Motherhood: America’s humorist Erma Bombeck claimed it was the second oldest profession.
In the world’s oldest profession, the women’s dressier wardrobes were free of baby urp on the shoulders–a deposit that comes with motherhood.
If the Marines will only take and make the few, the proud, and the Marines, motherhood requires even more: 360 degree vision, a warm and welcoming lap, strength enough to leap tall buildings in a single bound with a child under each arm while answering the phone, fixing dinner, and keeping the cat from coughing up a fur ball on the rug. Plus during the teen years, a mother must continue to enforce and teach children who are hacking away at the umbilical cord with a machete. She finds the strength to hold tougher boundaries than a drill sergeant.
But the rewards come. In a job cut out for the proud, the few, the strong, a mother rises above all. God smiles at mothers. For their job is to change the world one person and one child at a time.
When Thomas Edison’s elementary teacher told his parents he was not able to learn and wouldn’t contribute anything to society, his mother took over with encouragement as well as teaching. She found he was drawn to read reference books. He loved those on science. When grown, the inventor/businessman contributed over 1500 inventions, including the famous light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture camera. His company supplied the concrete for the Yankee Stadium, built in 1922. He continued to dream, create and invent all of his life. Where a teacher had not seen his potential and believed, his mother did. And God never stopped believing in Edison’s ability and talent.
Thousands of years ago, a king advised his son to look closely for the sterling qualities of a good wife and mother. “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’” [Proverbs 31:27-29 NIV]
Along with the hard work of multitasking, mothers and grandmothers everywhere touch the world with influence and training about values. What character rises above and spans the generations?
What Mom and Grandma teach, plus the solid ideas and teaching of Christ from the Bible, help shape character, not just when children are young, but all through the years.
For example, Gina’s family and children grew together with daily Bible studies at the breakfast table.
When the teen years came, ATTITUDE stepped up to home plate. Gina had enlisted the help of many stable couples at church to continue her sons’ ongoing moral and spiritual growth. It had been a team effort. While she saw other parents let their growing children decide if they wanted to go to church, pray, or study the Bible, Gina didn’t.
Gina, who taught elementary school, thought that giving them a choice seemed to be something like the mom whose daughter flunked first grade reading and stood at the summer reading class door saying, “Honey, would you like to go to summer school with Mrs. MacArthur or go with us to Disneyland next week?” Gina MacArthur never saw the wee girl again.
Gina opened a small devotional with Bible studies at the breakfast table with her sons.
“Don’t give me that eye-rolling!” She warned them.
Instead, they sighed noisily. “Anything more to eat? Can we have seconds?” one asked.
It was Gina’s turn to sigh. At times, she felt there seemed to be so little feedback, Gina thought she was talking to the napkins. In spite of that, she persisted.
Her young men both left home, announcing they were glad to be out from under the rules of the roost!
Only months later, she got a package from her son, George, who had finished Army boot camp. Inside was a devotional inscribed with these words penned by my son: “Merry Christmas, Mom. God gave the greatest gift of all, but I thought this book would help in using that gift….Though there is such a distance between us, we can look to the Lord and know we are united in Christ. Merry Christmas and God bless you now and forever.”
The next year, her second son, Norman wrote her, too. “Things are awesome since I rededicated my life. People get along with me better. I smile more. I went grocery shopping, and for the first time in two months, I wasn’t in the ten items or less line!”
Gina found herself wiping her eyes with a rag and saw that it was one of her son’s tattered cross country tee shirts. The caring parent cried even more as she realized that God had continued the work in her young adult offspring.
Moms, parents, and grandparents everywhere, persist as you raise your children. Teach them how to find the laundry hamper, but also how to find and seek out God. Your job is to plant the seeds. Count on God for the rest!
A big thank you for all you do! Happy Mother’s Day!
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]