatening because when love is, there’s only growth to be found and love to be shared in the best days or worst. I think this is why Christ in her is so alive—because hasn’t He said He’s with the lowly, but abases the proud?
Kinda like all being human together rather than some of us trying to be super-human when we’re not.
A week before mama came, I attended the funeral of my dear friend’s mother. As I watched the family share, I observed a girl go up to the microphone who was not immediate family. Many years ago, she had been invited to my friend’s home, and there she found love, belonging, and blessing enough to cause her to return many times over—and cry hardest at the beloved mother’s funeral.
Another mother who left a legacy of love.
Today, what will you leave behind you? What are your priorities? What drives you most? What satisfies you?
Will you leave the world as barren of love as when you came, or will it be a better, richer, fuller place because of you?
Bring hearts to your own. Whether you have ten kids or two, love on them extravagantly—and then,dare to love even more.
Will your legacy be worthy of bringing you fruit, and will it praise you in the gates long after you’re gone? [Proverbs 31:31]
I drove home from Seattle with the sun rising above the mountains, and my thoughts twirling with life-giving truth. Early risers took to the four-lane freeway with me, and I’m impressed with how much can be accomplished so soon in a day.
It’s a bit like life. What we choose to accomplish, we will. Because where our treasures are, there our hearts will be.
May our treasure be changeless love so we can bring love to a changing world.