As I sit at my desk this morning, tired from getting up at 1:00 to put Travis back to bed, bleary from the back-end of a bad cold, and soul weary from some very, very difficult parenting days, I am reaching deep for strength to put one foot in front of the other to keep on keeping on. And like so many other days when I just don’t feel like I can do it, I know that I can.
Because of her.
I have watched my mother for 42 years. I have seen her battle significant illness, handle physical hardship, live with less, adapt to ever-changing circumstances, willingly serve those who landed at our doorstep, walk dark valleys with the sick and dying, and do all this without complaining and all the while raising four headstrong, spirited children.
Out loud, that is.
And probably not even in her head.
She is a purposeful woman. She doesn’t amble or meander. Her pace is always quick because she wakes up each morning with a plan and accomplishes it.
She is a peaceful woman. She takes a smile and calm assurance with her, wherever she goes.
She is a patient woman, never rushing a child or a friend.
But most of all, she is encouraging. And on mornings like today, when I can’t breathe through my nose and my feet are dragging and I’m wondering if Dr. Phil is ready for another family project, I don’t even need to pick up the phone to hear her voice whisper, “You can do this.” A lifetime of hearing it plants a deep root that brings forth strength when I need it.
And peace comes.
Mom, even on your birthday, you give. God was so gracious to give me just what I needed in you, and learning from you has been such a gift. I am beyond grateful for you and your continued presence in my life. The happiest of birthdays to you and many, many, many more.