I did not know I had a story.
You see, during some of my college years, I competed in pageants.
And EVERYONE there had a story.
Awful stories, heart-warming stories, stories of adversity.
Me? I had to wear a hip brace when I was younger but still, no big deal.
I always thought I would never win because I simply did not have a captivating story.
And honestly, I still don’t.
There is nothing miraculous about where we are today.
There is nothing that stops you dead in your tracks and says, whoa, look at all they have overcome.
We are just ordinary.
But recently, a friend told me we all have a story. We all have a story of what God has done in our lives.
And man, God has worked in my life.
And I am immensely grateful because I think this is a thread of gratefulness.
I am not saying I am great and wonderful or do the right thing all the time but one thing I constantly do is send up silent whispers of prayer…thank you, God.
And I think there are so many of us that do this very same thing.
Walking out of Cray’s WEE school party, thank you, Lord, that I get to be home with them.
When they all nap at the same time, thank you, Lord, that I am home and they are all asleep so I have some time.
When they are all screaming, thank you, Lord, that I have three healthy children.
When I see my husband’s Bible out on the counter, thank you, Lord, for a man that leads us.
You see, none of this is extraordinary, but I think it is here in the ordinary where I am so thankful.
Just looking at pictures of Kuy helping Cray open his birthday presents brought tears to my eyes. Seeing their daddy beside them celebrating, I almost cried again.
I am truly so grateful for this season, as easy and as hard as it can be to manage some days.
Because just last week, two out of three were crying and I realized I had pulled out of the Chick-fil-A drive-thru without actually taking our food.
But what does this have to do with my mom?
She taught me how to be grateful.
No matter what was going on in life, I heard her say, thank you.
And I’ll never forget that.
The dance competitions. The hundreds of rhinestones. The money. The sacrifice.
As a child, you don’t see all that. You don’t know you’re supposed to say thank you.
You don’t understand the financial strain.
The nights away from your husband.
Because today if that were me? Would I have done that for my kids!? Would I DO that for my kids?
I can’t imagine dragging a toddler to a dance competition one weekend a month in the spring but there he was…my precious brother. Covering his eyes in the dressing room. Getting a trophy because we convinced him to run onstage and do a toe touch.
She did it because she loved us. She knew the determination it would build. The passion deep inside me that it would fuel.
She could see the big picture and now, I can, too.
Someone told me the “box” I see when I look through a camera is a direct result of looking at a stage my entire life and I have never compared the two.
Isn’t it amazing the threads God weaves together?
My mom’s life was not even close to easy and her strength through it all amazes me.
We use “amaze” so loosely these days but it is truly incredible how God has used her threads.
Her shyness—she teaches because of those children.
Her sensitivity—I see it in Kuy when he offers Cray his slushie because Cray got in trouble and couldn’t have one.
Her strength—her determination that she pulled out of me.
I would have NEVER had the nerve to do this—write a blog, ask my friends to write with me, QUIT my job but I watched her. I watched her get in the car without a map and be absolutely certain she knew how to get somewhere. I watched her look at crafts and say, “Oh, we can make that.” I watched her find bargains because she would NOT pay full price. I watched her every move.
After losing two brothers and most recently her father, she is now closer to her mother than ever before.
It is no coincidence the way those relationships bond us together.
I talk to her numerous times a day.
She knows more than most of my friends that have been on the blog this week because she knows me.
She knows me like our Father knows us.
The hairs on our head.
The freckles on our faces.
Every inch. Because she studied it for 32 years (and trust me when I say she is a detail person).
And He knit us together way before that.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made because of our Creator. Our moms saw that in us and helped shape who we would become long before we could wrap our mind around who we are.
And my mom? Watching the way she loves the kids she teaches, the way my dad makes her laugh, the way she gives Russ the most perfect and thoughtful gifts, the way she checks on Austin (sorry, Rebecca, maybe too much), the way she prays for Rebecca, the way she checks on me.
But more than anything? The way my kids RUN to see her. The way they light up when she walks into the room.
NOTHING makes me happier.
Thank you, Mom, for all that you are.
Happy Mother’s Day.
I love you.