|Young Daniel sits on the family Land Cruiser (affectionately nicknamed the Land Bruiser) while Mom looks on.|
Godly mothers leave a spiritual legacy for their children that is worth far more than any trust-fund inheritance. I was fortunate to have a godly mother. She had a love for God and for mission work that has been passed on to me. The picture above was taken during 3 early childhood years that I spent in the West African nation of Cameroon, where my parents were serving the Lord as missionaries.
Mom loved Africa. Oh, not at first. She wasn't too happy about leaving her parents behind in Tennessee. It wasn't her idea, but she went along with it. However, at some point she came to love it. She loved it and always wanted to return one day. Plans were made to do just that, but this time the family would go to East Africa. Specifically, we were bound for the nation of Tanzania. But alas, it was not to be. Mom discovered that she had cancer and needed to stay in the U.S. to receive treatments. The years went by and she held out hope that one day she might still get to fulfill those abandoned plans to do mission work in Tanzania. Unfortunately, it would never happen. After 9 years, her body could no longer withstand its recurring war with cancer, and she went on to meet her reward.
Sixteen years later, on this Mother's Day I am sitting in Tanzania, Africa thinking of how much Mom wanted to be here. How I wish that she could be! She never made it here in body, but she is certainly present in her influence on me. Don't misunderstand. I'm not operating under the impression that I am somehow completing my mother's unfinished business. This is my mission, not hers. However, there is very little doubt that I wouldn't be hear without the childhood influence of Mom and Dad.
I'm thankful that she showed me the things that are truly important in life. I'm thankful that she showed me how to sacrifice for those important things. I'm thankful that she showed me how to step out of the comfort zone and do something bold.
And now I'm thankful that my children have a godly mother who is teaching them those same lessons. My sweet wife, Tiffany, is demonstrating daily to our children the importance of serving the Lord. They can see her example of sacrifice and selflessness, and they will learn from it. As they see her dealing with the struggles and triumphs of life in a foreign mission field, they are learning priceless lessons that I hope will enrich their lives. Tiffany is leaving a significant spiritual legacy for our children, and they are greatly blessed to have her.
To every godly mother out there I want to say keep up the good work. What you are doing matters far more than you might realize in the midst of the doldrums of daily life. I hope that you have a very happy Mother's Day!
|Tiffany and the kids|