A few things I learned from my Mama...
1) To care about the needs of others - it's kind of turned into a joke with us kids when Mom tries to do something nice or take care of something for us, she'll say "you have a lot going on right now". We've started saying it to each other just to get a reaction. Mom is one of the most unselfish people I know. My whole life I've seen her put other's needs above her own. It didn't matter if she was exhausted or at the end of her own resources.
2) To do so much with just a little - God must have given Mom the ability to feed 500 with just 5 loaves! It seems like you can always show up at Mom's house unannounced and she can whip up a meal out of nothing. Not saying I have this ability, but I do feel like the older I get the more I am learning to be resourceful, like Mom. She can go to the grocery store and spend $25 compared to my $125 - she would probably come home with more complete meals than I as well. God has definitely blessed us with material things, but I'm thankful as I was growing up Mom taught us to be thankful for what we had... whether it was a lot or not.
3) A good work ethic - Mom has always been a hard worker. I'm thankful that she instilled in us a desire to work hard and provide for ourselves. Whether it was outside of the home or simply taking care of our home, Mom has always been one to get things done
4) A sweet spirit - Mom can be stern when necessary, but God has blessed her with a sweet spirit. She tries to be tactful and sensitive towards the feelings and needs of others.
5) Prayer - Mom has always been sensitive and prayerful about things going on in our lives. She has always been quick to suggest we go to prayer over things troubling us and of course reassures us that she will help us pray as well. When I think of Mom's prayer life, I always remember several years ago now when Drew was on his way to Family Camp with Katie. Katie was just a toddler I believe and Drew was driving through the night to get to camp. Mom didn't realize Drew was coming in that night, but woke up during the night feeling like God was pressing her to pray for Drew, for whatever reason. Mom immediately began praying. When Drew arrived during the night or early morning, she relayed this to Drew... he told her that must have been when we was getting very tired and having a hard time staying awake while driving during the night. I always think back to that incident and desire to be close enough to God that He can use me in prayer to lift up the needs of my family and others. I want to be faithful...
* Mom/Drew: sorry if I misquoted any of the specifics of that story
6) Her smile - Most people think Mom is very reserved and quiet all of the time. Well, she's not! She has this ornery streak in her that catches us off guard sometimes. And when she does this or when she's especially tired, she gets this smile and laugh that simply cracks me up! Mom can also be quite sarcastic. I sure hope she doesn't wonder where her 3 kids get it from! She has definitely taught us how to laugh and have a good time.
7) To Entertain - Growing up in a pastor's home, we did a lot of entertaining. We also have two cousins that lived with us during the week, so Mom learned how to adjust and run a home with 5 children. This was all while working and maintaining the responsibilities of a pastor's wife and Mother. She was like Superwoman!! :) I know God gave her strength during those years! Mom is a wonderful cook and to this day does such a great job when entertaining. I have learned to entertain and love when I am brave enough to have a group or simply a few people over to our home.
Mom, I love you. Thank you for all you have taught me and the example you continue to be.