Do You Want a Long Life?

Jen’s Gem: Honor your Mom every day.

I’ve written often of my mother in my various blogs and newsletters over the years. Gone a dozen years in a few weeks, not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. As Friday nights roll around, our weekly catch up time, I long to hear her voice and share the happenings of the lives of my children and I. 

If anyone could make you feel at home, it was my Mom. Her Southern hospitality translated into a cup of coffee and a yummy treat for visitors. At Christmas, neighbors would receive a loaf of her bignolati or a plate of “you can’t eat just one” cookies. She always had a stuffed animal or trinket in her closet for visiting nieces and nephews.

Everyone loved my Mom. There wasn’t a mean bone in her body, unless of course, you wronged one of her children. Then, like any good mother, the “Mama Bear” would rise up and woe to the perpetrator. She raised six children, mostly on her own, as my Dad worked two or three jobs. To this day, I don’t know how she did it.

She never complained. She never cried “poor me.” She never made any of us feel like we were a burden to her. She just got up every day, put two feet on the floor, and did what she had to do. No fuss. No muss. If she was experiencing any hardship, no one would know. Though in her later years, as her health began to fail her, you’d typically hear an “I’m tired” response to the “How are you?” question.

My Mom had a strong faith. She was raised a Baptist, but converted to Catholicism upon marrying my father as I was told they wanted to raise their family in a singular faith. Grace was always said at the dinner table. Church attendance was non-negotiable.

I wonder what she’d think of her fifth child writing a weekly blog and publishing a book about my walk with God or attending Bible college. I bet we’d have some wonderful conversations about each endeavor.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)

One wouldn’t consider my Mom as worldly. She was raised in a small, rural town in South Carolina and was then scooped up at eighteen by my Dad who exclaimed upon meeting her in her Charleston hat check girl apparel, “That’s the girl I’m going to marry.” Just look at her! Can you blame him?

I suspect her looks were the first thing people noticed. She was a beauty! However, beneath the surface, she had an uncanny sense of people and situations and she was rarely wrong about either. Oh, had we all listened to her words of wisdom!

People say I favor my mother. Though her fair skin and blue eyes dominated the genetic makeup of all of my siblings. My Dad’s brown eyes and olive skin did not make their way to any of us, although we each got a dose of his Sicilian pride and a tad of his stubbornness. (Some of us got more than a tad. Hmmm, I wonder who could that be?).

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4

Today, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, I will honor my Mom for all that she taught me. I will remember her hugs, her laugh, and her grace. I will remind myself that her old school ways, which I mocked as a child, are the very cornerstones of my own parenting. I will be grateful for her advice, her love, and her faith, which set me on a path that has transformed my life.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3 NLT)

The Bible teaches that honoring your parents is the first commandment that comes with a promise. That promise? Long life. Since God doesn’t make promises He can’t keep, I’d say this is a no-brainer to ensure that all moms and dads are honored today and every day.

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:28

If you’re a Mom, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day today. I applaud your hard work and dedication to your children and families. It’s not an easy job, but then again, nothing worthwhile ever is. Know that God is watching over you, loves you deeply, and is blessing you to be the best mother you can be.

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