Today my mother, Barb, celebrates another year.

When my first daughter, Ella, was born, my husband’s first words about her were, “She’s beautiful.” The very next statement he made was, “She looks like your mom.”

My mom is beautiful. It is her legacy.

I grew up watching a woman who was in constant motion, and, in all honesty, she hasn’t slowed down very much.

My mom is an organizer, a planner, and a motivator. When she was the Sunday School Superintendent, 90% of those who came to church also came to Sunday School. She is a force.

She is strength, love, and dependability. She worked (and still works) the land into submission until there are blooms everywhere, she sat and ran her fingers through my hair when I was tired, and she never missed a concert, game, or awards ceremony.

I often came home to see her and my friend’s mother on their knees in passionate prayer, petitioning God for their families and communities.

I watched my parents give their time, talent, and treasures without reserve. They taught me all there is to know about loving God and loving people.

I told you, my mom is beautiful.

When I would attend conventions and youth camps, the speakers would occasionally talk about relationships. The male speakers would often tell the young men in the audience that if they wanted to know what their girlfriends would be like, they should look at the girls’ moms. I loved that because my mom made me look good.

My parents had four children. We have given them 8 grandchildren so far. I watch my children, and I see myself, and I see my parents.

My childrenĀ have their grandmother’s beauty.

Ella is a planner and a dreamer. She recruits others into her dreams like no one else could. We are throwing a ball at our house this Wednesday. She has sucked me into her dreams, but not just me. My friend told me Ella complimented her treats at church and asked her to come provide some snacks for her guests. Bless her sweet, generous heart, my friend is doing it! Ella also pulled our intern into the game; he designed beautiful invitations for her. It wasn’t long until the ball became an official event for the youth group. That is just what happens with Barb… I mean Ella.

Annalyn is a giver. She loves to give people encouragement and small tokens of affection. About a month ago, she was panicked in the morning before school because she had not finished what I thought was a project. She was crying because it needed to be done. She grabbed all the supplies on the way to the car. I tried to convince her she could do it late. In her determination, she refused to wait. Through tears, she asked me, “How do you spell wonderful friend?” This caused me to ask more about this project. It wasn’t a project. She was making sweet cards to tell her friends how much she loves them.

My son is steady and full of faith. Kaleb is dependable and hard working. He is also a man that doesn’t doubt for a moment that prayer works. One of his friends was hurt, and without hesitation, Kaleb prayed for God to heal him. This summer, I took him to get his eyes checked. He has worn glasses (and eventually contacts) since he was toddler. At this exam, the ophthalmologist said Kaleb no longer needs corrective lenses. Kaleb celebrated, and then said, “I’ve been praying for this for years.”

This is legacy. This is love. This is my mother (and father) in my family.

Happy birthday, Mom.




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