My father was serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam as I was being born so there my mother was delivering her first-born with her husband 1/2 the world away being shot at. On top of that, I had a stomach condition that required surgery to correct the first few months that I was alive while my dad was still at war. My grandmother used to tell the story of seeing my mother in the hallway of the hospital following my surgery and my mother was crying. My grandmother didn’t realize they were tears of joy and her initial thought, as she tells the story, was, “oh, hell, the damn kid’s dead.” I wasn’t.
My wife had her first child while she was still very young and had to make a way for the two of them without much money and through a lot of ups and downs. She quickly developed an ability to respond with incredible clarity during difficulties. When Chay was playing football in the 7th grade, one morning at practice he broke his arm. I was at the practice and when it was obvious that there was something wrong, I jogged out to him to find a badly mangled arm which was now shaped like a “S.” As an ambulance was on the way, I prayed in his ear with him and then told him that I was going to step away for a minute to call mom. When I got Julie on the phone, my voice cracked when telling her of the condition of Chay’s arm. She didn’t blink, quickly instructing me on what hospital to have the ambulance transport him to and that she would meet us there.
While men have greater physical strength, the inner strength of a mother when it comes to caring for their children is nothing short of miraculous. They are equipped to nurture and, at the same time, with tenacity and perseverance to overcome the challenges.
Today is the day we recognize the strength, love and grace that we benefit from the mothers in our lives. I am blessed to have a mother that was able to manage moves through the military even when my dad had gone ahead of us. She was consistent in making a home where we knew we were loved and safe, even though we moved about every other year on average. Thank you, mom; I love you.
I am blessed now to have a wife that shows my children so much about loving other people that they know early on what the very heart of God looks like. Notice that I didn’t say she talks about it; she shows it. Julie is an incredible day in and day out example of grace and giving and the benefits to our legacy is children that are not bound up with the fear of self-provision which keeps so many from giving. They know Love because they know their mother; and I know that I love their mother.
I am thankful both my mother as well as the mother of my children and come in agreement with the rest of the world today to say to them, “Happy Mother’s Day!” I love you.