A Mother’s Day Word from Fox Creek Christian Church

Mark Wells, lead minister from Fox Creek Christian Church, sent in this very touching article on mothers:

The question, “What is a Mother?” could probably more easily be answered with, “What isn’t a Mother?” For so many of us, Mothers are teachers, disciplinarians, cleaning ladies, gardeners, interior designers and household managers. Mothers are nurses, doctors, psychologists, counselors, referees, chauffeurs and coaches. Mothers are builders of personalities, developers of vocabularies, and shapers of attitudes.

Really good mothers understand that baking cookies or playing dress up or making some messy craft involving glue, glitter and water color paints is more important than washing windows, folding laundry, dusting bookshelves or vacuuming. Mothers are soft voices saying, “I love you,” comforting hugs, and reassuring cheerleaders. And mothers are a child’s first impression of God’s unconditional love. Mothers are all of these things and so much, much more.

Mothers are God’s very special creations. Mothers are those people that will give you the very last piece of pie, even though they haven’t had a piece yet. Mothers are those people that get up early and go to bed late just to make sure that everyone else in the house is taken care of. Mothers are those people that will go without just to make sure that their families don’t have to. Mothers are those people that will cheer for you at the top of their lungs even when you aren’t very good.

A reminder of how special my Mother is sits on a shelf in her home in the form of two small colored glass bottles for almost 40 years. Just prior to Mother’s Day in 1979 I remember going to my Dad and asking for some money so my brother and I could buy Mom a Mother’s Day gift. “Sure!” He said as he handed both of us a dime. We didn’t know it but he had already bought her a bottle of her favorite perfume, or a dress, or flowers, or some other traditional Mother’s Day gift on our behalf. But he decided to play along with our wish to get our own gift for our Mom.

Now I know a dime went farther back then than it does today, but not too much farther. I’m pretty certain we both looked at the dime in our hands and then looked at each other as if to say, “What are we going to get Mom for two dimes?” Despite our pleas for dollars, we were to be satisfied with the dimes or nothing at all.

This was before the days of the Dollar Tree and before Everything for a Dollar Stores. But on Main Street in Lawrenceburg, right in the heart of downtown we had a Ben Franklin Five & Dime Store. I know most of the items in the store cost more than a nickel or dime, but there were a few items that still had that price tag on them. At 8 years old, I was the oldest and the one with the most money sense, only meaning that my 6 year old brother didn’t quite have a real grasp of how much a nickel, dime, quarter or dollar was worth, so I self-appointed myself to handle our money as we headed into the store.

We walked into the store with high expectations of some lavish gift that we were going to buy our Mom. But after what seemed like an hour of browsing and answering Mike’s questions of “How much is this?” and “Can’t we just buy her some bubble gum?” my eyes locked on a shelf of small trinkets and knick-knacks. As I walked over to the shelf, my eyes got even bigger knowing that this was the place we were going to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift for our Mom.

I carefully picked up each delicate little item admiring its shape and intricacies and then I turned it over to see what the price sticker on the bottom said. One by one I examined them and held them up for my younger brother to see but not touch. I told him to put his hands in his pockets like our parents always told us to do when we were around breakables.

After several minutes, we finally narrowed our choices down by favor and by price to two small colored glass bottles. My brother said, “I want to get her the purple one because it’s prettier,” which was okay with me because I was more fond of the dark emerald green one myself. So we proudly made our way up to the check-out counter, I gently placed the purple and green bottles on the counter and laid down our twenty cents.

The lady behind the counter commented on how pretty they were and asked if they were for someone special. I turned to my younger brother; we both smiled and said “They’re for our Mama for Mother’s Day.” The lady smiled and then took special care to wrap each of those small, insignificant trinkets in a piece of newspaper like they were some fine china and put them in separate bags for us. When we left the store we were so excited about our Mother’s Day gifts that we could hardly wait for Mom to open them.

Immediately as we ran into the Montgomery Ward Store our parents owned which sat across the street from the Ben Franklin Five & Dime Store, we ran up to our Mom and insisted that she open her Mother’s Day gift right then. After several minutes of our overwhelming excitement, it didn’t take much persuading for her to agree to go ahead and open her Mother’s Day gifts several days early. As she unwrapped each bottle from the newspaper she exclaimed, “Oh, how pretty. I love it.” I’m fairly certain my brother and I beamed as she gave us each a huge hug and the tears ran down her cheeks that day over those two little ten cent bottles.

Now that perfume that Dad bought her that year has been used up or it has evaporated by now. That dress has been out of style so long it’s probably coming back into style. And those flowers have long ago wilted and been thrown out. But for 37 years, those two little bottles have always found a place of honor in my Mother’s house.

They’ve sat alongside antiques and heirlooms and they’ve always served as a reminder that little hearts that love big should really be treasured above gold or silver or rubies or pearls. And Mothers that treasure and nurture and take care of those little hearts and the hearts of her whole family are very special people.

King Solomon, considered to be the wisest of all men, spoke so eloquently about Godly Mothers, wives and women in Proverbs 31:10, 28-31, “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels…Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.”

Abraham Lincoln, another wise man, also understood the value of a loving Mother. He said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.” It’s true that many of us owe who we are to our Mothers. Those women loved us, cared for us, nurtured us, encouraged us, disciplined us, taught us to respect others, showed us how to be productive members of society, cried over us and lost many nights of sleep because of us. That’s a Mother in the truest sense of the word. It’s been said that motherhood is difficult, and…rewarding!

Be sure that many of us are responsible for our Mother’s active prayer life. Because sometimes Mothers pray out of sheer necessity. Other times Mothers pray because motherhood isn’t easy, sometimes Mothers pray because motherhood just gets too tough to handle and sometimes they just pray out of the frustration of it all.

Being a Mother isn’t easy. There are times when being a Mother is filled with joy, and there are times that Motherhood is filled with sadness. Sometimes your children make you so proud you want to pop your buttons. At other times you can’t find enough handkerchiefs to dry your tears.

The Godly Mother understands that it doesn’t matter if their children are successful in making money, driving nice cars, living in good neighborhoods, if they don’t know God. To paraphrase Matthew 16:26, What does it matter if they get everything in the whole world that they want, but lose their souls?

I think that’s why Mother’s Day is so very special. It’s because we recognize that a Mother’s love is probably the closest example we have to God’s love. It’s a love that goes through the valley of the shadow of death to bring life into being. It’s a love that sacrifices itself over and over again and would even dare to lay down its life for its own offspring.

To all of the wonderful Mothers in Lawrenceburg and Anderson County, to all of the Mothers in our great commonwealth, to all of the wonderful Mothers that love their children and would do anything to see them following after Christ, this is your day. May God bless you in it. May your faith be shored up by the faith that you see in your family and those they surround themselves with. May you enjoy wonderful hope as it flows from the lives of your children and may you experience the love that transcends anything this world can give you. And if your child gives you a ten cent colored glass bottle this Mother’s Day, treasure it like it was pure gold, because how you receive and value that small, insignificant trinket could say more to your child than a thousand Thank Yous!

 

Written by Mark Wells, Lead Minister at Fox Creek Christian Church.mark

Mark grew up at Fox Creek and has served on staff at Fox Creek Christian Church since January of 2010. Mark graduated from Kentucky State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is working on his Masters Degree in Theology. Mark is married to his wife, Shanda and together they have 2 children Mickenzie and Hunter. You can email Mark at Mark@foxcreekchristian.com.

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