Friday, May 12, 2006

A Proverbs 31 Tribute to My Mother

A Proverbs 31 Tribute to My Mother, Rebecca Anna

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

You have always put Dad's needs first, and I knew from watching your example that honoring Dad was of top importance to you. Now as I seek to honor Ben as my husband, I desire to follow in your footsteps and see the blessings that submission brings.

“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”

I love the memory of you making lists of chores and then allowing each of us to choose which ones we wanted to do. You made work fun and easy to accomplish!

“She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.”

Even though you never got your wish of raising chickens, you were always buying what was heathiest for us. Now I'm glad you didn't give in to our pleas of buying sugar-coated cereal. Now I know what's in that stuff! Going out of your way to buy organic food from the co-op, grinding wheat berries, making home cooked meals, fish patties (uff da!) - you always did your best to see that we were healthfully well-fed.

“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”

Many mornings I would awake to find you had already been up for quite awhile. You were ready to start homeschooling early and always had your cup of coffee or tea to get you going. The best was when I’d wake up in the mornings to your piano playing! I miss that! And remember how you, Mel and I would sit around the piano and sing – then we’d end up laughing so hard our eyes would water? You instilled in us a love for music!

“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.”

The flower gardens would never be so beautiful without your constant care and upkeep of them. I love how you get so excited about the lilacs blooming or a new flower sprouting through the ground. You taught me, through your love of nature, that the heavens and earth declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1-4).

“She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.”

Remember the days of stacking firewood for the long winter? Whew! What a job it was and I never thought I'd say this but..."I miss gathering firewood!" It was so fun to do together as a family.

“She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.”

Thank you for teaching me to look for the best buy and not spend money frivolously. You encouraged me to always tithe first, save half, and the leftover was mine to spend. I remember when I was young when you took me into the bank and opened a savings account for me. I also remember how hard you worked with Dad at becoming debt free and the celebrating that took place when you reached that goal!

“She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.”

Thank you for sewing dresses and doll clothes for me when I was little! Oh, I can still remember the thrill of having a new Easter dress that you had made! Even though I wasn't the best student, thank you for helping me with sewing projects when I was a little older. I’ll never forget those hot pink coo-lots (sp?) you helped me with for field day. Can't believe I wore those things! Ha!

“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”

You encouraged us to work together as a family to reach out and bless others. Our family music ministry would have never survived without your bookkeeping and organization. And remember the time you stopped and gave that homeless man your hamburger? Even though I was scared he was going to attack us, you showed me that “…It is more blessed to give, than to receive” (Acts. 20:35).

“She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.”

Thank you for the time you invested to see that I was properly clothed. I loved when you would tucked my mittens into my snowsuit cuffs so that my hands would stay nice and dry when playing out in the snow. And buying new winter coats every other year was such a big deal to me when I was young...I appreciate your care, Mom! I also remember how well you cared for me spiritually, especially during the times I’d have a bad dream. Your prayer would send me right back into a peaceful sleep. I can still remember knocking on your bedroom door in the middle of the night and you coming and snuggling me between you and Dad…then I knew I was really safe from the monsters!

“Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.”

I truly believe Dad is the strong spiritual leader he is today because of you. You believed in him and reverenced him, even during the hardest of times. Now God has honored him with the position of elder in the church, owner of his own company, and grandfather to almost 11 grandchildren!

“She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.”

Thank you for choosing to stay home with us! Thank you for not putting a career or job in the place of being a mother and keeper at home. You also raised us to have marketable skills, which we can use to serve others and earn an income in a God-honoring manner at the same time. You had just the right balance!

“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”

Your womb has carried five babies, you have seen your children grow and all come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, you are the grandmother to eleven precious souls, and the best is yet to come...your reward in heaven will be great! As the years go by, I pray you are also able to see on this earth some of the fruits of your many labors, prayers, and tears as your children and grandchildren follow God’s leading in their lives and are instruments used for the glory of God.

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

You have taught me so much about life and love! I remember the long talks we had before I was married -- girl to girl. And now Ben often comments on how wonderful you are as a mother-in-law. Your kindness toward us as a couple comes through in so many ways. Rather than going to my closest girl friends for advice, I'd rather seek out your counsel, Mom.

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

Now that I have my own house, I realize what a job it is to keep clean! Whenever I wash dishes or iron my clothes, I remember the joy you always find in those simple chores. And I remember the extra time you took in making sure my hair was done up neatly when I was young. And I remember how you kept all the towels stacked so neatly in the linen closet. And how you allowed us to decorate the dining room windows for Christmas with washable paints (which was making more work for you in the end, but oh so fun for us!). Yet in the midst of busy housekeeping, you always seemed to have time to read to us, put a puzzle together, color a picture, walk down to the lake, or step outside to "look at the fort we made!" Thank you for your availability, Mom!

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

You truly have been and are the best mother anyone could ever hope for. Now that I am almost a new mother, not a day goes by where I do not think how much I appreciate your many sacrifices on my behalf. I praise the Lord for you and for the example and testimony of a Godly wife and mother you have set for me. I know you are not perfect, but if I am half as good of a wife and mother as you, I will be happy. I love you, Mom!


The Wissmann Family said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing. We also have been so blessed by your mother -- and by the children she raised! [smile]

Melanie said...

AMEN! That is beautifully put Mindy. Our mother truly is a gift from the Lord. How did we get so blessed anyway? It is amazing to me!