Monday, May 6, 2013

Mother's Day Part I

In honor of our Mother’s Day, various staff are sharing some devotional thoughts about their mothers. May you enjoy this detour from our regular devotionals as we see a little into the personal lives of some of our staff? 

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” – Abraham Lincoln
As I reflect on my mom I feel a smile coming to my face. Moms are special. And I was blessed to have a good one. Wrong. I had a great one! My mom grew up as a kid in the 1930’s and 1940’s around The Four Sixes Ranch near Guthrie, Texas. Yes, out in the middle of nowhere. She was raised in a Christian home where she learned solid values, hard work, and the importance of faith. She didn’t have much in terms of earthly wealth but was rich when it came to her love and service for others. This is the environment and character in which I was raised.

An only child, my mom raised me, as a single parent balancing her life as a secretary at the Air Force base and then provided for our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.  Looking back now as a parent, I’m blown away by what she did for me through the years considering she battled lupus and cancer through my teen and college years, before going home to be with the Lord when I was a newlywed. 

But there is a single moment in time that defines the character, concern, and commitment my mother consistently displayed through my life. It was in the harrowing moments of Terrible Tuesday, April 10, 1979 when a deadly tornado hit my home and hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas. I remember as a frightened eleven year old those destructive moments as the storm blew through our home. My mom covered me in the closet at the central point of our home as the winds raged leaving debris flying, walls falling, and glass breaking in the windows. However, what I most recall during those moments was my mom praying over us and calling upon the Lord. When we crawled out of the debris I asked her: “Mom, what will we do? Where will we go?” She calmly said: “That’s not important. God has taken care of us and will continue to do so. Don’t worry, trust Him!”

Wow! Those words have guided my life and have been the foundation of my family and my faith.  Put God first and then love and care for others. He will take care of the rest.  My mom not only talked it but walked it.

I so wish my kids could have known their grandmother. But I do know they have learned the principles of faith and family from which I was raised and I am thankful to my mom for sharing with me.

Scripture to Claim
Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of a good report - if there is any virtue and if there is any praise- think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8

Submitted by Jim Garner

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