Lessons from my favorite mothers

       As mother's day approaches I thought I would share a few traits I have learned from two remarkable mothers in my life--my mom and my wife (mother of our five children).  It's my hope to "honor moms" as God commands (Exodus 20:12).  
       First, both of these women believe Jesus is most important.  My mom stayed home with my sister and I full time.  She made sure to read us the Bible, take us to church and live consistently.  Success in life was defined as some day hearing Jesus say "well done, good and faithful servant."  My wife, who works outside the home, has sacrificed significantly over the years to start Journey Church, an organization committed to "connecting people to Jesus Christ and each other."      When our children come down in the morning they almost always  find my wife finishing up her morning devotions.  My own commitment to Christ has been shaped and enhanced because of theirs.  
       Second, both are remarkably curious people.  I kid my mom about her habit of asking "20 questions" every time I talk to her.  She wants to know what I'm thinking and doing and how my family is growing.  She never wants to miss anything.  If I asked mom about something she did not know she would research it and circle back (the days before google).  My wife is intensely curious as well, but particularly intrigued about people's feelings and thinking.  I've watched her so many times gently explore the emotions of our children.  She will often unpack something that even they did not realize was there.   She even instituted a tradition in our home of having an "exit interview" with each of our children when they leave for college.  We write up questions to help understand what it's like to grow up in our home.  The hope is we will improve as parents as the years go by (apologies to Joe our oldest).  My love of reading comes mostly from my mom and my desire to have a better understanding of people has grown because of my wife.  Both have made me a more curious person.  
       Third, both practice the art of hospitality.  My mom loves to cook for a big group of people.  Some of my best memories are meal times with extended family or friends.  My mouth starts to water just thinking about those moments.  My wife does not love cooking (although she's good at it) but she loves people.  There is no way I could tell you how many groups of people she has hosted in our home over the years.  In addition, my wife practices what I call radical hospitality.  Her heart for children is remarkable.  As foster parents we have taken in kids directly from meth homes and other challenging situations.  Our latest adventure was having two international students for several months.  This was a unique and rich experience that I would never have initiated on my own.  I'm a pretty strong introvert so I both admire and have been stretched by their commitment to hospitality.  
      Fourth, I appreciate that both are always looking at the long term effects of life choices.  For my wife, It’s not about one sugary treat but about whether this child will live a healthy lifestyle.  It’s not about one video game; it’s about whether we are allowing the development of an unhealthy attachment to screens.  My mom was very strict on what we could watch on TV, she was training us in making wise entertainment choices.  Both look to the future to help kids and grand-kids become all they can be.
      Thanks to all the moms out there doing their best to train the next generation.  We appreciate you!
 Pastor Derek Dickinson
 Journey Christian Church