Billy Graham once said, “Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.”
In the last few weeks, we’ve found this quote to be incredibly true, as our mom went home to be with the Lord on Oct. 11, 2017. Her lungs had deteriorated much faster than any of us realized, and within 10 days of arriving at the hospital, she was gone. It felt like getting hit with a baseball bat in the chest.
Our mom was an amazing woman, so we want to pause for a few minutes and use this column to honor her life.
Dad was always out front and in the spotlight as a national pro-life leader – Mom was behind the scenes and didn’t get noticed much.
But she didn’t care.
Although she was on the back burner when it came to the stage, she was front-and-center when it came to the home, because that is where her heart was.
Mom’s number one agenda was our family – she refused to let anything get in the way of that. She didn’t have a mommy blog, a book deal or an Instagram following. And she never told the Facebook world what an incredible wife and mother she was. Heck, she didn’t even know how to take a selfie, much less post a picture of some amazing meal she just made – because life wasn’t about her.
To Mom, life was about loving God by serving others, regardless of whether or not anyone noticed.
When we were in elementary school, she worked nights at the nursing home to help make ends meet for our family while Dad started a church. She took care of us all day and then headed to the nursing home to take care of the elderly at night. Over and over, she did this, for years, never complaining once.
It was actually her joy to serve, and we knew that. We could see it on her face and in her actions, so we were confident in her love for us. Her faithfulness at home forged in us a security we desperately needed – that Mom was there no matter what.
When we were in high school, Mom would stroll our little brother and sister up five blocks to our school cafeteria with a hot meal for us every day – every day! It was like clockwork; as soon as 11:55 came around, we’d look out our classroom window and see her rolling up the street. It was precious to us – and she did it with such joy.
Never once was mom distracted with other things when it came to us. Even after smartphones and social media came out, she remained focused. She was consistently present when we needed her, and if something needed attention mom was all there for us.
We never realized how powerful this influence was on us until we were with her in the hospital as she lay dying. She had refused morphine in her final days because she wanted to be all there with us. It reminded us of how Jesus refused hyssop while hanging on the cross. He was fully present right up until the time of His death, and so was our Mom.
She lived her entire life like this – and because of it, she became our “present” – she was the gift we needed more than anything. Just her. That’s it. And that was enough.
Her legacy still fuels our hearts to this day, so we wanted to give her the best gift we could, by “arising and calling her blessed.”
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
– Proverbs 31:28-31