A Mother’s Legacy

What is a legacy? According to dictionary.com a legacy is “anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor”. My parents have handed down many things. Since it is Mother’s Day, I thought I would focus on what Mom has given me. 

My mom was and still is a stay at home mom. She was proud to work at homemaking. She willingly created a safe and secure home environment. For that I am very thankful. When needed, she worked to help with the family income, but she always found a way to do it from home. She used her skill with and love of children and opened our home into a daycare. Her example and love of homemaking was passed on to my sister and me. Early on, the Barbie dolls disappeared from the house. They were replaced with baby dolls. Each Christmas I looked forward to see what new doll would be waiting under the tree. One year we received handmade doll clothes that Mom had worked over for hours on end. Another year, my grandpa made a cradle for my dolls and grandma and great-grandma made the blankets, mattress, pillow, and pillowcase to go with it. In this way, the teaching of being a mom was passed on. When I became a mom, I loved the time spent with my kids. I know it came from Mom’s example.

As a stay at home mom, Mom worked at keeping the house clean despite the kids roaming the house. Many a day, I heard her singing as she worked. She embodied the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’ song “Whistle While You Work”. One song in particular became the dish washing song. To this day when we sing it in church, I see Mom standing at the sink singing. She passed on an attitude of song while you work helps pass the time and makes the chore less of a chore.

Mom loves kids. Growing up, she and her mom would work together to have Good News Clubs in their home. As I was growing up, Mom was Sunday School teacher, youth group leader, and Wednesday night kids’ club teacher at various times in my teen years. When I turned sixteen, she had me help her with the Wednesday night kids’ club. She showed me how to teach the memory verse. To this day, when I work with kids, the strategies that she taught me in 1986 still come into play. When in 1987 a man looked at me and said, “To be a missionary here, you need to be either a nurse or a teacher”, Mom’s guidance whispered in my mind and I said, “I’ll be a teacher.” That has been my profession other than mother for eleven years. Mom lead me to study Elementary Education in college. From there, I gained my high school endorsement for teaching Spanish, my junior high endorsement for Spanish, my K-12 for teaching English as a Second Language, and my Masters of Education. It all started in a basement of a church in rural Northeastern Washington state with Mom asking me to help her lead the kids’ club.

Finally, and foremost, Mom shared with me her faith. That faith has kept me on an even keel through thick and thin. Through rough times and good times. She shared what she had learned from her parents about how God loved the world so very much that He gave His one and only Son. She shared with me how people do what goes against God’s way and how we have turned to our own devices. This keeps us from a perfect God–one who can’t abide any imperfection. Yet, He loved us so very much that He sent His son. I can’t imagine giving any one of my sons to take the punishment of someone else’s kid. Yet, that’s what God did. Jesus took our punishment for going our own way! God now looks at us and sees Jesus. I like to think of it as the scene in Fox and Hound where the hunter looks through the sights of his rifle at Todd the fox and Copper the dog steps in the way. That is exactly how we are with God. My mom shared this faith with me, and I am trying to pass it on to my own kids.

So, a legacy has been passed down to each one of us. We can take a look at that legacy and see is it a good one or a bad one. We can pick and choose from it what we want to hand on to the next generation. It is the circle of life. What legacy will you pass on?

Renewal of vows: Me with my parents
Renewal of vows: Me with my parents

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