FamilyParenting 5 minutes to read

I grew up in a small town outside of Boston. I loved the summers of riding bikes, roller skating, and swimming at the reservoir. I enjoyed the times my mother would take me on adventures as she would share the history of our town and the Revolutionary War. She had a great way of teaching me and my brothers about the challenges that took place during hard times. I learned the history of our country from her and the deep love and respect she had for our nation. My brothers and I had first-hand experiences with her as we visited all the historical sites. I think this is what gave me my love for political history. When I return to this once small town, I not only see the growth but I can see how my mother had a hand in keeping the history alive in her involvement in the community. 

One memory that stands out the most to me now is coming home and seeing my mother on our front porch in the summer talking with ladies and enjoying the afternoon shade. I would watch my mother in wonder as she served these ladies with tea and cookies and her warm graciousness that drew these women in the neighborhood to her. My brothers and I knew when Ma had on the tea kettle, ladies would be arriving soon. She was always available to listen and encourage so many who crossed our path everyday. Many of these ladies had so many challenges to face, and I learned from my mother that challenges don’t have to break us, they make us stronger, even when we don’t believe it. She made me see how the challenges I would face would only make me a stronger person, deepen my faith, and bring me into a closer relationship with Christ.  

Along with spring comes the time of being able to be in the garden again—to see firsthand the renewing of plants that survived the winter cold. I am always amazed at the feeling I get watching flowers I planted years ago, coming to life once again with the hope of beautiful colors. I know I got the love of gardening from my mother, and I can see it has been passed down to my youngest son as well. Mom had a love for roses which was always the talk of the neighborhood. We had a gazebo that was my mother’s quiet space and it was adorned with the roses she grew. It gave her peace, and she told me many times it is where she went to hear God. I have come to love my time in the garden and spending time with God as she did. The older I get, I can see the impact she had on me and the legacy she left not only to me, but to my sons as well. Of course, roses are a big part of my garden. In 2 Timothy, it speaks of the faith I know was passed down to me.  

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

2 Timothy 1:5 ESV

This month as we celebrate Mother’s Day, I’m reminded of the many ways my mother taught me about life, faith, and sharing passions for what God brings into our lives. In her quiet way, she taught me that challenges were part of life and looking back I can see how the challenges I went through changed my life. I have had to walk through forgiveness which has not been easy, but I know choosing to forgive allowed my heart to begin to heal. Hebrews 12:2 declares that Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. The term “endured” has to do with courageously facing the trials and challenges life brings because we’ve caught sight of something much greater than what we’re going through. Forgiveness is a picture of integrity in the midst of personal pain.

I am thankful for the impact my mother has had on my life. I wanted to be like her and share the faith and hope to my children the way she did with me and my siblings. I used to doubt that I did a good job until Mother’s Day a few years ago when I received a beautiful picture and gracious words from my oldest son. I realized that my mother had passed on to me everything she felt was important for me to know as I had done with my kids. We wonder sometimes if our words were heard by our children growing up so I wanted to share a blessing with you.

Mom, though I don’t often express my deepest thoughts and feelings, I want you to know how very much I care about you. You are appreciated a great deal, and I thank you personally for teaching me some of life’s most important lessons. By your example, you’ve taught me responsibility, the value of hard work, respect for others, the meaning of patriotism, having a relationship with Christ, and the importance of family heritage and values. Mom, you epitomize the words integrity, loyalty, and honor, and I am proud to be your son. For all these things, and for all the little things that I have taken for granted, I thank you.

Love, your son.

When I read this, I cried and felt like my mother was smiling down at me. My challenges have been many, but I have grown in God’s grace and compassion as I have shared my story with others. The hope of Christ and His redemption is at the core of who I am. 

Mom, your legacy lives on in me, and my sons and grandchildren. You were only in my life for 24 years, but in those years you taught me what it meant to be passionate about something and to share it with others. Pure Desire Ministries has been this passion for me as I share the hope and grace that you so beautifully modeled for me. I love you, Ma.

My prayer for all mothers would be that you would know how much you are loved; and yes, your children do hear the things you say. Be encouraged today as you read this, that no matter the challenges you face, you are not alone. 

Kathy Wigle

Kathy is part of the Pure Desire clinical team and an ordained pastor with training in trauma and abuse. She specializes in helping women walk through the healing process of betrayal and sexual addiction. She is also a certified child abuse advocate, involved with helping parents find resources for their children. For Kathy, it’s a tremendous blessing to see marriages change and heal, and restoration take place in families.

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