My Mother’s Legacy

My mother passed away twelve days ago at the age of 90. Like some of you, I always said that I didn’t want to be like my mother. I lived with her weaknesses, and strengths aren’t always evident to those who live up close. But time brings perspective, and I now identify much to learn from her life.

My daughter said it well–Mother had her priorities right, putting faith and family above all else. She volunteered in her church for years, even while responsible for home, children, and teaching school. She tirelessly cooked and gave food away to those with health issues, losses, celebrations–or just because they loved her food! She lived out a concern for others as she served them.

Virtually all of Mother’s friends share how much her daily prayers for them meant. Through celebrations and hardships, she daily lifted up their needs before God. For the past few years, she and her friend Ozzie have prayed together over the phone through Mother’s prayer list every day. Mother said that once they were on her list, they were there until Jesus returned or took her home, and her friends have testified to her faithfulness to that promise. I will personally miss knowing that there is someone who prays for me every single day.

As I mentioned, Mother had her weaknesses. Because she dealt with fear, she took God up on his invitation to come to him for his strength. When she faced issues that scared her, she prayed. Although she never lost her fearful disposition, God used it to draw her closer to himself and call her to faithfully pray for others.

God designed Mother to be an encourager. Her success as a first-grade teacher came from the encouragement she gave each child, symbolized by the hug she gave them as they departed each day. Her calendar was full of birthdays to help her remember those special occasions with a thoughtful card. Although her mobility became an issue as she aged, she continued to love on those people whom God had placed in her life through cards, notes, and phone calls. Although the way she encouraged changed with her changing health, she never quit doing the work that God called her to do on earth—encourage those around her.

I am blessed to have had a mother who left a legacy of faith and love. 

What positive lessons did you learn from your parents?

This was originally posted September 10, 2013 on Beyond, which is no longer online.

Kay is a life-long Texan whose favorites are Tex-Mex, books that feed her soul or make her think, good movies and travel to new places. Her great joy is to serve God by teaching the Bible and developing women as servant-leaders. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Ordinary Women Ministries, which provides free videos, podcasts and articles as well as low-cost Bible studies to prepare Christian women for leadership. (beyondordinarywomen.org) Kay spent ten years leading women’s ministries on church staffs, most recently at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas. Kay is the author of From Ordinary Woman to Spiritual Leader: Grow your Influence, a practical guide to help Christian women influence others by applying foundational leadership skills to their lives and ministries, and a number of Bible studies for women, some are available at bible.org and the newer ones are found at beyondordinarywomen.org. Kay earned an M.A.C.E. from Dallas Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Effective Ministries to Women. Kay’s family includes a husband, two grown children, one son-in-law, two hysterical granddaughters and a Goldendoodle.

One Comment

  • Sharon Cobb

    My Mother

    Kay,  My mother was like your mother except she wasn't  a teacher but a bookkeeper.  After she retired from other jobs, she ran the office at church.  At her funeral, the pastor said Mother didn't work for him, but he worked for her!  She loved the Lord and everyone loved my Mother.  She never failed to read her Bible and pray.  No one ever left her house without something to take home.  She came by it honostly since her mother, my grandmother always entertained our associational missionary, Brother Brady, (Ted Brady's) father.  Mother loved entertaining her friends, Pastors and music ministers, she loved her family with a passion and lifted us up in prayer, one by one.  When she was in Cicu before she died, she was the calmest when we prayed with her, or when Joe Schofield called to pray and I would put the phone to her ear and even tho she was not responding to us to much, but she knew when she was being lifted up to the Lord in prayer. She was also calmest when we sang hymns to her close to her ear.  Trisha downloaded Christian music on her iphone and put it by her ear.  When we did those things she was very calm, other than that she moaned in pain.  I strive to be like my mother and I miss her still, even after 2 years..  Our Mothers both had a deep faith and were prayer warriiors.