Today, on Mother’s Day, I want to take the time to honor the women in my life who have helped shape me into the person up to this point I have become.
My mom: memories from childhood include lots of laughter, the gift of making work “fun,” and the overall sense of love in our home. Her faith in our Heavenly Father was an example I watched, wanting to someday imitate myself. However, in her wisdom, she knew imitation wasn’t the goal but instead guided me toward my own personal relationship with God. She knew from personal experience it was my own faith that would help me withstand whatever trials came my way. Even today, she is quick to encourage my own growth as a Christ follower by pointing me back to God’s Word, sharing books that have spoken to her, and most of all, covering my entire family in prayer. That is the legacy my mom continues to leave…love by example.
My mother-by-marriage: from the first time I met her, while newly dating my now husband, I was welcomed into the family and embraced as though I belonged. My mother-by-marriage doesn’t know a stranger. My friends, our kids’ friends, her friends, or even friends of friends…her motto is, “everyone’s welcome, the more the merrier.” She has taught me about giving oneself unselfishly, with joy. She continues to leave a legacy of unconditional love. Not just to her children and children-by-marriage but to her grandchildren as well. I know that her gift of unselfish love will continue to carry on for many generations as a result of her wonderfully living it out on a daily basis throughout her entire life.
My sister: “my other mother.” I was the baby in the family and my sister took the role of protector very seriously. Not only did she take care of me when we were kids, but opened her home and her heart to me after she was married. I moved in with her and her husband the month they found out she was growing the gift of parenthood inside. I stayed for six years and continued the role of “other mother” to her two children. We created deep roots of love that only come from sharing daily life together. God made us sisters but through love we have tightened that bond to mean much more.
Aunts, grandmothers born by blood and grandmothers born from the heart, as well as one very special woman, Linda, have all been “mothers” to me at some point in my life. God has allowed each and every one of these special women to invite me into their lives to help me grow into the woman He created me to be. I’m so very grateful they listened and shared their love and hearts with me in their own unique way.
So, today, on Mother’s Day, I want to encourage you to think about the love. Who in your life has blessed you with that gift? And who, in turn, will you choose to be a blessing to?
© Cheri Swalwell 2014