Mom Is Your First
Usually, when we talk about Mom in church it’s from an outsider’s perspective. The focus is on some Mom in the Bible or what the Bible says about motherhood.
All of that is good but it’s a little far removed from where we are now. Relevant, yes, but only in a distant sort of way.
To make Mother’s Day a little more personal, I asked people to write down a few thoughts about their Moms and share it with us. They were given three guidelines to help inspire thought. They could share:
- A word characterizing some special trait of their mother. (Insistent, Understanding, tough, undaunted, etc.)
- Or a short phrase or line describing what she taught them to do or what they learned from her example. (“She taught me to” . . . or “always talked about” . . .)
- Or a short paragraph sharing some memorable moment – humorous or serious. (“Once my mother did or said or tried” . . . )
And following is what they wrote:
One thing I remember about my Mom is she never ever shouted at us if we broke something. She always said it was only a worldly item. She also baked the best Apple Crumble in the world.
One word, “There”
She is quiet, calm, strong and stable. She is a constant, she is always there. She is strong but soft and kind.
Mom taught me . . .
Its all good. Things will work out. To be responsible and that hard work doesn’t kill you. If you are going to do it, do it right. To be nice, to treat people well. To be hospitable. To just get on with it. That if the Lord is willin and the creek don’t rise we can get done most things that we need to. She taught me to love my kids unconditionally, but to desire and expect great things from and for them as well. She taught me what a good woman was, which helped me to find and marry one.
My late Mom in a word – very difficult! But when I seek to remember her, which I appear to do a lot lately – I remember that smile. Ah, the smile . . . broad and jolly and reaching the eyes. Eyes that glittered in merriment! Eyes that also told me when all was not right despite the grin on her lips.
I don’t think that my Mom set out to teach me anything – she showed me! She showed me the value of hard work. She was a shop assistant and on her feet the whole day and she was well into her sixties! Never a word of complaint – just that smile if you asked her why she was still working.
A word of advice from someone who misses their mother – appreciate her while she’s still with you!
1. A word to describe my mom, “Sweetntough!”
2. She taught me to sew buttons and I used to watch her cooking after school in the kitchen. She taught me to make chocolate chip cookies and a few other things. I learned from her that it’s ok to be creative when cooking.
3. Sometimes I’d come home from school and have ‘treats’ waiting for me. But then she also woke me up one time to spank me. She was always sweet but also tough.
My lovely Mom has a great sense of humor and is a great listener. She also taught me how to be fiercely independent and always encouraged me to be a baker (although, trust me, after all these years I am still a flop). I remember being about 10 years old and attempting my first chocolate cake but instead of cocoa (there was none in the cupboard) I used hot chocolate. Needless to say, it was all rubbery and my 2 naughty brothers took it and kept bouncing it on the floor and laughing. My Mom told me to keep baking and here I am, still trying and whenever my stuff flops (I send her pictures every time) and I want to stop, Kathy says “Shame child it’s probably that little oven of yours, it’s not the way you bake, try again,” which I do.
Not a very exciting word but it sums my mom up in so many ways.
My mom was beautiful…
Beautiful inside and out.
Beautiful in all her ways:
In the way she carried herself,
the way she spoke with kindness & wisdom.
Beautiful in the way she held my hand or caressed my hair,
Letting me know that she would always be there.
She was beautiful in her actions and deeds,
In her expression of Art,
And in the way she made our house a home.
Beautiful in the way she made me feel, letting me know that I could be and do whatever I set my heart to.
Beautiful in the way she raised me and my siblings, devoted to God and to her family to the very end…
My mom taught me to be beautiful- beautiful by God’s standards.
She taught me to live, treat people well, love life & appreciate it, and most importantly to see the beauty in all things.
Because of her, I try to be the best mom that I can be.
Words that describe my ma: consistent (her middle name is Constance . . . haha), unselfish, giving – and reserved for me, her only and beloved child, a drama queen and sneaky lil street fighter).
My ma shows her love by doing things for others. Our home has been a temporary home for many of my friends and family, and everybody has felt really comfortable living under the benevolent dictatorship that is my ma’s wee castle.
One of my good friends says I have the best mom in the world and speaks of the beach cabin good vibe of our house – and that is all due to my unbelievable mom. Mom has a simple wisdom that comes, I believe from a strong simple faith. I have seen my mom have a special effect on a swearing, coked-up top S.A. artist sitting at our dining room table and I have seen her speak to a desperate alcoholic girl and calm her down. I didn’t think either of these people would ‘get’ my mom. I thought they would think her ‘uncool’ ‘out of touch.’ But, to my great surprise, they stepped out of their anger and despair and ended up feeling warmth, if not love for my precious ma. My heart aches every day at the thought of losing her one day, and though everyone loses a mother, not all mothers are that great or inspire the love mine has. I think I have been spoilt in many ways, but mostly in having such a loving mom.
My mom was patient. She raised 7 kids and I don’t ever remember her raising her voice to us or getting out of sorts. She was kind and helpful. And my mom prayed. I remember her teaching us a prayer when we were very young and she listened to us pray that pray many a night before we went to sleep. It was my Mom who answered my questions about God and she prayed with me when I ask Jesus to save me. We had an unfinished attic in our home. Mom went up to the attic and sat in her chair and looked out the window and prayed. Everyone knew that if Mama Watts was praying about it, you would get an answer.
Mom loved to cook and bake. We didn’t have a lot of money so she didn’t get to try out a lot of new recipes.
She did burn stuff sometimes and when we had a big family dinner she always forgot to put something on the table. Usually the deviled eggs. For several years she made me a German Chocolate Cake for my birthday. How she managed to raise 7 kids on my Dad’s income I will never know. We were always clean and clothed and I never remember being hungry. We ate a lot of beans and cornbread and fried potatoes. I still think of that as one of my favorite meals. She must have been a saint.
One of my happiest memories of life with my Mom as a child was Sunday afternoons. Every week we would do a walk either on the beach or up the Mountain or at Kirstenbosch and we would then come home to tea of fresh-baked scones or pancakes. It was a really healthy lifestyle in the days before too much screen time !!!
If I were to describe my Mom in a word it would be precise. Whatever the recipe said do, is precisely what she did. Every meal she cooked was exactly the same. I guess she was abnormal that way but she never cooked a mistake.
She taught me to appreciate reading. She didn’t actually teach me to read but she hammered me with the idea that reading was the primary way to broaden one’s horizons. I learned to appreciate this wisdom only much later but she laid the seeds for that understanding.
She also taught me how to treat a lady. Literally. She took me downtown one morning to buy clothes for school. It was before the days of localized shopping malls and going downtown was like a trip to a theme park. But it wasn’t a wasted opportunity for her. She turned the whole experience into a lesson on how to treat a lady.
She not only told me a gentleman opens the door for a lady she had me open every door to every shop that day. She had me walk on the roadside of the pavement and she even had me pull her chair out at the restaurant.
It made a huge impression on me. I couldn’t have been more than 8 or 9 – a very long time ago – but I have never forgotten. And I still tend to open doors for ladies.
The reality is we have living examples of Motherhood around us every day. They are God’s ambassadors to our hearts. Maybe we should talk about them more.