Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Moms in My Life

Sunday is Mother's Day, and I wanted to give a shout out to all the mothers in my life. I am blessed with many of them. Here we go.

On the left is my mother, Ophelia, also known as Torchy. What a great lady she was. She passed away last year (May 5) here with me. She was such a loving, guiding mother. She really prepared me for life, and always stood behind me in my ministry. Without her, I would not know about Jesus. She is sorely missed. She taught me to drive, taught my Sunday School class growing up, taught me to cook and clean and sew, etc. She had the funniest sayings (from Texas, of course), more than you could count. Right to the end she was sharp as a tack, and full of fun. She delighted in telling the people of my congregation about me as a little boy. Once or twice I had to stop her, some things are just private (or I think they should be).

Next to her is Dorothy. She is actually my sister-in-law's mother, but she is a surrogate mother to me. My children call her Grandmother. Dorothy lives with her daughter Donna in Dallas, but she and my mother were such great friends. At church, when you saw one, you saw the other. They were great pals. When my mother moved up to Muskogee to be with us, they spoke on the phone every day. Dorothy is a blessing in my life.

This is Mabel, my wife Judy's mother. Mabel was a glorious servant of the Lord; teaching, serving, guiding. She was the center of a home filled with love; love for her husband, and her 5 daughters. I loved talking about the Bible with Mabel. You would have thought she graduated from a Bible college. But she was just self-taught. She passed away a year after we married. In her last month on this earth, she was memorizing the book of James, even though she knew her time here was almost gone. And she had the greatest humor. She and I and got to where we tried to support everything we said with a Bible verse, even if we had to misquote it. What a great way to learn scriptures (you have to know them to misquote them) and have fun, too.

Who could possibly replace such a great mother-in-law as Mabel? Well, God can. Without any aspersions on Mabel, I can say that I have the greatest mother-in-law in the world. I don't know what I would do without her. She came to the family almost 2 years after Mabel passed away, and she fit in from day one. Imagine marrying 5 daughters and two sons-in-law (one of those was/is pretty cantankerous), bringing with her her own daughter, then eventually birthing one more (that's 7 girls if you are counting). After she married in August, she got right into the work of helping prepare her new daughter Beth's (daughter #4) wedding in December. And she hasn't stopped since. She is the most giving, supporting, and child/grandchild/great-grandchild enjoying lady you will ever know. She picked up the love mantel where Mabel left it, and has carried it so wonderfully for almost 40 years.

Although not my mother, Judy is the mother of the world's greatest girls -- mine! And she is the world's greatest wife. She is just always there when you need her. Wife, mother and grandmother (Mimi), she has made our family the great family it is. She always has a smile, and always has time for each person individually. Not only is she a great homemaker, she is also a great graphics artist. Her website is on the computer screen behind her. She has built a website for my ministry, her art work, and one to teach others the Bible (check out,, the new one is not ready for viewing for another few days). Judy is a great Bible teacher, as well. And the most amazing thing: she has a thousand new ideas every day!! Where does she get them?! Judy has always supported me to the fullest in all that God has called me to do. What a helpmeet she is.

Just have to talk about my two daughters, mothers both. Kari is my older daughter. She has two beautiful girls, 5 and 6 years old. She is fun-loving, great to be around, and a mother to the nth degree. I am constantly amazed at her abilities. She has had a lot of hardships in life (3 preemie babies, each at about 6 months), but she just keeps going, keeps smiling and laughing, keeps making others feel so special. And she loves the Lord with all her heart. (A great cook, too!)

Last, and certainly not least, is my younger daughter Stephanie. She is the organizer in the family. She is married to a great man, has a beautiful daughter (5 years old) and a son (2 years old). She is the life of the party, also. She teaches first grade, and all her kiddos love her. Jeff takes such good care of her and the children, and gives her the things she needs to be a great mother. She is involved in church, teaching Sunday School when it is her time in rotation.

Can you tell I love all the "mothers" in my life? And for good reason, too!! Now give a shout out for the mothers in your life.