When I was a little girl, she was my hero.
I looked up to her in all that she did. She was a wonderful mom, full of life and love.
I oohed and ahhed over the amazing masterpieces she could paint with her hands, and I still do. I wondered if I would ever possess such a God-given talent, like she had. I was proud of all she had accomplished which not only brought joy to others as they hung her paintings in their homes, but also helped provide for our family.
As a child, I knew that divorce was hard on me, but I had no idea how hard it was on her. But despite it all, she remained positive, kind and selfless. She would give me, my sister and my brother the shirt off her back if it meant meeting our needs, and until I became a mother myself, I couldn’t comprehend the sacrifices she made on our behalf.
Even during a battle against breast cancer which was valiantly fought and won, she never wavered in her desire to do for others, rather than herself.
I always hoped I could be as beautiful as her one day. With her dark brown hair, olive skin, big brown eyes, trendy fashion style and vivacious personality. But it wasn’t until I got older that I realized that it was her inner beauty that I really admired, more so than her outward beauty.
You see, as a child, we think moms are just supposed to provide for us, meet our needs, take care of us, love us and discipline us if needed. But the truth is – moms don’t have to do that at all. Having a child might make one a ‘mother’…. but true selflessness is what makes one a real mom.
I know my mom gave up a lot for my siblings and I when we were young. As a single mom, she would so often do without, so that we could have what we needed, or wanted. And even to this day, her sweet spirit of selflessness continues. She never ceases to think of others before herself.
We often think that as we get older, we won’t need our moms as much, but the opposite turns out to be true. In fact, I think my siblings and I need my mom more now than we did when we were young, although our neediness has taken on new meaning. As for me, I need her to be my friend, my confidant, and my support – and she has always been my biggest cheerleader. She still buys special gifts for me for no reason at all, instead of buying for herself, simply because her spirit of selflessness overrides her own needs and wants. She will drop any plans if someone asks her for help, whether it’s her children, her grandchildren, family members or friends. If any of us need something – physically or emotionally – we know she is willing to give whatever she can.
In fact, at times her compulsion to help others causes problems in her own life as she constantly puts her own needs on the back burner, but it’s like she can’t help herself. Because her spirit of selflessness overrides her own needs. She will give and give even when she has nothing left to give because her mind is so programmed to always care about the interests of others that it’s hard for her to ever put herself first.
In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul is expressing to the Philippians the importance of putting the needs of others before their own. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. “
This verse is my precious mother’s legacy. There has never been a day when she didn’t put other people’s needs before her own.
The Proverbs 31 Ministries legacy campaign that is currently going on has inspired me to consider what woman in my life I most admired. What woman I most wanted to be like. What woman I secretly envied for her innate ability to be an example of Christ to everyone she meets even if her gifts of selflessness go unappreciated or unackowledged. She gives, expecting nothing in return, just like our Jesus. So the first person that came to mind without any hesitation was my mom, Barbara. I know so many amazing and wonderful Godly women, but in my opinion, my sweet mother takes the cake.
If we could all wake up tomorrow morning with the attitude of selflessness and service to others that she exhibits without even trying, I promise that this world would be a much better place.
If you ask me, there is no better legacy than one of selflessness – a legacy of putting others before ourselves. A legacy of always looking to the interest of others, even if that means sacrifices for ourselves. A legacy of a true Christ-like attitude of love and selflessness at all times.
With respect to the legacy campaign that Proverbs 31 is soon wrapping up, I want to thank my mom today, for being the kind of mom and woman that I can only hope to become and for living a legacy that will never be forgotten. Now that I’m a grown women, married with three kids of my own – she is still my hero.
Who has impacted your faith? Perhaps a friend, sister, your mother or grandmother, a mentor or pastor’s wife? Honor her with a $20 donation to Proverbs 31 Ministries today. We’ll send her a beautiful Legacy card and list her name on the front page of our website in May! And through your donation in honor of her faith, you’ll help us reach and strengthen the faith of millions of women around the world each day. Click here to find out more.
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