May 3, 2010
"I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3 (NIV)
Syrupy, sentimental greeting cards carefully chosen the night before. A hand-made art project fashioned to be a practical, pretty potholder. Soft, pastel tissue-paper flowers twisted into a creative corsage, sure to be the envy of all the church ladies. A simple bottle of over-powering perfume purchased from the local dollar store. All delights designed to impress one very special lady.
Yep, Mother's Day is upon us again.
While many use this time to thank the mothers and grandmothers in their lives, each May I like to also remember my "other mothers." Women who touched my life, imparted their wisdom and shaped my character.
My Aunt Patty holds a treasured place in my childhood memories. Though our states sat side-by-side in the Mid-west, we had to travel an entire day down and around Lake Michigan in order to reach her home. As a result, we only saw each other about once a year. When we did, she never seemed to be in a hurry but always had plenty of time to talk or read to me. She would gently brush the rat's nest out of my waist-length blond hair when I'd been oh-so-lax in fending the snarly tangles off. She'd ask me to sing for her or perform the cheer I'd created for team tryouts. Though we still see each other no more than once a year, if I close my eyes, I can smell her sweet perfume; White Shoulders. Her very presence made this rough and tumble tomboy long to be just like her when I grew up; pretty, sweet and gentle.
I thank my God every time I remember my Aunt Patty.
Dee was my youth pastor's wife. Her cheerful smile made this awkward teenager feel completely confidant and right at home. Her house smelled of apple-cinnamon tea and her door, like her heart, was always open. Miss Dee's fridge never seemed to lack the needed ingredients for an impromptu teenage bash. In no time flat, she'd whip up a huge batch of taco salad, pull some cookies hot out of the oven and pour our favorite flavors of soda in glasses. Her family room transformed into a haven where we could ask questions, discover answers and just be ourselves. Being around Dee made me want to be a woman whose very life, like hers, says, "Welcome."
I thank my God every time I remember sweet Miss Dee.
Mrs. Esch lived across the street. Some in our neighborhood wrote me off, seeing only a latch-key kid from a broken home, desperate for attention. Not Mrs. Esch. She looked deeper. She purposefully discovered my interests, and learned all she could about them, even going so far as to join a softball team with me. She talked to me about what I wanted to do with my life some day. Most of all, she sensed in me an innate need to be introduced to the God who promises to be a Father to the fatherless. It was through this young mother of two that I became a follower of Christ. Soon after, she began to talk to me about "my calling," excitedly insisting she just knew God was going to use me in ministry one day. Thirty-one years later, she is now on my prayer team; the team that prays for me as I write and travel to speak.
I thank my God every time I remember my mentor Mrs. Esch.
Think about your life. Who were (or are) your "other mothers"? The ones whom you thank God for every time you remember them? And what about the younger women in your life right now? Perhaps God is calling you to be an "other mother" to a soul who needs a little guidance this side of heaven. You can give her a smile; a tender touch of grace, some taco salad, or a verbal "I believe in you!"
Women connecting with each other to encourage and dream and is a sweet aroma to Jesus.
Dollar-store perfume optional.
Dear Lord, I thank you for the other mothers you strategically placed in my path. Help me to be an encouragement, a loving shoulder and a voice of truth to other females in my life pointing them only to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
For an opportunity to share a memory of your other mother and to enter to win a girlfriends basket-in-a-box giveaway, visit Karen's blog
A Life that Says Welcome by Karen Ehman
Homespun Memories For The Heart by Karen Ehman
Send a hand-written note to one of your "other mothers." If she is no longer alive, attempt to locate some of her family members. Let them know how greatly she influenced you and how you thank God every time you remember her.
Is there someone to whom you serve as an "other mother"? What is something tangible you can do for her to show God's love?
John 19:26-27, "When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." (NIV)
© 2010 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105