I know that Mothers’ Day has passed, and I wish that work didn’t delay this post, but it did. I guess an expression of gratitude should never be withheld.
This goes out to the mothers in my life.
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
To my mother,
I don’t seem to remember much of my childhood, except that I was always in some sort of trouble. I remember being thoroughly disinterested in homework, and I can only imagine the grief it must have caused you. I remember the mornings you spent, labouriously ploughing through my homework with me, only to find my mind unfocused on the tasks at hand and always someplace else.
I remember you as a young woman, at a loss as to what to do with your firstborn. When I think back, I can still feel your frustration of trying to get through to your firstborn who seemed more interested in imaginary worlds and storybooks. I am glad that you gave me the space to find my own bearings and be my own person.
In more recent years we have had so much more to share, and I am so constantly in awe of how giving you are: how you’d bring elderly people you scarcely know to the hairdresser’s, or be so willing to help others with financial problems.
When I was about nine or ten, you scolded me for being too generous with my belongings. I can’t remember the exact situation, but I remember Daddy and you saying, “So you think you’re Santa Claus?” I didn’t dare answer back at that time, but I wanted so much to tell both of you that I was only following your example.
Even to this day I walk in the very large footsteps the two of you leave behind. It is my pride to inherit this legacy of generosity of spirit, and it is one of the most important lessons I hope to pass down to my own children.
To my wife, my partner in parenting the three little people in our lives: I still stand amazed at where God has brought us. You’ll always be the little girl I fell madly in love with; the teenager with whom I exchanged letters on life; the junior college student who read poetry assignments to me over the phone in the dead of night; the young woman who found her calling as a teacher of young children; and the one who gave up all others to spend her life with me back when I was broke and jobless.
I miss the days when I had you all to myself, but I know that this is season of our lives is a shared experience while our children find their wings. I am so thankful for having you in my life, and I often step back and marvel at how you have become a mother.
Indeed, “a wife of noble character who can find?” And here I am, blessed that I have so many beautiful women in my life.