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A Mother’s Day Tribute…

It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating Mother’s Day and, yet, here we are again. And I have come to the conclusion that we can’t celebrate mothers enough – every day should be Mother’s Day. Yes, I think Dads are important also, but even when I look back on my own life, I have to admit that mothers set the tone for most of us.

After church, we had a family gathering and shared brunch together. We are big on celebrating birthdays, special events and our family is very close – taking advantage of every opportunity to get together and share time with one another. Our oldest daughter, Kristin, started a tradition a number of years ago where we recognize each occasion and we all take a turn at speaking into the event.

Of  course, with today being Mother’s Day, it was all about our moms. With Janet, and both of our daughters in attendance, it was clear that the appropriate thing to do would be to recognize moms and share the important things that we learned from them. It was really interesting to hear our grandchildren, in particular, speak about the impact that our daughters have had on their lives. My vantage point has always been a little different – sometimes I still think of our daughters as little girls and yet, here they are with teens and college aged children of their own.

The thing that came through loud and clear was the fact that our four grandchildren – all boys – know and feel the unconditional love that they receive from their mothers. Kristin and Jill would do anything for their boys. Of course, I know that – but it was heartwarming to have the boys realize that was the case. Too many times, our younger generations don’t seem to recognize the lengths that parents and grandparents go to in order to support them.

Of course, in great measure, this fierce love and support of family came from Janet. I can’t think of a more terrific mother than my wife! Each year, as our own children enter middle age, it becomes even more clear how imperative it is to have the unconditional love of a mother. Janet has been the driving force instilling love, support, encouragement and acceptance in the lives of our children. And now, even more remarkable, is the opportunity to see these traits blossom in our youngest family members as they continue to experience the love of our daughters.

I don’t know that I have ever seen this as clearly as today. In fact, when I looked at my own life, I took a step back and remembered some of the vital things that Mom taught me. During our family gathering today, I was transported back to my youth recalling the things that have stayed with me as foundational. Things like knowing the importance of growing relationships with people and being aware of my surroundings. Or realizing the blessing that I had of being raised in the United States, a child of privilege, learning life lessons all around me – all the time. And the love of family, all generations, and how they impact us for the remainder of our lives.

Another thing that stood out today is the fact that unconditional love and support are, at least in our family, generational in nature. The things that we celebrated today were instilled in Janet and me by people who are no longer with us. In the sixty years or so that I knew Janet’s parents, I never heard her mother, Nancy, speak an unkind word about anyone… She was always supportive and I thought of her as a second Mom. I have known her since I was five years old. And the impact that she had on Janet and both of her two sisters is evident every day of my life. All the Boyd girls had an incredible role model as a mother. The same was true of Nancy’s mother, Grandma Fran. She exhibited the same traits as the other women in the family.

As a child, I was jealous of how close their family was, but the miracle that I have seen during the last fifty years that we have been married is that Janet has replicated that environment within our own nuclear family and succeeding generations. That has been a blessing beyond comprehension. I am so grateful that God placed Janet in my life and it is abundantly clear that our entire family is safely in the hands of God.

Our verse for tonight comes from King Solomon’s Book of Proverbs. When speaking about the mothers in our lives, he tells us, in Proverbs 31:25-28, “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…”

Truer words were never spoken… My encouragement this evening is that God places role models in our lives to teach us life lessons and to instill in us a solid foundation for the rest of our lives. My prayer is that we will take time to thank, or remember, those women who have been instrumental in forming who we are today. And if you are one of those people who didn’t have a great maternal experience, I pray that God has, or will, place women in your life who have solidified the fact that you are a child of God, beloved more than you know or can even possibly imagine. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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