Good morning Mom!

It smells like coffee in my house on this, your 74th birthday. It would smell like home to you, as it certainly does for me, being one of the defining smells of my childhood. I remember waking up in the very wee hours of the morning, spying a light under my door, as the smells of the ever-brewing coffee, along with eggs and bacon, would waft under, too, telling me that Dad was getting showered to leave for his work downtown, and you were up with him to make him breakfast. It was the natural rhythm of home.

IMG_7045That’s how I think of you, Mom. The natural rhythm. You have always been, and are still, the driving beat of our family. Every single memory of my childhood home contains you, cooking, cleaning, sewing…but also reading to me, playing with me, and including me in whatever you were doing. You were the Sunday School teacher, the VBS teacher, the Room Mom and President of the PTA. Your creative ideas shaped church functions and school carnivals.

And they shaped us.

I remember painting with you, as you taught us the basics and had us all enter school art fairs and even some city-wide events. Our home was always beautiful, and though I know money was often tight, the three of us somehow never felt it. We always had what we needed, but most of what we wanted, too. I can only imagine everything you went without so we could have that new pair of shoes, which in my case were a dang fine pair of green track shoes that I’ve never forgotten.

I watched you care for friendships that have lasted through all of my 50 years and some beyond. You are faithful and loyal, Mom. People can count on you – we all can – and you are always looking for another way to help. Did you know that you are the single reason that I chose being a wife and mother, not just as my occupation, but my vocation? Your care of our family made it look like the greatest thing I could ever choose to do with my life, and it has been. Your example set in motion my greatest accomplishment.

It is also because of you that I have a servant’s heart. I’ve never seen anyone serve more beautifully than you, and not just in the ways listed above, but your quiet service, behind the scenes. Your care for the elderly, many locked away and forgotten, your commitment to pray, every day, for all the members of the family, the extended family, and your rotating lists of friends with needs. And now, your devoted love and service to Dad as you both wade through this latest challenge. All of these continue to fan the flame in my heart to lift up my fellow man, to show them Christ by always looking for yet another way to love.

It is with the greatest joy that I celebrate your 74th year, and the greatest thanks that I continue to have your example in my life…compassionate beauty, selfless love, my forever Mommy.

The one who has cradled me in her heart for all of my 50 years.


I love you Mom…big as the sky.