It’s Mother’s Day today, so I wanted to take a few minutes to honour (<- Canadian spelling) two of my favourite mom’s in the whole world.
The short, white lady in this picture is my mom (I’m not sure who that baboon-looking dude is next to her, but its not my dad.) She just got back from Malaysia a couple weeks ago. I’m real proud of both my parents. They’re what’s called “tent maker” missionaries, meaning they support their own ministry through their professional career.
In Ontario my mom was in nursing management, where she worked her way up, working nights while we were little kids so she could be there for us during the day, and putting aside a giant chunk of her salary to help pay for two missions trips while we were growing up.
Despite being raised a small-town gal, she’s organized and pulled off 4 trips around the world: Bangladesh when I was 5, Germany when I was 13, her own trip to Africa while my parents were still working to put their kids through college, and my parents’ move to Asia — which they went after just as soon as the last of us kids was done school.
Someone at church once said about my mom “she’s a little lady, but don’t let that fool you; she’s a force to be reckoned with!” While they’re in Asia, my mom’s working with TransWorld Radio helping them develop a strategy for delivering medical and spiritual resources to the people of Cambodia.
There’s no church that’s sent them out, and no missions agency that helps them figure out how to work with the governments of the different countries they’re dealing with. Just my dad’s employer, their network of like-minded friends and missionaries that they’ve cultivated over the past 3 decades, their sheer determination to show God’s love to the people of Asia… and a God who is with them that can move mountains!
When my mom got back from Asia for the summer, she flew out to visit my brother and sister, then drove with me down to New York to help me pack up our apartment. While I went to work this week, she was packing boxes and cleaning out cupboards!
Its funny how you don’t really understand how much your parents do for you until you become parents yourself. My wife, best friend and partner-in-adventure recently became a mom for the second time. And, as with the first, has handled the change with more grace and flexibility than I could ever muster. Nicole just never loses her cool.
Benjamin had a horrific bout of colic, and Abigail, sweet though she may be, has the most annoying cry you can imagine. Her nickname of “piglet” is well earned, because she still snorts loudly when she gets good and upset, and I usually have to leave the room before it drives me insane! Nicole, on the other hand, regardless of the time of night, manages to not only be calm, but to inspire calm. Her kids know love when they feel her touch, and its her confidence and peace that allows them to grow. Benjamin is a fearless little explorer, convinced he can be friends with everyone he meets — he’s never once seen his mom be anything less than completely loving and accepting, and his wonderfully innocent awe of the world around him is a testament to her ability to help him learn and discover new things.
And she’s no slouch herself when it comes to organizing and managing the family. She’s single-handedly responsible for working toward (and sometimes enforcing) our financial goals. She’s pulled together two international moves, always bearing the larger portion of the work so that I can stay focused on my day job. And, despite being raised a small-town gal, she’s traveled to the other side of the planet and back, not hesitating for a minute to stand next to me on our crazy adventures.
Yup, I’m a lucky guy. God’s blessed me with two wonderful mom’s in my immediate family, and some pretty great ones in my extended family too (I’ll let Nicole honor her mom in her own way, but suffice it to say, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.) I know I wouldn’t be here today without women like these. So thank you, gals. Have a great Mother’s Day — you’ve earned it!