Mother’s Day Letter

31 05 2011

Here is the letter I wrote to my mom for the 2nd week of our “Modern Family” series:

Mom,

I don’t think there would be a better way to start this letter to you than to say “Thank You”. I cannot begin to tell you how much I respect you, appreciate you, look up to you, and love you. I feel blessed to grow up in a home where I had a mom who really loved me. You provided, cared for, watched over, released, and waited for me. You’ve taught me a lot and I won’t forget any of it.

You’ve taught me what it means to conquer. You’ve always been authentic and transparent with Brittany and I when it came to the eating disorder you struggled with for so many years. We didn’t really see it when it was bad but because you are so open and honest with us, we knew it was difficult. Now when I see you invest and care for people all over the country who struggle with the same issues I know that God’s using your experience to advance His Kingdom. You overcame a huge obstacle in your life and that means a lot to me.

You’ve taught me what it means to persevere. When Aunt Jen died I was only in third grade. I didn’t quite understand what it would mean to lose a sister well before it was her time. I know you had questions and you were angry with God but you made it and you were a rock for the rest of our family. I don’t think Grandma and Grandpa would have gotten through that without you.

You’ve taught me what it means to love. You’ve always put the rest of your family in front of yourself. There is nothing selfish about you. You and dad have shown Amanda and I what a healthy marriage looks like and I hope we love our kids as much as you love us. (Just a side note, there still isn’t a kid on the way quite yet, sorry). You’ve laid down your life for me and helped me understand Christ’s love in a way that I wouldn’t have experienced with you.

And with that love, you’ve taught me what it means to forgive. I know I kept you up late at night because you were worried about me. I know I caused arguments between you and dad and I caused a stress on your relationship for a while. I know you knew I was going down the wrong path and I know somehow you allowed me to fail. Thanks for that. I can’t tell you how sorry I am for letting you down so many times. I wish I never caused you pain but I know I did.

But with that, thank you so much for not giving up on me. Thanks for challenging the lies I lived. You were a constant example of what it meant to follow Jesus Christ and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. Your purpose was to bring me back to my Maker. God used you to bring me back to him.

Thank you for helping me realize that where I invest my love I invest my life and I desperately want to invest my love in Jesus Christ and you helped me get there. God used you to awake my soul. I love you mom and I will forever be grateful for you and all you’ve poured into me.

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Just wait until your father gets home…

5 05 2011

I love to talk back. Even if I know I’m wrong, I really love to talk back. I guess I enjoy the argument. I remember talking back to my mom once when I was in third grade. I said something really rude and hurtful to her and it caused a moment of anger I didn’t see too often.

There is something you have to understand about third grade Steve. I was a BIG boy. I think I weighed something like 120 lbs and was about 5’2″. My mom is also 5’2″. Except she only weighs 100 lbs. So, in this moment of anger when my mom went to smack me in the face for talking back (it would have been well deserved), I channeled my inner Bruce Lee and grabbed her hand mid swing and said, “Don’t smack me.” Pretty courageous for a 10 year old right? It was, until she said those words I always dreaded. “Just wait until your father gets home.”

Crap. That was never good. My dad’s build was a bit different than my mom’s. 6’3″, 200lbs of belt wielding fury. (***I just want to make it clear that my parents did not beat or abuse my as a kid…they didn’t “spare the rod” but they were very fair.***)

All that to be said, I was a punk. I still am in a lot of ways. Not only did I keep my mom from disciplining me, but I gave her PLENTY more reasons to have that same reaction for quite a few years to come. My mom did plenty of disciplining, but she never failed to communicate love. I know she cared about me regardless of how poorly I treated her. I knew she would always be there for me even if I wasn’t always there for the family. And I knew she loved even though I didn’t care for anyone but myself.

After all of those trials I guess I learned a lot and turned out O.K. My parents had a lot to do with that. This weekend I get to share a little bit more about my experiences growing up with our JH and HS students and their moms. The fact that my mom will be standing on the platform right next to me is the most exciting part. I can’t wait to teach with her and let our students and moms see what a healthy, consistent, loving mom really looks like…