Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Mama

Ann Voskamp has invited her reader community to post their tributes to their moms and her family wants to respond with generous giving to a maternal child heath project in Haiti with Compassion.  I love it.  Love my mama and helping other mamas...

But in this season of motherhood for me, I just can't set aside a month to write a tribute that might just pass as barely worthy of posting in my mom's honor.  There will never really be adequate words from me....

I was born out of my mom's brokenness, neediness while she searched for love.... and found only a chincy knock-of of the real deal.  He was married and I don't think he ever looked at me (I met him when I was 22 but that's a different story.)  My mom raised me alone.... except that with all the weight of new mothering responsibilities she decided she needed some help and started visiting churches for a free hour of babysitting; she could sit still and think for an hour every Sunday morning.   By the time I was seven (yes, it took that long) she heard the Gospel on a Sunday morning:  that God has provided for our sin by giving Jesus.  And my mom and I trusted Christ together.

My childhood is best told in this picture:  my mom and I flying downhill on a bobsled, wind in our hair, smiles and eyes all alight with joy.  She was a flight attendant so we travelled (for free... snatching up any empty seats) to Mexico, Hawaii, London, Budapest, Bombay.

She was broken and I was broken and we grew in Christ together.   She shared with me all she was learning from radio Bible teachings during her commute to work, she shared and modeled how she was learning to give of herself in every way.  She sent me off to the ends of the earth and supported me in every way I could dream.

And there was conflict and continued giving (Such Generous Giving!), there was hospitality and hostility, and forgiveness.... There was great forgiveness  (Thanks be to God!)  and great joy (pure gift!).  There was always an adventure.  Soon after our wedding she hinted at her hope for a grandchild.  And then too soon there was the unexpected, sudden heart trouble and now there is the legacy and the longing....  me longing for her friendship, advice, encouragement, help, love.  She would have been here with us probably every month for those free tickets of hers and she would have eaten up these four grandkids of hers.

Oh I love, I love, I love and I miss my mama.

I'm glad she told me she loved how I called her mama.   And I praise God that she is LIVING now more than she ever has, with Him.   And I rejoice that we will be together when we see the Lord.

my mama in the middle with her two sisters, (L, R) Blythe and Gayle
a good fun old photo booth strip with her little brother Brian
(who I grew up thinking just might be the tallest man alive)

I am so happy Matt got to meet my mom.  So glad my best friend knew my first friend.  Oh how she shaped me!  How gracious the Lord was to draw us to Himself together!

Mama, I'm so very grateful for you, so grateful the Lord gave me to you.  I wish I had words to thank you and honor you more as you're due...  I love you and miss you so...

This is post is for the  The Thousand Moms Project.... 
in the community of blog friends who gather at


  1. Jillian, thank you for this beautiful tribute to your mama. I am crying now- for so many reasons- too many to list, but especially for the hope that this brings... that in brokenness you and your mom found Christ and the Beauty of the gospel. It brings me such hope in this season of our lives! Thank you for, again, speaking words of life into my heart!

  2. sweet tears from reading this post. thank you jill.

  3. What a great post, great tribute to your mama, to your life with her. So sweet, bittersweet. And my was she beautiful at every stage! You can tell she's your mama and Marian looks much, much like you in those photo strips. And oh how your mama would have adored her grandkids... I grieve that with you right now and miss her with you.