Mother's Day. It's probably one of my favorite days of the year. I'm not a mom right now...hopefully one day I will be...but I think it's great to have a time set aside each year to intentionally focus on moms. After all, they have one of the hardest...if not the hardest...jobs ever.
Last year, I used Mother's Day to talk about my Mom...this year, I decided to do something a little different.
In my 24 years of life, I've been blessed to know many wonderful moms. I hate to even begin a list because I know I will leave off so many good ones...but some are just too memorable not to mention.
So, here's a much abbreviated list...starting with the ones I've known for the longest.
Amy Chapman: I used to baby-sit for her children...mainly her youngest daughter, Caroline, who in just a few days will be a senior in high school. Due to a shared love for Alabama football, our families have been friends for years. What makes her extra special is that throughout the years...whether it was when I was living in Brewton, attending college, or graduating and starting a job, she has always stayed in touch with me. I'll never forget one day when I was home visiting from college and she picked me up and treated me to lunch. I've gotten lots of wisdom from her over the years and for that I'm incredibly thankful.
Teresa Tucker: I met this sweet mom almost 12 years ago. She had only two daughters then...one toddling and one that couldn't even sit up. I cut my baby-sitting teeth on her girls...to this day some of my favorite kids in the entire world. My heart broke when they moved 2 years later. Though I was young when I first met her and was only able to see her mommy-ness in person for a short time, I know she is the real deal. Over the years, she has added two more beautiful girls to her family. Not only is she one of my favorite moms, she's the best mentor a girl could have. Though many years have passed and I don't get to see her as frequently anymore, her encouragement and love have remained constant. Forever grateful for this fine woman of God.
Patti Neal: The mom to one of my best friends in high school, Rebekah, she opened her home up to me as if I was one of her own. She gives and gives and then gives some more. Everything that Ms. Patti does is done with excellence. So many great qualities about this special mom that I hope to emulate. Thinking back, I can recall many conversations that we had while sitting in her kitchen or out by the pool. Her advice has influenced many of the decisions I have made over the years, and I'm sure the same will be true for future decisions as well.
Leslie Williamson: Another mom of children I used to baby-sit for...Leslie has always been one of my favorites. My biggest baby-sitting fiasco ever happened when I was taking care of her son and I inadvertently locked us out of the house. How thankful I am that she didn't hold it against me and called me back again a few weeks later! Out of all of the moms, she is probably the best listener. If you as me, moms can't listen enough. She listens...she listens intently...and she will listen even if she's not interested in the subject. When you listen, you show your kids that you care. She's a listener...she's a great mom.
Madelyn Cave: I love my mom, so I love Madelyn. No, really...she is so similar to my mom that it's not even funny. She has the same looks as my mom and many of the same rules and mannerisms. It's really quite uncanny. I used to baby-sit for her children when I was still living in Brewton. They were young at the time, so it's doubtful that either of them really remember me...but each time I'm home visiting they always come up and say hi. It is the sweetest thing ever...and a sign of great parenting. I'm so thankful that even though we have a lot of miles separating us, she and her husband work hard at keeping in touch with me.
Rachel Winton: Mom to 4 boys, but really 5 because her husband is the youth minister at the Baptist church in Brewton and thinks he's a kid! She is another one of those moms that just gives of herself to anybody and everybody. I love watching her in action, because unlike most of the other moms on this list that I've had the privilege of watching, she is much more reserved. I'm not really reserved by nature, but I've learned so much from watching how she acts and reacts in certain situations.
Janet Pope: As the mother to my very best friend, there's not a day that goes by that I don't lift up a little prayer for this dear mom. I've heard stories for years of how great she is, but we became especially close in the months and weeks leading up to her daughter's wedding. She is one of the few moms on my list that has raised a child through the college years...she's actually raised two...and for her, the proof of her mothering is in her kids. Of course, I'm a little partial to Natalie, but her son Austin is every bit as wonderful too. As a mother, I know she's proud of them. I'm so thankful to know that I have her email address and phone number at my disposal so that I can get in touch with her whenever I need a listening ear!
Courtney DeFeo: First mom I met when I moved to Atlanta 2 years ago. Well, I'm sure I met more moms before her, but she was the first one I got to see in action. Her oldest daughter, Ella, is part of the Ella and Emma Kate duo you've heard about on this blog before. She has recently added another precious little girl to the mix and though they may be too young to realize it right now, they have got a great mom! Above all, she loves the Lord...loves her husband. Her daughters will grow up in a home filled with love, kindness, and happiness...what a blessing!
Katie Douglas: Every time I see this mom, my heart smiles. Her oldest daughter completes the Ella/Emma Kate duo...and she has another precious newborn named Harper. I just love the way she does motherhood. She's incredibly fun and laid back, but doesn't let her children run over her. There's a fine line to that...and she has it mastered! She's constantly looking for ways to introduce her daughter to new things. To me, that says "I want you to learn from me." It will serve her well years down the road when her girls go to her for answers instead of talking to peers or going to other unreliable sources. She's a rockstar mom! I'm taking notes!
Emi Gragnani: When I entered the corporate world, I immediately singled out Emi and thought...that's the kind of mom I want to be. Driven, focused and respected at work...but her priority was always her family. I was beyond blessed when I had the chance to take care of her boys for the first time a few months ago. I've always wanted to be a girl mom, but after one night with her boys I was a boy-mom convert. Her youngest is is barely 6 months old...her oldest is 2 and loves all things little boys love. If it has the word outside, game, running, or destruction in it, he loves it. But what's incredible is that even though he does all the boy things, he still knows how to show love. It's a clear indicator that he's receiving that love from someone...and I know his mom is one of those people.
Lysa TerKeurst: I have only spent about 72 hours with this mom, but I've read her books and read her blog and listen to her radio show daily---for those of you that haven't, I highly recommend all three---and let me just tell you, she is the real deal! Her story is an incredible one of faith. I was beyond nervous when I spent the weekend with her family last fall, but I quickly realized how unnecessary that nervousness was when she opened the door and welcomed me into her home with open arms. The mom to 5 children, she demonstrated through her words and actions what a true Proverbs 31 mom looks like.
Pretty good list of moms, don't you think? Except for the fact that I left out some of my very favorites...the moms that make up my family.
My grandmothers...Toni Ingram and Julia Smith. My mom...Robin Smith. My aunts...Marilyn Ingram, Lane Hunt and Sally Rice. My sister...Cile Wilson.
I am beyond blessed with the wonderful mothers in my family. All strong Christian women that have instilled in me from the beginning that life isn't worth living without Jesus Christ right in the middle of it.
They have taught me the importance of family. Sometimes we may disagree...but family always comes first.
Many have faced more hardship in their lifetime than they should have to, but though it all, they have allowed The Lord to reign.
Though I only have one mom...all of these special people at some time or another have used their mom cap to guide me, listen to me or cheer me on. For that, I'm forever grateful.