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Mom’s Perfect Harmony

March 9th, 2009

Focus Text: Proverbs 12: 25 (NLT)

25 Worry weighs a person down;
      an encouraging word cheers a person up.


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

My parents are both amazing people.  I’ve often written stories about Dad and how he has influenced most every part of my life.  I couldn’t have asked for a more incredible father.  However, today I would like to give you a glimpse into the life of a living saint: my mom.

I learned an important lesson early on about Mom . . . she was always right.  It might not seem like so at first glance, but if you were willing to listen to her, it would always be worth it.  You know how kids are embarrassed over every little thing . . . awkward in their own skin?  Mom had a way of making you comfortable just being around her.  While my dad, wonderful in all his own rights, would bust through the door at 5:30 AM and yell, “Hey, get up!  You’re sleeping your day away,” Mom had a slightly more gentle approach.

She was (and still is) one of the best singers that I’ve ever heard.  Her lead voice is amazing, but I’ve yet to hear a person who can naturally hear and sing an alto harmony better than Mom.  My childhood mornings were almost always filled with the beautiful sound of my mother’s voice filling the dawn with original songs for her babies.  Sometimes silly.  Always sweet.  In my own life, I rarely walk into my daughter’s presence without singing to her in some way . . . and since she doesn’t quite understand yet anything that I’m saying, she is easily entertained.  Singing to my children is something I inherited from my mom.

Further down the road of adolescence, I found myself desiring to run for Class President in middle school.  Our house was literally a quarter of a mile from my school.  Consequently, there was always a line of traffic to get to school about a mile long, stretching past our house.  That meant if we didn’t leave on time, we were stuck trying to get out of our driveway into the traffic . . . often needing someone that I knew from school to let us out. 

To a middle schooler, for whatever reason, this was mortifying.  Don’t ask me why, but I was severely embarrassed . . . I guess that worried that someone would see me?  There really is no logic to the internal workings of the young teen mind.

Anyhoo, back to the race for the class presidency.  While I was embarrassed about our proximity to the school, Mom figured out that it could be used to my advantage.  So, she told me to hang signs and balloons on our mailbox the morning of the election so that everyone who passed by would see my name.  Name recognition is very important in politics, you know.  I resisted with every fiber of my awkward being; yet, I relented and tried her masterful scheme.

Six years later, I was the Student Council President who had never lost a presidential election every year that I ran.  Turns out, Mom knew what she was doing.

She is the ultimate encourager.  Her words are always gentle; even her moments of harsh correction are obviously laced with love.  Mom doesn’t just sing good harmony; she lives good harmony.  She makes everyone around her sound better than they do by themselves.  She has perfect pitch when it comes to love and is never lax in letting her sweet melodic life add beauty to the life song of others.

Mom is the personification of this passage: “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.”  Encouragement is more than disposition or attitude.  It is a spiritual gift bestowed upon certain people . . . people who are willing to set aside their own challenges to tend to the needs of others.  Willing to find the elusive silver linings on rainy days.  Willing to make peace when strife fills the air.

Just yesterday, Mom graciously came over to my house and spent the afternoon with my little one while Laura and I were away doing ministry with a bunch of teenagers.  My heart soars when I consider the fact that those sweet harmonies are being sung to my daughter just as they were sung to me.  Spiritual harmonies of encouragement.  I sincerely pray that I will inherit her gentleness and that God will entrust the gift of encouragement to me as He has to her.  When we learn to encourage, we can lift the weights of worry that are weighing so many people down.

I understand what sort of impact it can have . . . mainly because of it’s impact on me.  And Mom, I’ll decorate my mailbox any day if you think it’s best!



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