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A Tribute to my Mom on her 65th Birthday

This year I’ve spent a lot of time writing and talking about the first baby boomer turning 65 and why the Church must respond to this huge group of people.

Well, my mom is one of those baby boomers. She was born on June 9, 1946 in a small Oklahoma town. And while she grew up in a good home with a wonderful mom and dad, I don’t think in day to day life her family talked a whole lot about matters of personal faith. My grandpa often went to church but my grandma seldom did. But, through God’s loving grace, when my mom was a young girl, she began a journey of faith. She regularly attended church, played the piano in the worship service, went to church camp and surrendered her life to Christ. Through college and into married life she continued to walk the path of faith, attending church, involving herself in Bible study, serving in a variety of areas, always on a quest to keep growing in God.

And then, something I will forever be grateful for happened – she passed on her faith to me. What her own mom wasn’t able to do for her, she did for me. As I write, tears spring to my eyes. I mean really – is there anything greater than for a parent to live day in and day out with a passion for God and to let that passion rub off on her children? How did she do it?

Passing On The Faith

1. She took me to church, Sunday school, VBS and youth group. And perhaps, more important than taking me to these things, she volunteered to lead or help in these ministries. I saw her up front leading the music for Vacation Bible School. I watched her put material together to train Sunday school teachers. I sat on the front pew as a 3 year old while she played the piano for worship service. I was there when she opened up our home for youth group meetings and to host people for lunch. I saw her serve.

2. She encouraged me to serve. She drove me to the geriatric hospital every Monday after school so I could fill the resident’s water pitchers with fresh ice. She let me be her co-teacher with young VBS students. She encouraged me to lead the children’s choir at church and as a high school student, she coached me in teaching the 2nd grade Sunday school class.

3. As a pre-adolescent, mom and I went away on a weekend retreat where we listened to Dr. James Dobson’s audio book, Preparing for Adolescence: How to Survive the Coming Years of Change. We’d lay by the pool and listen to a tape on peer pressure and then talk about it and then take a break and go horse-back riding. Then, we’d listen to another tape on dating and talk about it and so on throughout the get-away. Mom never shrunk away from talking with me about difficult issues and she created an environment where anything could be discussed. Anything.

4. She ordered subscriptions to devotional magazines and bought Christian books appropriate for a young person and would leave them on my nightstand. I never felt pressured to have a quiet time, but mom made sure I always had resources available for when I was ready to connect with God.

5. Mom prayed for me. A lot. She had a notebook on her desk with a separate tab for me and one for my sister and brother. I must confess, sometimes I would sneak a peek in the notebook. She wrote out prayers, made specific lists of my needs, and included Scripture verses that she was claiming for me. During my school years, mom led a Mom’s In Touch prayer group and met with other mom’s weekly to pray for the school and the needs we had.

6. She still prays for me now that I’m an adult. A few years ago, during an especially hard time, I made a commitment to get up early in the morning to pray. I shared this casually with my mom. Later I discovered that privately, mom made this same commitment alongside me, and got up at 6:30am to intercede for me during a dark and difficult time in my life. Even though miles separated us, she was joining me in prayer.

7. Over the years she has sent me Scripture verses written out on notecards, as well as through e-mail. She’s told me stories about the ministries she’s involved in….the exciting things and the frustrations. She’s bought Christian books and Bible studies for me and we’ve talked about them together.

As I pause and think about my mom today, there are many things to be grateful for – birthday cakes she made, dance costumes she has sewn, lunches she packed, and tears she dried – but when it comes right down to it, these wonderful things pale in comparison to the eternal gift she has given me – the gift of living a life of faith in Jesus Christ.

Thank You, Mom and Happy Birthday. I love you.

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6 comments

  • June 9, 2011 5:51 pmPosted 6 years ago
    Kim Pagel

    Thanks for sharing this Amy! What an awesome heritage of faith. And now you get to hand the same faith on to your daughter and son. I feel like I know your mom through some of the things you have shared about her. I’m glad to see a photo and to learn more about her. You really resemble her! Thanks for your ministry.

    Reply
    • June 10, 2011 10:30 amPosted 6 years ago
      Amy Hanson (Author)

      Thanks, Kim. I always like hearing from you and sure appreciate your encouragement.

      Reply
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    June 10, 2011 7:05 pmPosted 6 years ago
    Doug Morris

    that is a great testimony about your mom, Amy!

    Reply
    • June 18, 2011 1:43 pmPosted 6 years ago
      Amy Hanson

      Thanks, Doug!

      Reply
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    June 13, 2011 10:47 amPosted 6 years ago
    Lynn Riley

    Great word, Amy. Thanks for sharing. I can see her life and faith being lived out in your life as you minister to and educate others.

    In case she needs confirmation, you can tell her that I said “she done good.”

    Reply
    • June 18, 2011 1:44 pmPosted 6 years ago
      Amy Hanson

      Thanks for the comment, Lynn. It’s great to hear from you!

      Reply

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