Today is a very special day for our family. Today is my wonderful mother’s birthday! My Mom has always been a hard worker – both in the workplace and at home. She managed, by God’s grace, to be a success both in her career and in her home. I remember hearing preachers say that women were supposed to stay at home with their children. I remember how my mother always said, “That’s right. Valerie, when you have children, stay at home with them! Don’t ever start working because if you do, it will be very hard to stop. You become dependent on the extra income.” I listened to her. I’ve never worked outside of my home, but I try to work just as hard at home as she did.

My Mom would tell you that she’s fallen short of the mark of “perfect mother”, but I would disagree. I learned from Mom that when a child feels loved and needed, it doesn’t matter whether the meals on the table are homemade from scratch, or Hamburger Helper. It doesn’t matter if the home is decorated beautifully or looks simple and clean. It doesn’t matter if a child has a multitude of toys or just a few. No material possessions or tangible elements can make a child feel loved. That comes from the parents and from the spirit of the woman. I’m trying to duplicate her spirit, but I often fail in my attempts.

My mom, no matter how tired she was at the end of the day, always had time to listen to me talk about my heartaches, problems, or fears. She always had time to care. Around the dinner table, we enjoyed each other’s company. I hardly recall the meals we consumed, but I do remember the wonderful conversations we shared, and the smiling faces around our table. I don’t remember most of the Christmas gifts or birthday presents I got over the years, but I remember vividly feeling loved each year and wanting time to stand still, for just a moment, so that I could take it all in and savor it.

Even today, I know I can call my mom and share a need with her and she will try to help in some way. I know she prays for me every day. I know she will listen to me, and she still has time to care about me.

I’m so thankful to have a mother who has worked so hard to give me the life I have. She has lived God’s Word and stayed true to Him regardless of what has happened in her life. Whenever I want to quit serving God, I think of Mom and Dad. They wouldn’t quit when problems came, they would claim God’s promises and keep going. So I will, too.

Happy birthday, Mom! Thank you for all you have done for me. Thank you for being such a great Mom and a wonderful friend. I love you so very much.


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