My Mom Taught Me…

As Mother’s Day approaches, I really miss my Mom. So I thought for the rest of the week I would really consider some of the many important things my Mom taught me…

By a word of clarification… I said at her funeral a little over a year ago that my Mom and I weren’t friends. We weren’t designed to be. She was my Mom and she was content to be my Mom. So my memories of my Mom are not always “warm and fuzzy.” I never bought her the “you were always a good listener, your warmth made me know I was loved” type of Mother’s Day cards… Don’t get me wrong, my Mom loved me… til it hurt.

I was a bit of a stupid teenager and young adult (I hope that has changed…). I was a very angry, depressed teenager (by God’s grace I know I have changed). I was often disrespectful and downright rude. I left home as quickly as I could, I came back for about a month after college (and Mom and I knew it was quickly time for me to find my own place) and then after a year I moved halfway across the country. So, while we loved each other, my Mom and I weren’t “close” by most people’s standards… BUT MOM TAUGHT ME MORE THAN SHE PROBABLY EVER KNEW! So here goes… through tears of regret, repentance, and rejoicing… here goes.

My Mom Taught Me… TO PRAY.

I’ve read tons of books on prayer in my life… and I can parse every possible method of prayer. But at the center of prayer is one truth… one trait… that my Mom had in spades and may be the greatest thing I inherited from her… FAITH. The greatest lesson in my life on how to pray did not come from Mueller, Spurgeon, Owen, Bounds… it came from Joye Russell.

1. She prayed without ceasing. Prayer journals, multiple prayer lists, prayer chains… these weren’t just a religious exercise for my Mom… prayer was her lifeblood. My life will be spent with a vision of my Mom incessantly seeking the Lord… and an example to follow.

2. She prayed believing. My Mom was a bit of a control freak. (I may have inherited that, too.) At least it seemed that way. But, the more I think back on my Mom’s life and faith… I think she really just believed that God was her source, her strength… and that through prayer, His mighty right arm was defending her, holding her, and guiding her. So faith constantly drove her to action… She was a walking woman on her knees… The key… pray in faith THEN move in faith

3. She was an example in praying… so EVERYONE came to her for prayer. Colleagues, friends, family members, co-workers, her bosses… her kids. At her funeral, so many people told me that my Mom was their best friend… and I think that, more than anything, that was because they KNEW that she prayed for them. Now that’s real friendship.

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My Mom praying just before my wedding to Jo Anny.

I miss my Mom… and on weeks like this, I miss her even more. About a month after she passed on to glory, I sat with my Dad as he suffered through decisions about his own health and treatment… we missed Mom… and one major reason… she would have been praying for us in that time of need. One thing I know today… and it is a sobering thought… one less person is praying for me today…

My Mom Taught Me to Pray… thank you, Lord for a faithful Mom who believed in your faithfulness.

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