In honor of mother's day I wanted to speak about the women of my life. At our church we don't just recongnize the mothers but all of the women of our church. We have a couple of women who could not have children, but are motherly figures in all of our lives. I truly believe in the saying that it takes a village to raise a child, and that has definitely been true in my life. I am the person that I am today because of my village. I am blessed because I had two mothers growing up (my birth mom and my step-mom), and for the past seven years I have had three mothers (my mother-in-law). I am also blessed because of the mother figures I had growing up in church. I had some very special people I could go to and talk to when I did not feel like I could talk to my parents. If it had not been for one of those ladies I probably would not have married Joe. I remember having special relationships with some of my teachers at school that pushed me to do better and study harder. I grew up surrounded by loving and caring aunts, grandmas, and other motherly figures. I remember my Aunt Debbie teaching me to tie my shoes. I remember my Aunt Lisa teaching me to make tuna, cheese & crackers. I remember the nights I spent with my Grandma Berdine snuggling in her bed watching Dallas or peeling potatoes. I remember my Aunt Wilma teaching me to be a lady. I remember all those times my Grandma Anderson drove up to PA with us and teaching us about saving money. I remember Maw teaching us that even older adults can have fun like kids. I remember Ms. Dottie Lambert teaching me to be an acolyte. I remember the respect I had and still have for the women of the church that did what had to be done and took the time to get to know us children (Belle McDowell, Janie Graham, Martha Estes, Helen Joiner, Judy Costello, and Sue Rogers just to name a few). I have tons of memories of all of these ladies and learned something from them all about who I wanted to be as a person. I love my moms and the grandmothers they are to my girls. I greatly appreciate all the life lessons I learned from my moms as well as the loving wonderful people they are. Because of my moms I grew up in church serving the Lord, because of my moms I learned to help those in need, and because of my moms I learned to be strong and independent. I could not imagine my life without any of the women of my life.
And now that I have become a mom, Mothers Day as also taken on a new meaning for me. God has entrusted two beautiful, everchanging, constantly growing, curious, bright girls into my care. I strife every day to be the best mom that I can be for them. I want to teach them everything they need to know to be well equipped for the world that we live in. I want them to serve and love God. I want them to know that I will always be for them, no matter what. I can't wait for all the things we will get to do together. I want to protect them, but at the same time let them experience life. And I want them to find other motherly figures, because I know that I can not do it all. I am so thankful for the village that my girls have. I am so blessed that they have their grandmas (Grammy, Emmie, Memaw, and Other Mama), their great-grandmothers (Gigi, Gigi, Nanny & Maw), their Aunts Sheila, Rebecca, Tiffany, and Crystal, their great-aunts Debbie, Lisa, Joyce, Bobbie, Martha, Pam, Holly, Mona, Elisa, and Sandra, and the women of the church Alicia, Mary Kelly, Heather, Christina, Judy, Lee Anne, Betty, Lauri, Marsha, Lyndon, and Therese just to name a few. All of these women have loved my girls. All of these women have looked after my girls in some way or another. All of these women have prayed for my girls. And I hope that my girls will grow up knowing that they can depend on any one of these ladies. Again, I am so thankful for my village.
Lastly, being an aunt has opened up a whole other world. I love Caden, Elias, and Annaleigh as if they were my own children, as I will Tanner and Baby Burdick when they arrive. I would do anything I could for these special children that God as given me the privilege of being an aunt to. I worry about them, keep up with what they are doing and is going on in their lives, and look forward to the special memories we will make and the things that I can teach them just like I do my girls. My heart truly overflows with joy and love for all of the children that God has blessed me with, be it my own, my nieces and nephews, or children of the church that I am helping "parent."
So to all the women of my life thank you for playing your part. Thank you for loving me and my girls and taking the time to teach us, to play with us, and to care for us. And for the moms who have children that I am play a role in their lives, thank you for allowing me to love your children, to teach them, to play with them, and to be there for them. I love you all.