Monday, May 12, 2014

Thanks, Mom!

I was at a Christian retreat in Colorado a few months back. There's a lot of teaching on identity, healing, restoration, and discipleship for men specifically. It's one of those functions that tends to have a tremendous spiritual and emotional impact on those who attend. Many men end up weeping. In front of other men. That ought to tell you something about how God moves there.

This time, the folks who host these retreats tried a new lesson they'd never tried  It was about mothers. It was a bit of a double-take for us, because a lot of these talks discuss the role and power of our fathers, and the profound way they shape us and build us up. But this time it was about moms, who possess a power and influence all their own that can't be ignored - for good or for ill.

Sure enough, God was there. Through the words of the gracious woman speaking to us, he got through to a lot of guys that night, spoke healing to difficult pasts with mothers, to abandonments and harsh words and broken hearts. Once again, we had a roomful of bowed heads, open sniffling, spectacles coming off and handkerchiefs coming out. Totally a God thing.

I believe God wants to speak to our pasts and offer restoration of our hearts.

But that's not what I want to talk about here. During that powerful talk on mothers, I was sitting back in my chair and just listening. Not weeping. Not even sniffling. Feeling pretty good about things. For that particular talk didn't really apply to me.

Because I have an awesome mom.

Thanks, Mom, for always telling me I could achieve whatever I wanted.

Thanks, Mom, for raising me to be honest.

Thanks, Mom, for getting me into martial arts and not letting me quit.

Thanks, Mom, for working your heart out to schedule my lessons, correct my papers, and force me to redo the tough parts (some of you have no idea how much work and sacrifice is involved in homeschooling).

Thanks, Mom, for letting me vent stupidly over the phone all these years.

Thanks, Mom, for showing me how to organize my important papers into a nice, neat portfolio.

Thanks, Mom, for postponing the final collapse of culture by teaching me to write in cursive.

Thanks, Mom, for birthing me in the first place.

Thanks, Mom, for supporting my enlistment in the Air Force even though it meant we'd be far apart.

Thanks, Mom, for the emergency loans. I swear on my mother's, on my personal honor that I'll finish paying them off soon.

Thanks, Mom, for the piano lessons. I may have fought you every step of the way, and I may have ended up on the guitar anyway, but music lessons are music lessons. Now I'm a worship leader.

Thanks, Mom, for always reminding me that my brother and I would end up needing each other. You were right.

Thanks, Mom, for not killing me.

Thanks, Mom, for buying us a pony when we were younger. I wish I'd been willing to learn to ride.

Thanks, Mom, for paying for my massive orthodontia, for letting me stay up late during those first few nights with headgear and buying me Star Trek: Deep Space Nine action figures.

Thanks, Mom, for getting me into youth group at the time when meeting new people was right up there with death by measles on my personal wish list.

Thanks, Mom, for not letting me get a Super Nintendo and devolve into a vidiot until I was old enough to handle it.

Thanks, Mom, for making me read constantly.

Thanks, Mom, for constantly telling me how proud you are.

Thanks, Mom, for the bandaids and the hugs and the fair visits and the iPods and the people advice and the teacher conferences and the birthday money and the good cooking and the Uno games and the millions of things neither of us remember anymore and only God remembers. I hope he puts them all down on a list when we finally join him in heaven. It'll take a significant chunk of eternity to go over them all.

Love you, Mom.

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