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Mom comforting a two year old me after a taking a tumble.

Mom comforting a two year old me after I took a tumble.

Kristin Rudolph (@Kristin_Rudolph)

We commonly hear complaints about the commercialization of Mother’s Day, with cynical accusations (which perhaps bear some truth) that the day has been co-opted by Hallmark to make a buck off American family relationships. But I think it is fitting to set aside a specific day to appreciate the women who cared for us in our fragile, young years of life, and significantly shaped who we are as adults. For me, and I suspect many others as well, I did not appreciate all my mom did for me when I was a child and an angsty teenager. Somewhere between then and now though, I have come to appreciate all she has done for me.

Although I will not fully comprehend the significance of raising a child until (Lord willing) I have children of my own, I do recognize the role my mother played in shaping my Christian faith. As a young child, every morning I could find her in prayer and reading scripture before beginning a full day of homeschooling, bookkeeping for my dad’s business, and countless other demands. For years she taught a mid-week girls class at church, led the Sunday morning children’s ministry, and played keyboard on the worship team. But it wasn’t the things she did (and still does), but the way it was evident that loving Christ and others was the purpose of her life.

She frequently says “people are more important than things.” It is not a trite saying, but rather how she lives her life. From an outsider’s perspective it may not look like an extraordinary life, but the everydayness of midnight conversations on summer nights, daily notes in brown bag lunches, and simply being available to talk at any time are the things our ordinary lives and relationships are made of.

People are the most important part of our lives and that is something we don’t see recognized or lived out in our individualized culture. I am thankful and blessed to have a mother who taught me by word and example to prioritize loving God and others above all else.

I have a hard time putting into words exactly how my mom has influenced my life – it has been in so many ways and is too close to see clearly. I am thankful for the faith she passed on and the countless prayers she has prayed that have shaped my life in unknown ways. No one has shaped my faith more than my mom has, and I am so grateful she shared her love for Christ with me.

If I am blessed to become a mother myself someday, I will certainly look to my mom and her example for guidance. Bringing a human being into the world and preparing her for life is no small task. So on this Mother’s Day – to all moms, but my own in particular, thank you! Your commitment, sacrifices, and love have not gone unnoticed.