When I was just a boy around 8 years of age, I noticed that my mom’s potato peeler was broken. Her birthday was coming up, and I decided to buy her a new one. We lived about a mile and a half from the nearest store, so I rode my bike on a mission and bought the peeler. When I was returning, the peeler slipped out of my hand and caught in the spokes of the front wheel, throwing me off the bike and skinning me up. I came home a little banged up, but I had a birthday gift for my mom. Even though the package was chewed up by the spokes and the peeler was a little bent, it still worked. My mother was grateful for the gift and moved to tears. She kept that potato peeler for years. Years later she would say that is the potato peeler you bought and paid for with your own blood.
Most of us don’t realize the sacrifice and commitment of our mothers until we have children of our own. Not until we start making some of those same sacrifices do we see what she really gave to us. The influence of a loving and godly mother on her children is powerful. God gave the mother a special place to nurture and guide her children in those very early years, which builds a foundation for life.
My mother was born in Lula, Oklahoma on October 2, 1929. Her mother died when she was still very little and extended family stepped in to help raise her and her sister until her father remarried a few years later. While still just a teenager, her family moved to California in search of a better life. My maternal grandpa never found that good life in the Golden State, but my mother did. She was just 17 when she married my father who was 24, and they began their life together. Their education was incomplete, having only completed the eighth grade and the fifth grade, respectively. My father had, however, just come home from several years of combat in World War II. They became dairy farmers and later entrepreneurs in business. They brought three children into this world, and she was a devoted mother to all three of them.
As I look back over her influence in my life, it is apparent to me in how many ways she influenced me. She was tender-hearted and was an encourager. In many ways she prepared my life for what God wanted to do with me. A mother’s affirmation to a child is so powerful, preparing them for their future life. I am very grateful to God for the mother he gave me.