I had to have been around three or four years old when she took me under her wing. Her name was Mrs. Murphy, and she was one of the sweetest, kindest, little snow white haired ladies I knew. She taught Sunday school to preschool aged children, and I adored her. She not only taught me about Jesus, but she showed me what grace looked like; and she made me want to stay in my preschool years forever. The world would be a better place if there were more women like her. She wasn't my momma, but she sure loved on me like she was.
It was my sixteenth birthday, and like most kids, there was only one thing I felt would make the perfect birthday gift. It was of course, a car! She had a different gift idea in mind though. A gift that meant way more to me than a car. Her name is Helen, and she played the organ at my church. Helen knew music was the language of my heart, and so she gifted me with a piano book full of praise and worship songs. Inside the front cover she wrote the most beautiful, encouraging note. I still have that book. It's one of my most cherished possessions. Why? Because it was a gift from her heart to mine. She cared enough to encourage me, love me and know what was important to me. She wasn't my momma, but she sure loved on me like she was.
She would put housework on hold to play Yahtzee and Trouble with me for hours; and she would listen to every vocal concert of “Jesus Loves Me” I gave from the big rock in her front yard. Her smile could light up a room, and even though I'm certain she had days in which she was tired, sad, or worried, I never saw them. Because when I was with her, she had a way of making me feel I was more important than anything else in, or going on in, her life. A simple slice of bread with butter always tasted better at her house – probably because she took the extra effort to cut it into sticks for me, and serve it with a smile. Her cookie jar was perpetually filled not only with molasses cookies, but with love. And, each time I'd leave her house, she would make sure to tell me she loved me. I never for a moment doubted she did. My grandmother wasn't my momma, but she sure loved on me like she was.
Many children come and go at her house, none of which are from her womb. She provides respite and security in her heart and home to little ones who need a temporary place to stay. She brushes and styles curly locks and rocks newborns after late night feedings. She makes sure each child is fitted with clothes, shoes and school supplies. Her heart grieves when it's time to say goodbye. For she knows she may never see them again – they are children of her heart. She's not their momma, but she sure loves on them like she is.
Each Sunday morning, little ones with hair uncombed and slippers on their feet stand at the window to watch for her arrival. She picks them up for church and they proudly sit in the pew alongside her biological children. She's stood by many hospital beds and caskets, and wept teardrops of sorrow for children not her own. She's a diaper changer, tear wiper and Christmas gift buyer. Her washing machine often spins clothes her family of five will never wear. She loves those others call unlovely and opens her arms, home and heart to them. She's not their momma, but she sure loves on them like she is.
She carried me in the heat and humidity of a Missouri summer, and later walked me to the school bus during my kindergarten year. In the moments between working all day and cooking supper for our family, she always took time to listen to the details of my day at school. She made numerous Halloween costumes; fried a lot of chicken; and could whip up an amazing chocolate sheet cake. She used to dance in the kitchen to the sixties music on the oldies radio station - which prompted lots of giggles from me. She once cut my hair so short I looked like a boy, and she also styled my hair for my junior prom. She loves to go to garage sales, and always finds something special to buy just for me. When she's so tired she could literally drop, she continues to selflessly give to others and is a beautiful example of humility and love. She kisses my babies and holds them in her arms, and she treats my husband like he's truly her son. And, like Mrs. Murphy above, she is also a snow white haired lady teaching preschool Sunday school and loving on little ones. She's not their momma, but she sure loves on them like she is. And, I'm so honored and blessed to call her my momma...my amazing, wonderful, beautiful momma. Oh, I love her so.
These are just a few of the wonderful mommas in my life. Though I genuinely call only one of them "mom", each has blessed my life tremendously with the love and care they've shown. One doesn't have to be a biological momma to love like a momma does. She need only open her heart and her arms. Who's your momma?
"Her children arise and call her blessed…many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
– Proverbs 31:28-29 (NIV)
– Proverbs 31:28-29 (NIV)
Happy Mother's Day Mommas!
Lord, I thank You for creating each of these special women and placing them in my life. May they know they are dearly and deeply loved, and may they be richly blessed by their children. I give You all the glory for their beautiful lives and for the rich blessings I receive from knowing them and knowing You.