I have my mom to thank for the fact that I have far more white hairs than anyone should have at 24. She’s… older than that, with hair like a cue ball. That’s one of the ways we’re similar. But it’s also one of the ways we’re different. She wears hers proudly—no dyes, no excuses—while I meticulously rip out every imposter I can get my tweezers on. One of the reasons my mom doesn’t dye her hair is because she says doesn’t have time for it—which is the truth. And another way we’re different. She’s like the Energizer Bunny; I’m like a wind-up toy.
The woman never stops. She takes care of her family, works two jobs, cooks, cleans, and is always doing things at our church. I know that can be said about a lot of women—God bless them. But my mom also never stops working for others. She never stops looking for ways to help. She never stops trying to make kids’ lives better.
I’m not just talking about her own kids. Yes, she has given my brother and I so much in the way of sacrifices, provisions, prayer, counsel, love, and so much more. But since around the time she stopped being a kid herself, she has been ministering to children.
This is a very special Mother’s Day weekend for her. This weekend, she’s celebrating 30 years as the children’s minister at my home church.
“It sounds kind of crazy,” she told me. “Who stays at one church for 30 years?”
Maybe it is crazy. But I think it’s amazing. She’s guided two generations of children from their cribs up until middle school. And she’s awesome at it. Many people are intimidated when it’s time to lead a child to Christ or tell a parent about bad behavior or ask someone to teach a Sunday School class for three year olds. Not my mom. She gets things done. She’s a children’s ministry expert. And she doesn’t usually get the thanks she deserves. She gives kids in our church and community some of the best opportunities to learn about Jesus that you will find anywhere.
As for the fact that hardly anyone stays at one church for 30 years anymore, yet she and my dad have, both serving in a plethora of ways with incredible devotion all this time, I think it shows remarkable character. It shows faithfulness, commitment, perseverance, dedication, loyalty, diligence, and a quiet but unquestionable love. I am so thankful I have parents who, through their lives, taught me the value of these characteristics. They have stuck it out through good and bad times, through conflicts and tragedies, through dry spells and revivals. As many of those they’ve loved and served have come and gone, they’ve remained. And God has used them to help shape and build our church in so many ways.
But Mom doesn’t just minister to children through our church. She is also a speech pathologist for children, many of whom have special needs. Her job is to help them learn how to better communicate. It’s often emotionally grueling, but she has done it for years, and still travels around the county (and sometimes multiple counties) with a car trunk full of books, games, and toys, bringing hope for a better life to countless children.
I’ve had the rare privilege to watch my mom work in both roles, and she excels at both. I think, in essence, what she does in both jobs is allow children to better connect—with other people, with the world around them, and with God. And she’s taught me to do the same, and helped me develop a passion for working with children myself.
It’s one of the ways I’m so glad to be like her. I’m proud to be the daughter of such an incredible woman. Her heart for raising up children to walk with Jesus is so beautiful, and her level of commitment is so unique.
My mom loves Jesus, and you can see it in everything she does. Her servant’s heart overflows as an expression of that love. And that’s one of the many ways I want to be like her.
Here’s a video I made (with the help of a few friends) for Mom’s 30th anniversary reception at church.