May 11, 2014

On Mother's Day

She was 27. Two kids. A foreign land miles from home. No phone, no internet, no English, and any hopes of a letter was a 3 month wait. She had a sick baby girl who mirrored her own failing health and a vibrant two year old who required energy beyond her grasp. Family was far and struggles were near. But she embraced the life she was given, and she pressed on.

She was 29. Three kids. A tribal town far from any semblance of civilization. No electricity, no running water, no grocery store, and any form of health care was a plane ride away. She had neighbors who threatened her, townspeople who stared, and needs that met her wherever she went. Life was hard and the burdens were many. But she stood on The Rock who wouldn't let her crumble, and she pressed on.

She was 32. Four kids. A corner house in a milling city with gang members and robbers to spare. No day cares, no TV channels, no church programs for support, and her last glimpses of good health were fading fast. She taught kindergarten and mentored high schoolers, balanced family life and cared for her sick husband. The tasks were unending and the worries were many. But she found hope in her Maker, and she pressed on.

She was 36. Five kids. A small town, her "own culture." No established life, no real "normal",  few friends, and the known path to take was always just out of reach.  She had a congregation to tend to, kids in school, and a new life to figure out. The feeling of "home" was fleeting and her longing for it was great. But she breathed deeply, said countless prayers, and she pressed on.

She was 44. Two kids at home. Another tribal town with little to behold. No modern conveniences, no assurance of safety, nothing to offer her children, and the nearest boarding school was 6 hours away. She heard gunshots at night, learned of murders in the morning, and wished her children could all be near. The stresses were mounting and the fears were real. But she found grace to sustain her, and still she pressed on.

She's 53. Five kids, four grandchildren - spread all over the country. No one life to call her own, no one home where all her children are near, no one group of friends to surround her - the things that have made her life full are scattered. Scattered over towns and countries, and time and space, and moments that mattered and trials that were hard. Her life is abundant yet always intangible. Her heart full yet always missing something or someone. And yet she finds contentment and chooses to press on. She's my mother, and I'm so incredibly proud.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I have learned from the best. 


  1. What a beautiful tribute to a lady I feel honored to have as a friend!

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  3. Anonymous11.5.14

    beautiful, Kelly...your mom is lucky to have you.