Monday, September 28, 2009

My Mom

I published my first piece of writing when I was eight. At my father's urging, I had entered a Mother's Day poetry contest that was put on by the San Antonio, TX newspaper. I won an honorable mention and two tickets to see the Black Stallion movie for the poem the I wrote about my mother.

But I am certain it wasn't the lyric and beauty of my prose that won the award; rather, the lyric and beauty of the woman who is my mom. She is, indeed, a rare gem.

If you don't look carefully, you might miss her. She does her best to hide behind the husband she adores, never seeking the spotlight for herself. She is quiet in crowds, humble beyond measure, and completely unaware of her own brilliance.

I have only recently learned how unusual it was to have had a mother who did not seek to mold me into her own image of who she wanted me to be. Instead, she thanked God for how He made me, and did her best to help me to become everything that HE wanted me to be. And then she cheered me on in the process.

She and I are about as different as two people could be. She likes to gather and save things. I like to get rid of things. She likes to be in the background. I like to be in the spotlight. She likes bright colors and busy patterns. I like dark colors and simplicity. She reads mysteries. I read everything but mysteries. She studied nursing. I faint at the sight of blood. She likes background noise. I like silence. She had five girls. I have two boys. Her house is cluttered, but sterilized within an inch of it's life. My house is neat, but probably more germ infested than I would care to know. Her heart is beautiful, but her words are clumsy. My words are beautiful, but my heart is clumsy.

And yet, there is one thing I most definitely inherited from my mother...whether through nature or nurture: We are both transparent. Our feelings are genuine, and often on display. Our beliefs are certain, and evident in how we live. My mom will be her exact, true self whether you meet her in church, at the symphony, at the grocery store, or in a courtroom. She does not change based on the company she keeps. She does not change based on her environment. This does not mean that she is not growing and becoming more like Jesus, it just means that no one is ever shocked by her changes because she has been transparent about them throughout her process. She celebrates transparently. She grieves transparently. She transparently confronts her faults. She transparently uses her gifts.

And in this way, I think (I hope), I am my mother's daughter.


  1. I've met your mother only briefly but I agree, she's a diamond!

  2. this is a masterpiece!!! I think I need to meet your mom. What a treasure.

  3. Jennifer, you are a blessing to me and your daddy. You challenge us, you love us, and you honor us but you are our wonderful blessed youngest girl.

  4. Wow! Beautiful!! Inspires me to be a better mother and better understand differences between my mother and me.

  5. I remember your mom! My biggest memory of her is Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. Yummy! It was the morning after a sleepover at your house and you mom baked Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for all us. I had never had those and they were super-yummy! :)

    Hugs to your mom!