One thing I never noticed that I wish I’d paid a little more attention to was how hard my mother worked in the kitchen. It was rare that a homemade dish wasn’t set on the table by 6 p.m. The times supper wasn’t ready I had a ball game or we were at the fair getting the cattle ready to show. I remember like it was yesterday that I would walk in the kitchen to sit down at the table, mom on my left, and dad at the head of the table on my right. Dad would pray and we would dig in to the scrumptious homemade chicken potpie. Before I came into the picture mom would have dinner for my dad every night. Dad could cook some, but he mostly grilled. Typical guy. I fall in between the two.
Lately, I have been meditating on the fact that mom worked the forty hour a week job and came home to work some more. Sometimes I can overlook some of the most simple, but honor-worthy principles in life. My mom wasn’t just what she did at her job, but what she did when she came home. As a guy who is hoping for children I can lose focus on trying to be in the right time of life to have kids. There isn’t really a right formula in life for marriage and neither is there a right formula for having kids. My mom taught me through her life that when you are called to be a mom or wife then you better give 120%. Being even the slightest sick doesn’t excuse you from having dinner ready by 6:00, balancing checkbook, or taking care of a sick child. I am so quick to just lay down when I am sick and rely on using that as my excuse to not take care of things. My mom is full of endurance.
It was rare to see my mom down before she was diagnosed a second time with cancer. She started her battle when I was just getting into college. I didn’t think much of it, and I knew faintly that she won her battle with breast cancer when I was in first grade. The doctor said it wouldn’t get worse until she was much older. I remember her calling me asking for prayer because little colds were like the flu to a healthy person. Five years went by and she was living life as though the cancer had no hold on her. She had a class of young kids at church for Sunday school, she’d work 40 hours a week, help my father with the cattle, do all the paperwork at home for their farm, and take care of her mom and dad. They just don’t make super hero’s with these type of super powers anymore.
My mom has taught me that cancer may harm the body, but it can’t affect the heart’s attitude. It wasn’t until recently that mom’s cancer got severe. Since mid-February she has been taking chemo treatments. She has had three so far. Her next one is on Callie’s birthday, March 9th. I know a lot of you may know of her cancer, and I thank you for praying for her. But please pray for her in this way. “So this is the confidence we have in Him that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14 Pray according to the will of God. God gives us things like cancer, loss of a job, failed semesters in school, or marital strife to bring us to depend on God. And then graciously He allows us to use these testimonies as a part of conforming us to the image of His Son, and pointing others to the God of all comfort. I am glad my mom is working through understanding why God has given this to her. I hope you use this to glorify His name. J.I Packer once said “I find myself feeling weak so I am back with the theme of weakness because of what has happened to me and what is happening to me now as an old man whose body is wearing out. God doesn’t allow us to stay with the idea that we are strong. We may have the idea, but the Lord is going disabuse us one way or another. It will be good for us and it will give glory to Him.”
Remember this mom,
“Lest I should be puffed up because of the abundance of revelation that God has given to me, I was given a thorn in the flesh. The Lord spoke to me and this is what He said, “My strength is made perfect in your weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:7
The apostle Paul knew the strength of God by knowing Him through his weakest times. May we count weakness and strength as a gift from God.