Thanks God for my late mom always being there for me when I’ve needed you. As I think about Mother’s Day, I remember times as a teenager when I felt confused and discouraged about life, and she was there to listen. It is only years later that I realize what a tremendous gift that was to me. There were times as a teenager when I felt embarrassed even to have parents. I remember how uneasy I felt walking with Mom and Dad at the shopping mall, in case any of my high school acquaintances would see me. As a teenager I was so much into proving how independent I was, that I failed to appreciate that one’s family is an irreplaceable gift. Thank God for my mom being so patient and forgiving with my teenage growing pains. I really had very little idea how much she was sacrificing in order to give my sisters and me a loving and secure home. I really did not see mom as a person with her own dreams, fears, and hopes.
It is only years later that I have come to see how much impact children can have on one’s dreams, fears, and hopes. I will always remember meeting with a young couple who were expecting their first child. This couple were avid skiers every weekend up at Whistler. They said to me: “We are thrilled about having a baby, but it’s not going to change anything.” I thought to myself: “Children don’t change anything….they change everything!”
Gary Smalley and John Trent, well-known authors and family counselors, said that one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the gift of honour. Smalley/Trent say that ‘honour’ is a decision we make to place high value, worth, and importance on another person by viewing him or her as a priceless gift and granting him or her a position in our lives worthy of great respect. Thank God for my mom giving me the gift of honour both as a child and an adult. In so many ways, she showed that she valued me and really cared for me.
I am amazed, as I look back, at all the countless sports activities and clubs she drove me to. To be honest, I took all her driving for granted. I just assumed that parents did that kind of thing. Having been a chauffeur to my own three sons, I realize that taking time to get your children involved in various extra-curricular activities is a real act of love. Mom and Dad went to countless plays, school assemblies and pageants: not because we were the most talented children in the world, but because she saw her children as priceless treasures. As a parent, I have been to Christmas school concerts where the concert never seems to start, where every child seems to be playing a different note, and where most spoken communication is muffled and virtually unintelligible. The redeeming feature of those concerts for me was when one of my sons beamed a big smile from the stage and gives me a wave. My sons felt honoured if I was there, and very disappointed if I was too busy. Thank God for my mom never being too busy to come to my concerts.
There were many times that I did not really appreciate my mom’s spirituality…just how important God was to her. As a teenager, I found church boring, unintelligible, and irrelevant. So I went skiing at Mount Seymour on Sunday mornings instead. Thank God for mom not condemning me when I strayed from church. Thank God for mom never failing to pray for me that I would come to discover Jesus Christ for myself. I believe that it was her prayers and the prayers of Nana Allen that softened my heart to let Jesus come in. I have come to believe from personal experience that the persistent prayers of a loving mother are one of the most powerful forces in the universe.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada
-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier
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-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.
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To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.
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