Wife, Mother, and Daughters

It’s mother’s day, and I just returned from a church service celebrating mothers. I was thinking during the service about the things I appreciate about the mothers in my life.

I’ve been accused of having married a “girl, just like the girl who married dear old dad.” 🙂 And there certainly are some similarities. The comparisons usually start with both being graduates of a three year Registered Nursing program, something that is sadly no longer available in this country. Both are practical, giving, and dedicated. Both are firm in their convictions and love the Lord. Both have their families as the focus of their lives, but both have also experienced the work life outside the home as well.

The trouble with lists like this is that it seems to reduce the whole relationship to some “stuff.” It’s good stuff, but it really doesn’t seem to paint the whole picture, and I don’t suppose it can.

There’s a story I tell about the days when my wife and I had just started dating. She came to my office as I was starting a work day. Now I am perhaps the least organized of people, at least amongst those who can manage to get through a day without a serious accident. I really have a hard time organizing tasks. I was in my office that day, stressed over the number of tasks I was trying to organize. All of them needed to be done that day, and I had no idea how to get one or two of them done, much less all. She listened to the list and said, “Why don’t you _________.” Fill in the blank with a clear, organized list of how to structure the tasks so that they could all be fitted into the available time. I was silent for a minute or so. She started to apologize for intervening in my work day which was, she said, none of her business at that point. “No,” I said, “just say it again so I can get it clear. I think it will work!”

She’s probably tired of hearing that story, but it makes my point today. Sometimes when she’s killing herself being helpful, I’ll remind her that I did, after all, live with reasonable success for more than 40 years before we met. She wonders how I did that. The answer is: Not nearly as well as I do it with her. I tend to forget things as I’m preparing to leave for a job or for business in town. She’ll remind me and make a list. What happened before? I usually went out to the car several times, and sometimes got out of the driveway and had to return to get something that was missing. My runs to town would take more time, because I wouldn’t organize them as well according to distance and traffic.

She was able to make it on her own as well. There have been times when I have tried to help juggle things with family, home, work, and ministry, and I have wondered how she did it alone with three children and an army of others that she just seems to adopt on sight. The key is that whatever we do, we do better together. But today is the day to remember that whatever I do, I do it better with her.

I can look now at three generations.My mother, who not only raised four of her own, but had the same tendency that Jody does to adopt extras, my own wife, and now a daughter and daughter-in-law. I’m tremendously proud of the women of this family. I couln’t possibly be happier with any of them. I say to all the men involved here–dad, myself, son, and son-in-law: Whatever you do, you do better because of them.

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