Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
I know this will embarrass my mom, Julie, but I don't care. I love her very much, and I want to share a little bit with you about my mom, not only because it's Mother's Day, but also because she's such an important part of my life!
When my mom was a little girl, she began longing for a family of her own someday. She always imagined she'd have twins; she'd pretend with her dolls that she had twins of her own.
My mom grew up, graduated from college, and met and married my dad. My parents moved to New Zealand before my TWIN sister and I were born. Yes, I said, "TWIN!" God heard the prayers of a little girl and answered those prayers, as He often does, with the birth of multiples. Well, God always answers our prayers, but sometimes it's not with the answer we had hoped to hear. This time, it was in the affirmative x 2!
My mom was very organized and efficient back then, and she managed twins very well. To her, every day was a delight! She smiled at us - and still does - so often. We knew that we were the apple of her eye! And when our baby brother, Bryan, came along, she felt very fulfilled with having her boy and girls.
I remember Mom speaking about us in a positive light frequently. As we were growing up, she would often talk about the great strengths we had and the neat parts of our personalities that she loved. I always felt very loved in a warm and encouraging way. Without her having to push or challenge us, we were willing to try new things because we felt secure in her love.
We were blessed to have Mom home with us, full time, until the economic crisis of the early 1980s forced her to begin working outside of the home.
Was the house less organized after she went to work full time?
Meals less prepared from scratch?
Fewer clothes sewn for us?
The cookie box filled with dry, store-bought cookies?
Her work day, including commuting time, was well over 9 hours per day, and yet she still kept the house organized, taught us how to cook and prepare dinners with her carefully written instructions personalized at our own skill level, sewed all or most of our clothing (second-hand clothing stores really hadn't been available yet), made cookies for us each week for our lunches at school, and kept the house humming.
When my sis and I were in the 9th grade, we learned that a friend of ours from school was about to be placed into the foster care system with her younger brother and sister. We pleaded with Mom: could we bring them into our home so they could all stay together? We prayed and talked about this a lot, and Mom and Dad agreed that we would enlarge our family by another three people. It wasn't an easy path; we were challenged to live out our faith in our own home. We didn't always make it easy for Mom and Dad and the three foster siblings, because we were used to doing things our own family's way, and to bring in jr. high and high schoolers into our home who had lived in a different way was very hard for us. Mom and Dad prayed with us and helped us work through some tough days.
Much of who I am today can be credited to my mom. She taught me to cook and sew, to care for my own home, to decorate cakes and enjoy crafts, and to begin playing piano.
She encouraged me to follow my interests and dreams. Despite having limited income in our high school years, she encouraged my sister and I to plan to attend college. "God will make it possible if He wants you there," she would say. And He did. We were both able to attend private colleges of our choice, graduating with very little debt compared to many of our peers.
My twin sister and I both became elementary school teachers. At the beginning of each school year, both my mom and dad would come down to my classroom during the week or two before school began, and they would help me set up my room. They made bulletin boards, labeled file folders, organized textbooks, and so much more. I will always be grateful for their help at such a busy time of year.
When I was preparing to marry my sweetheart, Elmer, my mom began sewing my wedding dress and the bridesmaid and flower girl dresses. She never complained about all of the extra work I was adding into her busy life. She enjoyed helping to make our wedding day extra special.
When our babies were born, Mom was there to help me and pray for me during their deliveries. She sewed clothes, burp rags (those were the best!), and did whatever she could to help me transition from being a DINK (double income, no kids) to a full time mother.
My ministry as a mother to my own children has been much easier because of the godly example that my mom set for me. I owe her so much - I can never fully express in words how much I love her. Love you, Mom! Happy Mother's Day!
Hi! I'm Julieanne!