My family and I are all huge sports fans. My wife and I watch ESPN together as we fall asleep at night and as we wake up in the morning. Recently, a young man named Derek Rose won the coveted MVP award in the NBA. If you watch his speech, you will see that he can barely speak for weeping as he thanks his mother for her sacrifice and love for him. Of course his mom is sobbing as she watches her baby boy fulfill his dream, but also as she hears him take the opportunity to acknowledge her and the sacrifices she has made to make his dream come true.
Let me share with you about five different types of mothers that have been a part of my life.
My own physical mother: My parents divorced when I was a young boy and I chose to go and live with my mother, Carole. Things were extremely hard for us financially and I watched her work three jobs at once to provide for us. She worked hard and sacrificed to take care of me. She was determined to give me the best life that she could provide for me. We didn’t have much from the world’s view but my mom loved me unconditionally. We have always been very close and have a great relationship to this day.
My mother in law:
Bernice was not very fond of me whenever I first began dating her daughter, Vickie who would eventually become my wife. I have won her over through the years though and I dare say she loves me as if I were her son. She has sacrificed through the years to help our family and she is the type of woman who would give you her last dollar if you needed it. Let me just add that Paula Deen has nothing on my mother in law, she is a fantastic cook!
What I mean by this term is that sweet older lady that God sends your way as a church member, neighbor, co-worker, etc… who claims you and “adopts” you. We have a friend named Ms. Robbie in Memphis, Tn. who is my adoptive mother. Ms. Robbie refers to me as her son; she has loved me and treated me like a physical son. If I need anything, I know I can call her and she will do whatever she can to help me. She has been a constant source of encouragement in my life. Sometimes these women may not even have children of their own, but God uses them in that motherly role to many around them.
A new mother – my daughter in law:
I can’t tell you what joy I have experienced as I have watched Whitney through her pregnancy. I smile as she updates her facebook status declaring her love for this baby boy that she has not even held yet. Isn’t that an amazing thing – a mother’s love? She is already hopelessly in love with baby Finn Flockhart and has never met him! I know she is going to be an incredible mother and treasure this little boy who will arrive next month!
The mother of my six children – my wife:
Anyone who has known Vickie Flockhart will tell you that she is an incredible mother. If you have a conversation with her, it won’t be long until she is telling you about her 4 sons and 2 daughters. I am not sure if our kids truly realize all that she has done for them through the years.
Imagine all the diapers she has changed, midnight feedings for 6 babies, runny noses she has wiped, meals she has cooked, laundry she has done, homework help, book reports that SHE wrote the night before they were due, etc…a mother’s work is never ending and most times there is no acknowledgement or appreciation.
All of our kids played sports and Vickie was the chauffer to get them back and forth to practice 99% of the time. She was in the stands for most of their games and she was and is their biggest fan. I won’t go into detail but let’s say she has had a few serious discussions with referees! Our kids are adults now but when they are involved in a sport, their mother is still in the bleachers cheering them on.
My kids were taken to church as soon as they were born. It was not uncommon for me to be out of town preaching on Sundays, but my wife would load up an 8 yr. old, 6 yr. old, 4 yr. old, 2 yr. old twins and an infant and get them to church. She taught them Bible stories, she sang songs about Jesus with them, she taught them how to pray and she taught them how to tell other people about Jesus. Vickie strongly feels that a mother’s greatest missionary opportunity is to her children as they are growing up and she was dedicated to raising children who loved Jesus.
I will be honest enough to say that the “intense discussions’ my wife and I have had through the years are usually about our children. I am ‘the hard one’ and she is ‘the soft one’ so I like to think we balance each other out. Our six children have no stronger advocate then their mother and she defends them like a mama grizzly bear.
Make sure that you treat your mother, mother in law, adoptive mother, new mothers and the mother of your children like MVPs…not just on Mother’s Day but every day!