Summary: This message is a tribute to all good mothers.
Mother’s Day 2020
I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers. This is your day and I hope you recognize the importance of the role you play in the lives of your children and all those who look to you as a mother figure.
Today is the 34th anniversary of the day my mother met her heavenly Father and His only Son Jesus Christ. Yes, today, May 10th, thirty-four years ago, my mother died and this has made Mother’s Days hard for me ever since. Many of you know from my previous Mother’s Day messages that my mom died on the Saturday before Mother’s Day in 1986. This morning, if you don’t mind, I want to reminisce about my mother because the person you see before you today was heavily influenced by her presence for 25 years.
Now I’ve got to tell you that I am a card carrying member of the “Momma’s Boys Club.” If you talk to anyone who knew me back in those days, they will confirm my lifelong membership. Man, I loved my mother. We called her Muddear, which I thought was our name for her. But I have since learned that there were many “Muddears” in the south. My mother was special to me because of who she was and how she lived. I want to share a few things about my mother this morning because, like me, some of you have mothers who are already in heaven and some of still have your mothers here with you. In my reminiscing this morning I hope that you will think about your mothers and the impact they had or are having on you and you will take time to give God praise for them.
Now anyone who met “my” Muddear would leave thinking she was a good, God-fearing mother. Proverbs chapter thirty-one talks about a virtuous woman and that is a good description of my mother. When my father married her he knew he had found a virtuous woman. My father was a living testament of Proverbs 18:22 which says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” My mother had grown up in the Church, but more than anything else, she loved God. My father trusted my mother and she co-managed the finances of the home. It was because of my mother that my father began to tithe to the Church. My father told me that my mom convinced him that they would not lack if he did right by God and he said after he started tithing they did not lack, even when he was unemployed.
My mother made personal sacrifices to provide for the five of us. She made sure we had food to eat, even when there was little in the house. My mother could take a bunch of miscellaneous leftovers and make a meal out of it. That is why my girls have seen me eat things that did not make sense to them, but when they tried it, it sure tasted good. For example, my mother’s version of sloppy joes was a combination of ground beef, soup, mustard, onions and ketchup. (My wife calls it condiments.) But this is the way my mother made it because it made it stretch to feed more people. I remember making it once when my father was visiting and I could see tears in his eyes when he told me it tasted like “Dot’s” – that’s what he called my mother. Needless to say my kids grew up eating that version of it and they have an appreciation for it. Another “food” memory is what Muddear would do when we would get hungry between meals. She would give us a tablespoon of peanut butter to tide us over. To this day, as recently as last week, I still eat a tablespoon of peanut butter to curb my appetite.
My mother would sew for us because they couldn’t afford to buy us everything that we needed. She would also spend time with us playing games. Many a Friday evening I spent playing cards with my parents and my mother’s brother. My uncle and I were teamed up against my parents and when we would be losing I would have this very sad look on my face which would cause Muddear to have pity on me and let me win the hand. Oh that literally drove my daddy crazy! He believed if you were old enough to sit at the table and play, then you were old enough to get a good whipping - if you couldn’t stand the rain go inside. He would fuss at my mother and she would just look at him and smile and keep playing. Oh and did I mention that she was active in our school life. When we did not do what we were supposed to do in school all our teachers had to say was “Do you want me to call Dorothy?” All of our teachers, and I do mean all of them, knew my mother. As I thought about this, what this should have told me was my mother and father had raised us better than the way we were acting. And that one question would cause an instant reset of our actions.