12 Days of Christmas Perspective- Day 10/ My MOM!!!
We are nearing the end of my Christmas series on life, perspective, and how the love of Christ shines during Advent. Many of you know that my Father is my best friend, my partner in ministry, and one of my heroes. I talk about him a lot in my blog! I’m also really close with my brother and sisters (and their significant others) and am very thankful for the relationships that I have with them. That being said, today i wanted to talk about a person that I don’t talk about NEARLY enough…..MY MAMA!
Early morning on November 27th I really did believe for a split second that my life was over. When the crashing, noises, and spinning stopped and I realized where I was and what had just happened ( and that I was alive), one of the first people that I thought about was my Mom. I’ve had some time now to think about the whole situation and how I reacted and what I was feeling. I thought about my mom first because I was driving her beloved mini-van! Mom has driven a mini-van for a LONG TIME. It started with a wood-paneled mini-van…followed by a Blue Mini-Van that made the move to Texas and lived WAY TOO many years…and then came the FANCY ONE! Just a few years ago my mom got the best of the best, a Toyota Sienna. It was light green, easy on the eyes, and fun to drive! Just over Thanksgiving I went out with the girls when they went shopping and we all packed into the van and had a great day of fellowship together. Mom kept it clean, it always smelled good, and she was proud of it! At the accident site the drivers door was wedged shut. I couldn’t open it. It took a few different people pulling on it to get it to open just enough where I could roll out. I remember turning my head and looking at the van…and there was very little left of it. It was completely destroyed. I immediately thought to myself…MY MOM’S VAN! My Mom’s beloved Van!!! It was a surreal moment. About 6 hours later I arrived back at my parents house after being released from the hospital. My mom greeted us at the door. My arm was in a sling, I was covered in dirt, still in shock over what had happened…and I fell into Mom’s arms. The first thing I said was, “I’m so sorry about your van mom.” She immediately responded with, “It’s okay Mark, it is just a thing. I can replace the van! I can’t replace you.” She sat with me on their couch while Becca scrambled to pack us up (we had a flight to catch just a couple of hours from that moment) with her arm around me, trying to help calm me down. In that moment, even though I had celebrated my 29th birthday the night before, I felt very young and extremely scared. There is nobody else that I wanted to hear from except for mom.
I love calling Mom after a work day (and after her kids are out of school….she runs a private Pre-school and Kindergarden program called A to Z learning Center http://atozlearningcenter.wordpress.com/mrs-a-to-z/) just to hear her voice. It is calming, re-assuring, and you can tell that she is ALWAYS GENUINELY INTERESTED to know what has happened during your day. A mothers work is under appreciated, rarely praised, and NEVER DONE. I am convinced that my mom has done more parenting since we all left the nest than while we were home (perhaps that is incorrect…but it seems that way). My mom is so kind, compassionate, and caring. She makes you feel loved and she makes you feel like she is on your team…no matter what. She is also a STRAIGHT SHOOTER…and I like that. If I am talking to her about something and she senses that I am coming from the wrong place or a jaded perspective she will let me know it! And I think it is important to have those kinds of people in your life. Her spirit is tender and her heart is pure. She cries over a lot of things, and I can’t lie, it always warms my heart to see the truth in her emotions.
I decided a couple of weeks ago that I was going to return home for just a couple of days (less than 48 hours to be exact) over Christmas to hang out with Mom and Dad. We will play games, watch football, share some laughs, and enjoy some great take out food (no cooking on this trip). Although those things are a lot of the same old things, the reason we will be together is to love on each other. The greatest joy of my life right now is returning to my parents the Love that they have shown me since my arrival on Thanksgiving Day in 1981. They have created a tremendous legacy, one that will be hard to follow, but one that I know Mom and Dad are passionate about. Mom has told me ever since the accident that God’s Plan for me on earth is not done yet. She has told me to serve him with my whole heart unlike any day before. My response…”I will do that Mom. I promise that I will continue to love God, to love my family, and to love HIS PEOPLE…because that is what I am called to do and because that is what your heart desires. It won’t always be perfect, but I promise that it will be my best. And I know that my best is all you have ever wanted from me. I love you so much Mom. Thank you for keeping my perspectives on the right track.”