My Mommy

My mommy is my best friend.

Proverbs 17:17 A true friend loves regardless of the situation, and a real brother exists to share the tough times.

My mommy

My mom and I talk every day. She is my mentor. Mom and I have fun together, giggling about nonsense. I hope I become as good a friend with my daughters. She is always there for me and reminds me to pray.

My mommy is a writer.

1 John 1:3-5 and we write all this because retelling this story fulfills our joy.

My mommy writes regularly. Even now, on a reduced schedule, she spends days preparing to write her weekly blog post. She has published five books, Sing Me to Heaven (Dementia and music), Reflections on the Fruit of the Spirit, Junior Snippets Volume One (short devotionals for children), Short Stories by Emily, and Emily’s Snippets Volume One (short devotionals). Her website, Emily’s Snippets, is filled with devotions and family history.

my mommy and daddy

My mommy is a teacher.

Romans 12:7 If service is your gift, then serve well. If teaching is your gift, then teach well.

From the beginning of my memory, my mommy studied to be a teacher and then became a teacher. She was a music teacher, and then when we moved, she became a classroom teacher. My mom taught sixth grade, as well as first and second grade. She taught in Kansas, Illinois, and Arkansas. My mom taught gifted education bringing new ideas and technology into her classrooms.

My mommy is a missionary.

Luke 2:38 When she approached Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, she began speaking out thanks to God, and she continued spreading the word about Jesus to all those who shared her hope for the rescue of Jerusalem.

My mommy always wanted to travel to other lands to be a missionary. But God had other plans. She was a missionary to “her kids” in the classroom. But, later, she met and befriended women from China. Several of those became Christians. Everywhere she goes, and people she has never met, read her blog posts distributed by her friends. She touches hearts in the Philippines and more. I tell her she is a missionary. 

My mommy is creative and fun.

Isaiah 64:8 Still, Eternal One, You are our Father. We are just clay, and You are the potter. We are the product of Your creative action, shaped and formed into something of worth.

I nearly crashed a car when my mom yelled, gasping, “Look at that tree!” Fall creates some beautiful scenery as the leaves turn color. My mommy loves creating with words. She will create whatever word she needs with her facial expressions and even her acting. (She once chased after my brother holding her oversized purse, jumping and hopping while running to make it more comical. It was for his movie.)

my mommy

My mommy paints.

John 8:38 As I speak, I am painting you a picture of what I have seen with My Father; here you are repeating the things you have seen from your father.

When my mommy did an art project outside one summer, I came by to pick her up. I asked her what she was doing. She said, “I’m just using up the leftover paint.” I glanced at the sheet of paper covered in a fall scene of leaves falling. She painted placards for a drive-thru Christmas program. My mom painted the wall in the children’s room at church. She painted a German prayer on the inside of a cabinet in our kitchen. My mommy loves to paint.

my mommy

My mommy sings.

Psalm 28:7 The Eternal is the source of my strength and the shield that guards me. When I learn to rest and truly trust Him, He sends His help. This is why my heart is singing! I open my mouth to praise Him, and thankfulness rises as song.

My mommy loves to sing. She sang in the musical theater, “Oklahoma,” in Oklahoma City. My mommy led the choir at our church. When she led the singing, her watch would stop. My dad got her a heart clock pendant to wear instead. My memories of her leading the songs in church, in Vacation Bible School, kid choir, and the church choir. For one song, she lost her top dentures when she opened her mouth wide to hit the high notes.

my mommy

My mommy plays the piano.

Psalm 47:6 Sing! Shout! Play instruments! Praise our God and King; sing praises to Him who is worthy.

From a young age, my mother played the piano. At nearly 94, she continues to play with enjoyment. She taught piano just like her mom did. And she taught me to love to play too. I could play for hours before my children were born. She played at church for years. Now she listens with joy.

my mommy and daddy

My mommy adopts people.

Romans 8:15 You see, you have not received a spirit that returns you to slavery, so you have nothing to fear. The Spirit you have received adopts you and welcomes you into God’s own family. That’s why we call out to Him, “Abba! Father!” as we would address a loving daddy.

When I was a teen, our youth pastor showed up at our back door on a Saturday evening. He was invited in to share our meal. Since my dad was a pastor with young children, he and my mom felt a need to parent and, later, grandparent pastors and their families. They shared meals, babysat, and enjoyed loving relationships. My mommy still does this. I have a new brother, Derrick, her mailman. I hear about his children and his mother. We pray for him, and he prays for us. So many more people like this are a part of our family, people who love mommy like I do.

my mommy

My mommy is an encourager.

Hebrews 3:13 Encourage each other every day—for as long as we can still say “today”—so none of you let the deceitfulness of sin harden your hearts.

My mommy encourages me. She loves to support people in whatever they are trying to do. Many times I get the comment, “I’m proud of you.” I don’t always know why, but I love to hear it. She encourages nurses, her doctor, and her many grandchildren and great-greats. Her blog posts are encouragement for whoever reads them. 

my mommy and daddy

My mommy is a listener.

Matthew 7:24 Those people who are listening to Me, those people who hear what I say and live according to My teachings—you are like a wise man who built his house on a rock, on a firm foundation.

How does someone become a listener? By first learning to listen to God. Hearing God’s word in our hearts allows us to see others as unique created beings. My mommy listens with her whole being and hears things deep in her heart. Listening is a skill that is learned. If we have someone who listens to us, we learn how to listen to others. My mommy listens to others, taking into account their individual journey.

my mommy

My mommy is a researcher.

Luke 1:3 Like those other servants who have recorded the messages, I present to you my carefully researched, orderly account of these new teachings.

Every time my mommy is presented with something new, she researches. Years before the internet, she had to go to the library or a bookstore to find out more. We had many books in our home. Now, she uses the internet search like a professional. When my dad was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, my mom researched. She created a notebook with tabs with information on this form of dementia. Every problem is like a dare, I bet you can’t learn this. Oh, no, she will. She starts with research.

my mommy

My mommy is slowing down.

Numbers 20:27 With a heavy heart, Moses did just as the Eternal One had instructed. These brothers, now old, slowly made their way up Mount Hor while the whole community watched.

Since I left my mom nearly eighteen months ago, she is slowing down. She no longer balks much when I remind her to nap. She is to be 94 now, and it is okay to slow down. It is allowed. Every Monday, she calls Aunt Irene. She is a few years older than my mom, and she is my grandma’s sister. Listening to her on the phone is like a visit from grandma. When my mommy and Aunt Irene talk, they mention slowing down. For them, it is their future to slow down. They like to do things.

my mommy

My mommy looks forward to heaven.

Hebrews 11:16 But such saints as these look forward to a far better place, a heavenly country. So God is not ashamed to be called their God because He has prepared a heavenly city for them.

My Aunt Barbara recently died. Mommy is now the last of her family’s generation. While mommy spends her days studying, writing, and following family on social media, her heart is in heaven. Her mother and father are in heaven waiting for her. Her brothers are there also. My dad has been gone for several years. My brother and nephew also have left this earth. I think about heaven too. One day, there will be no more tears, no more goodbyes, and no lack of hugs. 

my mommy

What will I do without my mommy? I will do the same things my mommy did and her mother before her. I will write. I will encourage and listen. I will adopt people and become a missionary. I will treasure the moments with my family, knowing each memory is precious. I will continue to sing and play the piano. I’d like to learn how to paint or draw. That’s on my to-do list.

What will I do without my mommy? I think about her sitting by my grandma’s side, reading her favorite Psalm while she took her last breaths. I wish I could be there with her like she was with her mom and her dad. 

But I do know one thing: I know that I will see her in heaven along with my dad and family. She has given me a heritage, passed down through generations, of a love of writing, reading, and living for God.