Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday Book Club: Mama Made the Difference- Substitute Teacher

In this chapter we are given a glimpse into the life of a wonderful, godly teacher of lessons, the mother-in-law of Rev. T.D. Jakes. Her name was Virginia Jamison and she left an incredible legacy for those who came behind her. In many ways, she reminded me of my own mother.

However, his chapter made me think of my mother-in-law, Cathy, and what I have learned from her. I have mentioned her many times here on the blog, but other than the pictures and the occasional mentions, you haven't really met her. She has become so dear to me since losing my own mother, and our relationship, although always close, has become closer over the last two and a half years.

Mom, as I call her, and I met before I met Brian. We sat next to each other in choir, and when our section wasn't practicing, we would chat (ahem... I know, I know). I liked her for who she was, not for who her son was. Our choir bins were right next to each other, and I remember looking at her last name and thinking "How in the world did she learn how to spell that?" and "How on earth do you pronounce it?" How funny that I now have the same last name and it isn't so hard to spell and even easier to pronounce!

As Brian and I began to show an interest in each other, Mom helped out a lot. Because Brian did not live at home, she would have me pass along messages to him about their Sunday dinner plans since I would see him in Sunday school (very sneaky, Mom). She and Pops encouraged Brian to pursue me, and when he did, they were very supportive of our relationship. Because of the standards that we had set for ourselves, they allowed us to go over to their house and just hang out with them.

Mom and Pops came to the hospital to be with us the night that my mom went home to be with the Lord. They were at the hospital at 5:00 in the morning when I went into labor with Addie. Mom called in to work the morning that we had to rush Addie to the hospital (due to acid reflux), stayed with me the entire day, and visited throughout the weekend even though we were at a hospital in another county. She has come over bearing gifts for Addie and loves to brag on her granddaughter.

Mom is an ever ready babysitter for Addie. Addie loves Mwa-Mwa and gets so excited when they are together. Addie usually takes Grandma by the hand, says, "Come here, Mwa-Mwa," pulls Grandma into her room and then says, "Sit down." Grandma does and then the two of them play. Grandma always has snacks on hand and has introduced Addie to many different foods.

Mom is very organized. She has an uncanny way of storing and remembering where everything she has is and what is the easiest way to get to it. I have learned quite a few things about storing some of our things from her. She has systems and ways of doing things which have kept her home running flawlessly.

Mom has a beautiful yard with flowers and plants. She can be found weeding to make sure that her landscaping always looks beautiful.

She has become the mom that I need when I need to talk about womanly things.

She is a faithful person. Not only to her husband, but also to their church. While some people church hop from time to time, my in-laws have remained faithful to the same congregation for about 25 years so far. Through thick and thin, good times and bad, they have remained and served in many different capacities. She also expects faithfulness to their responsibilities and commitments to be exhibited in the lives of her sons.

She has recently retired so that she can be more readily available for her family at a moment's notice. I have already told her that when God blesses us with another baby, I want her to be in the delivery room with Brian and me (I figured that the grandpas can pull Addie duty). Although she has five grandchildren, she treats each new grandchild as if they are the first.

I would encourage you today to think about the mothers that God has given you. Not only your own mother, but, for those of you who are married, your mother-in-love. God has given each one a unique personality, many times very different from our own yet in some ways very similar.

Mom L, I just wanted to say, "I love you."


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