My good friend Robert preached a sermon this morning based on things he's learned from his mom, and I thought I'd contribute my version of the same theme here. I've written a lot here about my dad, partly because he's gone now and so I've been given to a lot of reflection on his life, as well as that I've written a lot about him because like being so much like him.
But I've thought quite a bit lately about how if we had personality profiles on the three of us (my dad, my mom, and me), and compared mine to my parents', my dad and I are so much alike that it might end up being difficult to know which test was mine and which was his... But, even if that were the case, the personality profiles wouldn't tell the whole story. I am very much a combination of both of my parents.
So, here is a list of a few of the things that I'm grateful have come to me through my mom (Robert preached on five things, so I'll go for that as well.):
- She's given me a love for good books. This hasn't always been true of me, but for several years now I simply cannot read enough, and that comes directly from her. She's been a reader as long as I can remember, and everyone who knows her well knows that and is the better for it because of how she's allowed good books to shape her.
- She's given me a love for good music. Hearing her sing is a treat. Anytime. But it's not just her talent, it's that the music she loves is so deeply ingrained in her that it's part of her. Sometimes the music we love overlaps, and sometimes not, but I wouldn't love music to the degree that I do if it weren't for her.
- She's modeled personal devotion to God. It would be impossible to imagine the way that she lives her life without consistent and devoted reading of the Scriptures, prayer, time in worship, and commitment to her church. I can't begin to think of how different my life might be today if I hadn't seen all of these things so clearly in her.
- She's given me permission to be public about my faith. She has influenced a lot of people through the years because of how quickly words about her own faith come up on her lips. I can't imagine that I ever would have gone into ministry, or had any desire to ever teach a class, preach a sermon, or write a blog post if I hadn't grown up seeing her inner faith and its outward displays always matching up.
- She's taught me that others' needs come first. Growing up, and even still today, she's always the last to sit down to a meal in her kitchen, quick to jump up when something is needed, and consistently puts the things she may desire aside in order to show love to the people around her. If every child grew up with two parents who so consistently were so quick to put their own desires aside for the good of others, we would live in a very different world.
Just as it should be, I'm undoubtedly a combination of my parents, and couldn't be more thankful that in both of them I have a lifetime worth of qualities to continue growing into.
[Okay, Mom, no need to leave a sappy public comment here... :)]