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“As daughters of Eve, all woman are uniquely gifted to help others in their lives become more of who they truly are—to encourage, nurture, and mother them toward their true selves. In doing this, women partner with Christ in the vital mission of bringing forth life.” –Stasi Eldredge, Captivating

Today, I celebrate a life that gives me life, daily.  A life that gives breath to the Word.  A life that acts as the hands and feet of the Gospel. A life of sacrificial love.

Mama.  You are a daughter of Eve.  You embody the undying devotion of Ruth.  You live in the boldness of Esther.  You are the courage of Rahab incarnate.  You demonstrate the warm hospitality of Lydia.  I see the dedicated service of Apphia in you.  You exemplify the divine obedience of Mary.  You personify the tears and prayers of Hannah.  You are the gentle patience of Rebekah. You are drenched in Proverbs 31.

“I have heard it said that having a child is like having your heart walk around outside of your body.” I have also heard it said that having a child is dying to yourself everyday.  Dying to your own desires, ambitions and comforts.  Dying to yourself so that you may be resurrected as Christ was.  Dying so that you may serve and love as our Savior does.

Mama.  You have died to yourself for me thousands of times.  You have made unfathomable sacrifices for me.  There is no other reason or justification other than your heart truly belonging to the Author of Love.  He has written you in bold print into the pages of His chronicles as the finest of creations.  You are worth more than gold to His Kingdom.  Your sacrifice and faithfulness is a beautiful testament of a woman who abides in the Lord.

I believe in the Lord because of the way you consistently, fiercely, and selflessly love me.  I believe in His goodness because I see it lived out in your flesh.  I believe in His grace because it is woven into your bones. I believe in His unwavering presence because you have always, always been there.  You stand for me, and you stand with me; you always have.  In the rebellious toddler years, the unruly times of high school, and even now, in the wildest and most rugged of seasons, you are there.

Mama.  Thank you for pouring orange juice for Kirt every single morning.  You serve us well beyond our comprehension. Thank you for loving Daddy so fully and extravagantly.  You have set a beautiful example of how a woman should love a man, and how the church should love Christ.  Thank you for answering every early-morning and late-night phone call, tears and all.  You are such a patient shoulder to lean on.  Thank you for sharing me with this big, wild world.  I never doubt that you are the biggest fan of my crazy heart.  Thank you for being my favorite running buddy.  You are a joy to be around.  Thank you for arising to the challenges and blessings of being a mother. You make me excited to partner with Christ in the beautiful and terrifying mission of bringing forth life and be a mother myself someday.

“A woman of true beauty offers others the grace to be, and the room to become.” Thank you for that, mother.  Thank you for offering me forgiveness when I fall flat on my face, and the grace to allow me to try again and again. Thank you for partnering with Christ in His great commission– to encourage, to nurture, to mother.  Your life is a beautiful poem, a bold declaration, a gorgeous anthem proclaiming His reign.  You live here on earth as if it was heaven.  He delights in you; I can promise you that, and so do I.