Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Momma, part 2

As I spent this week trying to fit all of the reasons why I love my mom into two entries, I realized that was virtually impossible—and probably not beneficial to the readership. What I realized more than anything, as I looked back on my brief life with my mom, is not that I admire my mom because she cooked for me (though it was wonderful), or because she stayed home with me (which was great too), or even that she gave up so much to take care of four children. The fundamental thing that guided, and still guides, my mom’s life is that she hopes in God.

Raising four children was not easy, especially when two of them were wayward. My mom has spent three Mother’s Day’s, two Christmas’, and many birthdays, waiting for a child to walk through the door and say “I’m saved.” Though the family never seemed whole without the fourth child there, she pressed on with the normal traditions that the Tarter family does on every holiday. She bought presents for her absent child, and placed them under the tree, where they would wait until God brought them home.

In all of this, my mom did not cease to worship God. She did not cease to read her Bible. And she did not cease to pour out her distressed soul to her Savior every day. I can still hear her telling me “God will bring you home, or He will take you out. Don’t forget that.” Even when she questioned God’s reasoning for this suffering, she never doubted that He was the one orchestrating all of it for His glory and our good.

When I look at my mom, I know that her love for our Christ is not some fluffy, cotton-candy type of love. It is a love that has been tested by fire, and has come out stronger and more precious because of the purifying flames of suffering. She has spent the night in hospitals next to an injured child, she has stayed up all night with an ill child, and she has spent hours upon hours begging God to save the souls of her children.

For the most part, my mom is done with the labors of child rearing, and is transitioning into being a Mimi (grandma). But she still cries every time we leave, because her job is never truly done. She will never cease being our mother—and for that she deserves much recognition.

There is so much more about my mom that I admire, like her tremendous generosity and care for new mothers, or her compassion towards people who are hurting, or her interest in every little detail of our lives (even if it is boring to every other person), but I realize that all of these things are possible because her hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. The natural woman does not live this way. Only a woman, who has been purchased by the blood of the Lamb, can serve her family in this manner.

And so, as you prepare to spend time with your mother’s tomorrow, remember to thank her. Thank her for the sacrifice, even if it wasn’t what you think it should be, and if your mother is not around, or not a mother who cared, ask God to teach you to be a mother who is a life-giver and not a life-taker. But most importantly, thank God for the gift of mothers—they truly are the backbone of our society, even if nobody else notices.

So, thank you momma for giving up your life for me and the boys. We did not always treat you like you deserved. We did not always respect you. But you taught us more than we probably will ever know. You taught us to read, you taught us to eat, and most importantly, you taught us about Christ. Thank you for telling us we are sinners so we could see Christ in His sinlessness. May your faithful teaching bless generations of Tarter’s to come.

Happy Mother’s Day, momma!


Anonymous said...

Wow! I teared up when I was reading your post! Your momma sounds wonderful!

Happy Mother's Day, Mrs. Tarter!

Anonymous said...