Happy Mother’s Day!
This is my first Mother’s Day without my mom. Her first anniversary in heaven will be the end of this month. My sisters, brothers, her grandchildren, great grandchildren, her brother, and I miss her dearly. I am grateful that she gave me life.
If I were to think of a woman who embodied the woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31, that woman would have been my mom.
She lived in a village in a rural part China and never had the opportunity to attend school, but she was gifted with the wisdom and knowledge that exceded any degree.
As an intuitive person, she had an air of innocence and trust but knew instantly the maladies of a person’s heart, for she suffered from the cruelties of war, the betrayal of village members, the humiliation of birthing girls, the loneliness of being a single parent when my father left for America, and the heartbreak of separation from her three young daughters.
She was the mom of seven children, five daughters and two sons. She loved each child as if he or she were the only child. Contrary to the societal and cultural dictates of the time, she loved each of her daughters. She nurtured them with care and love.
Alongside her mother-in-law and her first three daughters, she farmed their land and shared their meager harvest with the rest of the villagers. In times of famine, she dug up roots to feed her family. She became a coolie to carry cargo from docked ships to the city shops to earn extra money to help pay for her husband’s college tuition.
The ship personnel looked at her in disbelief. Her translucent, flawless complexion was not the face of a common laborer.
In the United States, she and my father transformed the back half of a store into their new home. There were no apartments for rent to Chinese and dogs. The single room became a home for us until we reached puberty. She cooked five course dinners on two burners each evening. She hosted family parties of twenty or more people at a time. I remember the parties spilling out of the store and onto the sidewalk-the chatter, the squealing of happy children running and playing, the arguing of the adults, the clinging of glasses, the sizzle of hot oil, the clanging of the spatula against the wok, and the endless laughter. And oh, yes, the aromas of exotic dishes flavoring the air. In her modest Chinese way, she rejected the complements about her cooking, but she smiled in her heart. She had maintained her title of being the best cook in her village while in her new home in America.
She was the life of the party! She stayed current with world affairs through our translation of the news into Chinese. She never learned English. She only spoke enough to carry on business in the outer half of the store, a Chinese laundry, a New York City phenomenon.
When we were grown, she made Thanksgiving dinners and invited our friends who could not return to their homes or did not have a family to celebrate the holiday with.
She designed her own dresses and sewed them by hand. When she was pregnant, she made her own maternity clothes. Not familiar with shopping for maternity outfits, my father bought two dresses, and my mom would remake them into one big dress!
She had a quiet spirit, and had learned to be at peace. She learned to be content in whatever situation she was in like the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:12-13, I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me the strength.
When she was presented with the Good News, she acknowledged her need for Jesus. We prayed frequently together. In her last days when her body became frail and would not cooperate with her, she no longer remembered how to pray. I held her hand and led our prayers. My mom’s forgetting how to pray spoke to me of the importance and urgency of the words from 2 Corinthians 6:2… I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. We just don’t know what events lie ahead for us. When you are aware of the Holy Spirit prompting you of your need for Jesus, please respond as my mom did.
We, her children remember her, and we call her blessed.
We miss mom, but we have a hope. We will see mom in heaven some day.
I encourage each of you on this Mother’s Day to savor each moment with your mom.
How did you spend this Mother’s Day with your mom?
I’d love to know how you celebrated Mother’s Day with her.
Copyright 2009 by Nurturing Wisdom