Saturday, May 12, 2012


If you were to base your understanding of my family's dynamics based on this photo...

IMG_1853 Elyaa, Edward, and Mom Evelyn resized'd probably get it wrong. My brother comes across as a grumpy, rebellious, independent kid while I look like a sweet, quiet, needed-to-cling-to-my-mama kid.

None of those things are true.  My brother was the painfully shy kid who never was mean to anyone in his life. well, except for maybe my cat, my Barbies, and --- on ocassion --- me.  I was independent sometimes to a fault, was often mean, and though I wasn't overtly rebellious in the big ways, I definitely pushed the envelope as far as I could get away with and still be a "good girl".

And my mama.  Well, she does look like the modest, behind-the-scenes person that she often is in real life. But what you can't see, is the big impact she has made on the world.

As an English teacher with a career that lasted decades, she helped many students learn to be good writers and better speakers.  She gave them the tools they needed to not just suceed academically, but to suceed in life as they were able to clearly communicate professionaly and personally.

Over the years, she also helped countless people as a pastor's wife, faithful friend, good neighbor, loyal daughter, missions supporter, always-there grandma, and community servant.

And for me and my brother, everything we are doing for this world as we walk out God's call on our lives has somehow been affected by her being our mother. 

What this photo doesn't show is the endless hours, the days, the weeks, the months, the years, that our mom was pouring into our lives.  She not only excelled in the basic care of us --- the feeding, clothing, caring, etc. --- but also in loving us, teaching us to love others, and most importantly, teaching us to love God.  All the books read, homework assignments helped with, birthday parties thrown, plays and concerts attended, Christmas presents bought, cooking lessons given, church activities encouraged, scripture verses practiced, tears wiped away, laundry washed, and advice given, all of these things were done out of love.

The photo doesn't show you so many things ---- the good, the bad, the dull, the drudge, or even the excitement.

But what it does show you is two kids and a mom.

And I can guarantee you that if you were to meet us, a whole lot of any good you'd find in me and my brother would be because of this quiet and unassuming mother who faithfully and sacrificially served her family.

I know that growing up I didn't say thank-you nearly enough.  I know that on Mothers Day Sundays during my younger years, I didn't celebrate her nearly enough.  I just don't think as kids we can ever truly appreciate what our moms do for us.  It takes growing up.

Cause as kids, we're kind of like someone looking at an old photograph.  We just don't see the whole story even though we're living it.  All we see is from our own selfish, childish perspective and all too often we focus on what our parents don't do for us.  We get fixated on the stuff they won't buy us and the things they won't let us do and the places they won't let us go and the people they won't let us be with.  Its just like looking at a 2-dimensional photograph.

It isn't until we grow up, and often it takes us becoming parents ourselves, before we see the full picture and realize how much was done for us, even if it wasn't done perfectly.

Mom, if you're reading this, Happy Mothers Day!  No photo will ever be found that captures your true beauty and tells the story of what a wonderful childhood you gave to me and my brother growing up.  Our achievements, sucesses, and victories are also yours.

I love you, Mom!  And never, ever forget that what you did for us and still do for us can never be celebrated enough.

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