I remember in August, just a couple weeks after you dropped me off at school, I went into a senior girl's room and sat on her bed. I said something along the lines of, "I've always loved my mom like crazy and thought she is amazing, but I didn't realize to what extent I loved her and looked up to her until I moved to college."
Today is Mother's Day. I waved goodbye to you as you pulled out of Aunt Kathy's driveway to head back to Knoxville without me. I'll be living in Chicago for 2 more weeks before I fly to Rome on May 26th--and I'm thinking the same thing again.
I've always loved you like crazy. I've always thought you are amazing. As I get older and older, I think so more and more.
Mom, there are so many things that I admire about you. I admire your graciousness. You have shown me such deep grace AND you've taught me how to be gracious with others. Sometimes I want to be really mean to the rude customer service people at Target but before sassy words can even come out of my mouth, I remember how you have showed me how to respond to them-with grace.
I admire your secret power to always know where everything is. Growing up, I could always ask you where something was and you would tell me right where it was before I even finished asking. I don't know how you do it, but I hope its a power that all women receive when they become moms.
I amazed at how much you know about everything. You know how to do so much so well. From paying bills to cooking and cleaning; from managing money to taking care of babies; from writing papers to decorating a home--you have such good advice! I am so thankful that no matter what season of life I am in, you have a wealth of knowledge to share with me! Translation: when I am a senior in college and don't know how I'll make it to graduation-I'm calling you. When I am newly married and have run out of things to cook-I'm calling you. When I have a new baby and don't know how to function during the day without sleep-I'm calling you (to ask for help and to ask when you'll take the baby for a couple hours. Grin.)
Mom, I love your sense of humor. You're not afraid to be sarcastic with me...I need that.
I admire your generosity. You learned generosity from your parents and I hope with all my heart to learn the same from you.
I am so thankful for all the times you played Barbies with me, bought snow cones from my snow cone stand, helped me write papers, and for when you planned a surprise photo shoot for my friends and I. And only Jesus (and maybe my roommate) knows that I'm thankful for the hundreds of phone calls we've had since I moved to Chicago.
When my friends and I talk about our parents, I literally cannot think of one thing that I would change about you. You display the kindness, graciousness, gentleness, and patience of Jesus in the way that you mother Lindsey, Andrew, Ben, and I. I hope that I can replicate the kind of beauty that has characterized your mothering when I have children of my own.
Most of all, Mom, I am thankful for how you (and Dad) have made Jesus so lovely in our home. I cannot remember a time not knowing Jesus and therefore loving Him. You introduced me to the One who is my very life and have taught me how to walk in His ways. The older I get the more I realize that Jesus is everything. And when I look back at my childhood, that is what I see--Jesus as everything. Him being everything to our family is a direct result of Him being everything to you. Thank you for how you have exalted Jesus in our home. For how you’ve made Him known and how you’ve made Him the center of all we are and all we do.
You are incredible Mom. Thank you for loving Jesus so well. Thank you for loving people so well. Thank you for loving me so well. Thank you for loving our family so well.
And now, since its a blog post by me, some pictures. Thanks for all these beautiful memories and so many more!
Thanks for always making a big deal out of birthdays.
Thanks for putting up with Andrew and I :)
Thanks for making family vacations a priority.
I love that you taught me to be like Frederick the Mouse and soak up the sound of the waves, the feeling of the sand between my toes, and the smell of the fresh ocean breeze. I love mornings with you in Mexico.
Hawaii. Thank you isn't enough.
You and grandma are such beautiful examples for Lindsey and I.
I'm glad our personalities are a little bit similar,
because unfortunately I don't look like you at all. ;)
Thank you for loving Daddy like you do. You are such a beautiful example not only of a mom, but also of a wife.
I love sitting by you on the sidelines of the boy's sports events. And while we are talking about sports, thanks for all those years of your being so involved with and supportive of my dance recitals!
Jingle Bell Run!
Thanks for sharing your sweet friends with me. And for being such a beautiful example of a friend.
Thank you for stirring in my heart a love for the study of God's word. You are an incredible teacher.
Thanks for always being there to talk to me. I feel like our best conversations always happen in the car.
You were such a strong source of encouragement and help when I went through the emotionally and physically difficult task of moving into college. You literally listened to me express all my fears and desires for 10 hours. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thanks for Skyping with me so much during my first semester. I needed that.
Thanks for visiting me and spoiling me while you were here.
Thanks for welcoming me home so warmly for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring break. I love the home that you have made for us. It is such a safe place for me.
I'm love that you surprised me and redecorated my room for when I came home for Christmas.
I will always remember that you and Lindsey came out to see me in February. I love that my friends here at college love you too.
I love that we do weird things like horseback riding that make for sweet and hilarious memories.
More soccer game sidelines.
I love that you still cry when you drop me off at the airport.
And you and Dad coming to Chicago to celebrate my first birthday away from home meant so much. I cannot believe you brought the boys too!
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for introducing me to Jesus. I love you so deeply. It is a delight to be your daughter.