Four years ago at Christmas time Moms husband and kids put our thoughts about Mom into writing.
Then we took bets on who would make her cry more and who would get more laughs. Aimee assembled all the writings into a book and Mom is probably still reading. It was both amazing to write about mom and to read what the rest of my family wrote as well.
I was thinking about Mom and Dad today and how blessed I have been to be the son of such saints. I thought I would post here what I wrote. Love you Mom, Merry Christmas!
First, I wanted to take credit for this astounding idea of writing about how my Mom has greatly impacted our lives. I choose to believe that it was my idea to put into words just how special she is to us and present it to her on Christmas. I also want to note that she was my Mom first. Sure there were others, but lest we forget, there is only one first.
I am still a boy. By this, I mean that when it comes to Mom and Dad, I will always be their boy. I have a boy of my own; I have two girls as well, so I can testify to this statement.
A boy needs a dad. My Dad is the best and I think he’s the best because he married up. A boy needs a mom as well. My Mom is also the best and I think it’s for the same reason. I know that doesn’t make sense but stick with me.
I believe that a generation has the privilege of standing on the shoulders of the previous. If Dad didn’t have Mom or Mom, Dad, well, I wouldn’t be standing so tall. However, they do have each other and not only are they better for it, this boy can touch heaven.
Mom and Dad are a living legacy of love. Over the years I have witnessed that love, through better or worse, run after the promises of God. Along the way, they have collected some amazing stories.
Often the family will get together and we will remember the stories. Its funny cause during these times, Dad often gets most of the press. I think it’s because Mom is his publicist. Mom is a good publicist – the best. She is mine as well… and yes she works for the others too. Until I met Karen, Mom was my fiercest advocate; she championed me like no other.
Today I want to model Mom – I want to be her publicist…
Mom pulled into the driveway. I was playing in the backyard – probably army but that information isn’t needed for this story. I met her at the back of the car. Our tan station wagon was full of groceries. Probably a hundred dollars worth, that’s what Mom told me she had spent one time. For a boy who made a dollar-fifty cutting the grass, a hundred might as well have been a million.
Mom carried two bags in through the back door and I followed with one of my own. She had bought fruit roll-ups! I went back outside to discover what was in the remaining bags and was shocked to see that the car was moving. Our driveway went from the street past the house and then declined ever so slightly toward the garage. The station wagon was headed straight for the garage doors – we were moments away from a tragedy.
Someone had to do something and quick or the garage doors and the tan station wagon would collide. The devastation would be… devastating.
Without thinking I ran to the car. Jumping in front of it, I braced myself for impact. Then I placed my hands on the hood and put all my 90 pounds to work. At first, the car won. I lost ground at a fairly rapid pace but my mom hadn’t raised a quitter. Ever so slightly the car began to slow down. But would it be enough?
The garage doors were getting dangerously close. Suddenly, it dawned on me, if I couldn’t stop the car I would be crushed between it and the doors. I began to panic. I doubled my effort. It was a Western New York fall day but I was sweating, grunting, groaning, straining.
It was working, it was gonna be close.
My heel struck the garage door and with one last hysterical push, I willed the car to stop… and it did. The front bumper came to rest against my chest, my back against the garage door. I had done it!! The euphoria, the victory, I had saved the day! I would be touted as a hero, thanked by my Dad and praised by my Mom… Mom was screaming… mom is screaming. Mom is mad… at me?
“Jason! What are you doing!”
“I saved our car mom,” I said, proud and confused at the same time. This wasn’t the kind of reaction I had been expecting.
Mom seemed pretty upset. “What were you thinking!? What on earth were you thinking?”
“I saved our car, I saved the garage,” I said, a little less certain. I was pretty sure that a new garage door cost more than a hundred dollars but was starting to think one of us was missing something.
Looking back, I get it, I have a son of my own.
When Mom came back out to get more groceries, the car wasn’t where she left it – instead, it was rubbing up against the garage. And there was her boy, goofy grin, bright-eyed, in between a tan station wagon and the garage doors.
Mom laughs when I tell the story now. Then she again reminds me of how foolish I was. In fact, Mom, I know that while you read this, you will get nervous all over again. And that’s why you are so astounding.
Even though I am twenty-five years removed from this incident my mom carries it. Her gratitude and prayer follow me everywhere. Her thanks to God is probably offered in the same breath as her contending for my continued safety.
Mom isn’t big on boyish adventure. And at first glance, you might think she isn’t a risk-taker. That she merely married one and then raised five. But you would be wrong. Mom has modeled steady faith all her days. It’s her steady faith that has kept us through the shakey seasons; first as kids, then as teens and singles, and now as moms and dads ourselves…
Mom knows God and Mom stands on His promises. There is no greater faith than this. And Mom has made sure that we knew the promises as well. Around the same time that I heroically saved the garage doors and the tan station wagon, my Mom gave me a promise.
“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.”
It’s my scripture, it’s my promise; it’s for the others as well.
It’s from Isaiah 61; Mom read verses 1-3 to me one evening after church. All three verses are beautiful, filled with promises of Gods goodness displayed through the lives of His people. But the verse that jumped out at me that day, the verse that Mom made sure I got, was the one about becoming an Oak of righteousness planted by God for His glory.
“Jason,” her tone was serious, like when she wanted me to really believe her, like when she told me not to climb over the stair railing. “God gave me this scripture for you. God told me that you would grow up to make Him proud. That you would become a strong man, a good man, a man of faith.”
An oak is a strong tree, a beautiful tree. I liked that promise as a boy and I still do. I am madly in love with God, I have become a worshiper and I am learning faith. Thank you, Mom…
Mom has been a person of great promise. I could use the word purpose or destiny but promise is the best fit; promise suggests faithfulness, it implies relationship. Mom has modeled a life of profound faith and deep relationship. She has loved God first and always. She has loved Dad best and because of this she has released a legacy of love to her kids, and their kids, and their kid’s kids.
Mom’s life and the promise she nurtured in me… and the others; its led to a faith that has allowed a boy to know that with God all things are possible.
I am still a boy – at least, I am still Moms boy. Like all boys, I’ve always been in a rush to grow up. Along the way, I’ve had adventures. Sometimes there have been tan station wagons headed for garage doors. Sometimes it’s almost seemed as if the station wagon won, and sometimes I hear Mom’s voice echoing the past “what were you thinking.” But all along the way, Moms promise has kept me. I am an Oak of righteousness planted by God for his good pleasure. Because of Moms faithfulness, I have learned that Great Oaks, well, they stop tan station wagons every time.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me how to love, how to dream and how to be faithful, Thanks for speaking and living the promises of God’s good love over my life and for contending on my behalf. Your love has been immeasurable.
I love you back, Merry Christmas.
Jason Clark is a writer, speaker and lead communicator at A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children.