My heart is so full today. I am thinking about all of the beautiful mommas that I know.
My momma. My mind’s favorite picture of my mother sees her sitting in a rocking chair. It is no later than 5:30 in the morning and her Bible is on open her lap. She is probably reading one of the apostle Paul’s letters. I don’t remember a morning when I didn’t see her sitting there. I also remember her sitting at my bedside every night growing up, helping me process my day. I remember her coming into my room every morning, snapping the roll shades up and screaming, "Rise and shine, and give God the glory." At least is felt like she was screaming. I am still a bit cranky about that memory. My mother is my best friend. She tells me like it is and has always led me to love my husband. She allows me into her private world and helps me remember to always cry out to the LORD, first.
And my daughter-in-law. Truly, truly she is brilliant and beautiful, she shines. Her radiance, like my momma’s, is the Spirit of Christ in her. I have so many pictures of her. One of the favorite pictures in my mind's eye is of her happy dance. It was the day she beat my son in a youth court trial where they served as lawyers trying the misdemeanor crimes of first time offenders. Although she is a ballerina, this dance was not-so-much graceful, but exuberant. It was more of a jumping leap or a leaping jump, really. It is who she is and she has filled our world with joy. My daughter-in-law has taught me so much...about motherhood, about being a wife, and mostly about being a friend. She surely is one of my heroes.
There is my momma-in-law, a woman of faith and prayer. She intimidated me a bit, at first, when I learned that she vacuumed her refrigerator coils once a week. Later, when I realized she thought my husband was perfect, I knew that she wasn’t. What a relief. She, too, is a beautiful, beautiful woman. She really has no idea of it. She is smart and well-read. She is funny and so very, very wise. Just this morning during my beach walk as I prayed, I knew that I was imitating her passionate prayer life as I prayed down glory on our partner churches this day. My momma-in-law is a force that really could change the world, and I know that she does, through prayer.
I have two sisters-in-law. They have the most beautiful children in the world. Their children are a reflection of them, they themselves are beautiful. They both have quiet, gentle spirits, Christ is evident in them. One of the things I can get melancholic about is not being able to enjoy time with them during this season of our lives, with our children all grown. Although we live on a foreign mission field, they each make us a part of their family when we are back in the States. Not having a home of our own, this means the world to me. They include us in their inner family circle. I am beyond grateful for their sacrificial love in this.
The mother of my youngest granddaughter. She is like a daughter to me, like a sister to me, and like a mother to me. It can get very confusing :-). Oh, how I wish I would have had her as an example for me when I was a young mother. She is one of the bestest mommas I have ever watched. She is fun and firm and leads my little baby girl to throne of Jesus all throughout each day. The beauty in her is endless. She never ceases to amaze me and her great faith challenges me. I don't know how we would have made it on the mission field those first years if God had not gifted her to us. Her being with us here in Peru, serving so often and for extended periods of time, has allowed her to know our lives in Peru better than anyone else. This, in turn, allows her to love us comprehensively. And she does, she loves us in detail.
Also on my heart this morning are some mommas that I know in Peru where I live, Peruvian mommas. Those that serve with us at Esperanza de Ana. A few of them have no biological children. They have almost countless children in Christ. Their beauty has no bottom and their patience has no end. Daily, I am grateful for the privilege to serve with them and for the joy that we find together in Christ. They are disciple-makers. The treasures that they are laying up in heaven are piling up as they have laid down their own lives to love children intensely, intentionally, and individually. Through these mommas Christ is transforming lives.
And lastly, the Peruvian mommas who we serve. They are who God had me fall in love with. Each one is beautiful, each and every one. Each one reflects the image of her Creator in a unique way. Each one has gifts that He has given her. Each one has added to my life. I know that should I ever need them, they are there for me. They hug me when I am down. They smile at me when I am tired. They cry with me when we are hurting together. And they grow with me. This deep love for them, I never would have imagined. It has been the greatest gift to my life.
If you are a momma and by chance ever read this, know that you, too, are beautiful. People that you may not even realize have pictures of you in their minds, in their hearts. Maybe they haven’t pulled them out in a long while and looked at them, but when they do, they will be overcome by your beauty. Just as I am today.
Momma, I love you.