Four years ago today on Christmas Eve we buried our mother. It seems like it was just yesterday when we were driving to her house to celebrate Christmas with the whole family. Mom loved Christmas! She went all out with the decorations, bought way to many gifts for her children & grandchildren, and cooked an outstanding Christmas meal (we always had her famous “Watergate” salad, a strawberry cake that makes my mouth water just thinking about it, and no casseroles!!) She always wanted to load the family up and go look at Christmas lights and generally she just wanted the family to be together. I will never go through another Christmas without thinking about her. I realize that I am not the only one who has difficulty during the holidays because of the loss of someone who is dear. I know that some of you who are reading this article will go through the holidays without someone you love for the first time this year. Please know that you will be in our thoughts and prayers. Thinking about my mom early this morning reminded me of some of the most important lessons she taught me during her life.
First, mom taught me to love and support my mate. She loved my dad deeply and she was always supportive of the work he was doing for the Lord. The few times I can remember mom being visibly angry was when she felt someone had wronged my dad. She stood faithfully beside him for fifty years. She was always there for him in every aspect of his work.
Mom taught me to love my children. Her love for her children was unconditional. From our days in youth sports until we graduated from High school mom was at every school function, athletic event and church activity that involved her children. Mom was not a well known teacher, but she took the time to teach her children. She taught us the Word of God from our earliest days.
Mom taught me to love the Lord. I am convinced that one of the biggest reasons I am preaching today is because of the influence of my mom. She loved the Lord and His church. She taught us to put church above everything else. We would never miss the worship of the church to play in a ball game. I can remember being pulled out of games and practices to make it to midweek Bible study on time. We would sometimes go to church in our uniform and leave after church to make it to part of a game. Mom instilled in us a commitment to the Lord that continues to strengthen my life today.
Mom taught me to love life. She saw the good in others and had a beautiful forgiving spirit that permeated her life. I remember my mom being a happy person. I know that she had cares and concerns, however she never allowed them to burden her life.
Today and every Christmas Eve I will remember my mom. I thank God for the influence she had and continues to have on my life. I will forever hold these memories close to my heart. What lessons do you remember from a loved one who is not with you during this holiday season?
Dear Father, on this Christmas Eve we give You thanks for the lessons we have learned from those who have gone on before us. Please help us to take these lessons and pass them on to others. Father, help us to show Your love to those who are still with us.