Mom with her new Chinese Pashmina and me–her only daughter!
I have been thinking a lot lately about leaving legacies.
What are my children going to remember? How are they going to be different
because of their life in my home? What skills have I developed that give them
foundations of confidence?
I am just now flying on a plane to Dallas to visit my own
mom in Canton who is 86. I wanted to spend a couple of days with her over the
Mother’s Day weekend because I don’t get to see her very often any more and
because I so appreciate the legacy she left me.
When my father, who worked with IBM, met my mom, she was a
systems engineer with IBM. She was a new generation feminist who had a job and
was working and making her own way. But when my father proposed to her, he
said, “One of my requests, if we get married, is that you stay at home and are
available every day for our children, so they can have your influence on their
lives.” What that meant for my mom, was to pick us up from school, to be
available to us, and to build a good home base.
My mom didn’t understand the whole concept of passing on
righteousness to the next generation, or discipling her children, but she was
committed to making our home a place of beauty, love, traditions and where
marriage was foundational to our family’s unity.
When I was a teenager, I remember that my mom would rush
about the house every day around 5 pm and she would say, “Quick, you kids help
me straighten up the living room and kitchen. And then she would light a candle
and put on music. Next she would cut some cheese and place on crackers or put
out some small snack. Then the finale was painting her lips with the ruby red
lipstick I so well remember.
One day, I asked my mom, “Why do you do this every day and
go to so much trouble around this time.?”
She said, “I want your father to come home to a wonderful
environment—that home would always be the best place to be. You see, your daddy
is surrounded by beautiful secretaries every day, who are paid to meet his
needs. So, I want him to feel that it is even better to come home, because
someone he loves has given effort to meet his needs and to give him extra
reason to be faithful.”
My mom was also a lot of fun. One day, on my birthday, I
awakened to a pathway of pennies outside my door. I followed them through the
house and it led to a pile of birthday presents—even the smallest present from
the dollar store, was wrapped in fun paper. Also, on the breakfast table was a
cinnamon roll (the Pillsbury kind) and orange juice and a little card that
said, “Happy Birthday to my wonderful daughter.”
I don’t remember the presents I received that year, but I do
remember that my mom went to great lengths to create fun.
We did not read scripture often at our home, but we did go
to church regularly where my dad was an elder. I remember that there were 3
verses that were my mother’s favorites. I don’t even remember why I know them,
but she must have repeated them often enough for them to stick. “I can do all
things through Christ who gives me strength.” “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall
not want.” “If God is with me, who can be against me.”
My mom and dad were gifted at hospitality. We had people in
our home for meals every week if not several times a week. They also used to
have big dinner parties—for between 50 and 100 people. As children, we were
expected to help. We would help clean house, cook food, mow lawns and put out
flowers and candles and decorate the house. Then, we were expected to answer
the door, greet their friends by looking into their eyes and welcoming them. We
would also be given trays of food to take around offering people a treat or
drink of some kind. It was a part of our training—to make all of us comfortable
with talking to adults, serving people in our home and engaging in
conversation. It prepared us to be comfortable with paupers or kings. It also
gave me a heart for hospitality—it was second nature after all the years of
opening our home.
When I would come home from college, my mom would have notes
all over the house—at the front door, in the kitchen, on my bedroom door and on
my bed, “Welcome Home, Sally!” and “Yeah, Sally is home!” There would always be
some of my favorite food in the kitchen—homemade chocolate chip cookies, and
all sorts of other goodies. I always
felt loved and welcomed and couldn’t wait to get home.
My mother modeled to me that mothering and building a family
was hard work and it took place every day. But it shaped me in such a way, that
it prepared me to be responsive in my heart, when the Holy Spirit stirred, to
see motherhood as a calling—a Biblical design from the mind of God, for passing
on righteousness to every generation. My mother’s hard work prepared me to be
able to have a ministry to other moms because she was faithful with what she
knew to do. Her love and commitment and personality was such a wind of life to
So on this Mother’s Day, I honor my sweet mom, Wanda Bone,
for serving the Lord by serving me, and my brothers! And she didn’t even know
she was setting me up for my life’s work.
Happy Mother’s Day, to all of you who work so diligently in
the big and small details in life.
Just as my mother, you are just as surely building a legacy of memories,
love and values in the hearts and minds of your children. You may not even know
what miracles are taking place in your home or how you are preparing your child
for a great purpose—but God will take the fish and loaves you offer to Him as
worship—and multiply your work into a miracle that will truly influence the
whole world as you send your wholehearted children into the world from your
laboratory of life. Grace and peace from our Lord Jesus to you!
PS Thanks to Mill Creek Ranch Resort for letting me use their internet to upload this article!:)