I started this list on the airplane returning from Kona to Honolulu ten days after Mom died. It was Sunday, June 26th, Mom’s 54th birthday and I was flying back to a place full of people who loved me but never knew my Mom. I decided two things: move home for five months and make this list.
There are a million-billion things that make a complex person like my Mom who she is. I came up with 40 favorites and my two sisters helped me with some of theirs as well to complete the 54. Enjoy.
1. Love Jesus more every day.
2. Listen to the Father every day.
3. Love my family fiercely.
4. Laugh at everything – loudly with a little snort on the end when necessary.
5. Interrupt homework with tea time breaks – complete with tray and china.
6. Compliment people every chance I get.
7. Pray for my family.
8. Marry the man of my dreams.
9. Write things down.
10. Read voraciously.
11. Look words up in the dictionary at the dinner table.
12. Respect my husband and talk him up to anyone who will listen.
13. Buy a good dress in multiple colors.
14. Shop for others more than myself.
15. Make friends with cashiers.
16. Pray with and for strangers.
17. Dress up for my husband.
18. Plan dinner for my family every night.
19. Stay sensitive to sin no matter how old I am or what I have been through.
20. Hear God’s voice and speak prophetically to people in my life.
21. Use big words.
22. Plan great trips.
23. Never get mad when my kids break something.
24. Give the best part of my meal away – or the last bite of my dessert.
25. Make fun plans for rainy days, good report cards, Tuesdays, you name it.
26. Confess and repent in front of my kids.
27. Clean the kitchen sink no matter what.
28. Give gifts for every occasion.
29. Make every holiday special with some appropriately researched meal or obscure tradition.
30. Straighten the house at 5:00pm by leading “clutter drills” – whoever picks up the most in 3 minutes wins a prize! Brilliant.
31. Teach my kids at every opportunity (particularly unit prices at the grocery store and how to clean the bathtub just right).
32. Identify with my kids’ weaknesses and sin struggles with my own stories, fights, and victories.
33. Keep the Mommy-dance going.
34. Ask lots of questions about my family’s days and be the first one my daughter wants to tell her stories and secrets.
35. Buy special birthday cereal.
36. Take my kids to surprise lunches.
37. Conduct read-alouds and do the voices when necessary.
38. Recognize talents and gifts and cheer-lead for them.
39. Bake honey wheat bread.
40. Make my home a beautiful and comfortable place.
41. Take in the family-less and make them adopted family – especially over the holidays.
42. Be unashamedly myself, especially in public. i.e. singing loudly in the car with the windows down.
43. Set aside my own desires for the sake of my family.
44. Write encouraging notes and leave them on dressers, beds, and lunchboxes.
45. Write music.
46. Prioritize my alone time with God.
47. Be the loudest cheerer at my kids’ sporting events.
48. Make people feel loved.
49. Always laugh at my husbands jokes.
50. Play tennis.
51. Make up for any lack of ability with great enthusiasm.
52. Counsel women without being a “Counselor”.
53. Be competitive with sports and board games-but always with a smile and ready to give the win to a loved one (usually the Dad).
54. Raise a family that will love me as much as we love our Mom.