I was blessed to have a mom that spent a ton of time with me when I was a kid. Not only did she spend time on the sidelines at all of my activities, she also allowed me to be a part of her life as well. Looking back on my childhood here are a few things I remember:
1. Mom had a good arm
In a family of all-boys we spent a lot of time in the yard throwing a ball back and forth. Whenever I needed someone to throw to, Mom was always there to fire the ball right back…with some speed and accuracy. I don’t remember what kind of purse she carried or what brand of shoes she wore, but I do know that she could throw a ball better than most kid’s dads. The best part wasn’t even that she could, it was that she would…anytime we asked.
2. Mom had huge heart
My parents never had a large salary, they have been in ministry since I was born. But even without the extra money I still watched as my mom would feed anyone and everyone that would say yes to a lunch or dinner invitation. Friends, church visitors, Virginia Tech quarterbacks, and even the random guy that walked up and down our road all frequented our house for mom’s special Sunday lunch of roast, carrots and potatoes. Oreo delight for dessert was a favorite for everyone.
My mom learned this way of life from her mom, who has given away just about every penny she ever earned. Looking back, I don’t remember the exact annual income we had as a family but I do remember this: We sure had a lot more fun giving than we ever did receiving.
3. Mom had open arms
I don’t remember one moment in my lifetime when I have needed my mom and she wasn’t there. (Even when I had a nurse call from the hospital I was in after being blown up in Iraq, mom was there to answer the phone.) Like most moms, she was there to drive us wherever we needed to go, but she was also there every time we needed to come home. She has always been the one I could go to about anything – and the good part was, about 99% of the time I could count on her to take my side. I can only imagine how hectic her life must have been being a pastor’s wife and mom to three boys. The truth is, it never once felt like mom was busy, she was always just there…right where we needed her to be.
4. Mom had a big mouth
She still does too…sorry mom. 😔
She was quick to tell us all the reasons the girl we were talking to just wasn’t a good choice. She was always very persuasive when she found out about trouble we had gotten into, always ending with, “Just be glad I found out and not your Dad.”
Mom talked a lot.
She talked about Jesus. She told us that putting our trust in Him was the best decision we could ever make.
She talked about church. Despite the fact that she had been in ministry and seen the good and bad, she still told us how important it was for us to have a church family in our lives.
She talked about our future. She encouraged us to dream big and never settle for anything in life. She told us that God made us unique and that there were things in life that we were made to accomplish. She told us so often we still believe it.
She talked about Heaven. She told us that things on this earth really aren’t that important and that one day we are all going to die. She often said, “What will it matter in Eternity?” She not only pointed out the things that wouldn’t matter, she also took the time to teach us the things that would.
I know as a kid there are many things I should have noticed about my mom that I probably missed. I never recognized a new haircut or dress, or congratulated her on an accomplishment at work.
I’m sure I missed plenty, but I think Mom made sure I noticed the important things.
Andrew Smith is an Executive Coach and Leadership speaker with the John Maxwell Team, as well as the Assistant Director of Rooftop Missions, an organization that seeks to train leaders internationally, as well as care for orphans through the ministry of the Azlynn Noelle Children’s Home.
Smith served as an Infantry soldier with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division from 2002-2005. Wounded in Fallujah, Iraq in 2003 by shrapnel from an IED, he is the recipient of the Purple Heart.
Because of his military experience, he now assists as a mentor with Honor & Courage (Operation Ward 57), a non-profit organization that financially assists Wounded Warriors and their families.
He has also owns and operates a small business -Yellow Dawg Striping – in Southwest Virginia.