Just before Mother’s Day, a little kid found himself lost and wide-eyed in a store. Blinking a little, he asked a clerk where he could buy a dress for his mom. “What’s her size?” the clerk wondered. He didn’t have a clue. She asked if he could describe her—was she fat, thin, short, or tall? “Well,” the little guy smiled, “she’s just about perfect.”
He went home with a beautiful dress, size small. A few days later, his mother was back to exchange the gift. She needed an XXXL. I’m a little like that kid. My mom made her share of mistakes, but I’d like to tell you four reasons why she was just about perfect.
1. She laughed until she had to sit down. She played pranks on my dad. She put Vaseline on his toothbrush and once sewed the bottoms of his underwear together.
2. She encouraged my strengths. A study of male prison inmates asked how many had heard the words, “You’re gonna end up in jail one day.” The vast majority indicated they had. Mom may have wondered if I would end up in jail, but she chose to use her words to build me up. “Whatever you end up doing,” she said, “You’ll be amazing.”
3. She loved my dad. We live in a throw away culture. If it’s broke, we trash it. Not my mom. For the first few years of our marriage, Ramona and I fought like two cougars in a duffel bag. If I had come with a warranty, she’d have traded me in. But we both thank God for the example of a mom and dad who hung in there and made their marriage work. It was among the best gifts Mom ever gave me.
4. She loved God’s Word. Almost without fail each day ended with us reading the Bible and praying together. A thousand times she blessed me with words I have repeated a thousand times to my own children, “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.” Sometimes I miss those days. And though my memory isn’t as sharp as it once was, my memories are fabulous. All because of a godly mother who took the time. Again, mom wasn’t perfect, but what an impact we can have on others when we laugh, encourage, pray, and love. Each of us is capable of this much, today.
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