Mother’s Day Goes Beyond Flowers, Cards

It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialization that accompanies many of our holidays.

I’ll give an example. What are your first thoughts when someone mentions “Mother’s Day”?

Do you think of a special, nurturing lady, or do you think of fluff; Hallmark cards, phone calls, carnations, and roses?

It’s easy to be guilty of the latter, missing the entire reason why West Virginia-native Anna Jarvis campaigned for nearly a decade to have Mother’s Day as a holiday within the U.S.

Recognizing the role her mother played in her development as a woman, Jarvis requested a day spotlighting the unnoticed, underappreciated, and selfless acts mothers across our country make each day.

Now, I’m not saying every mother out there fills this role as well as others — some haven’t been the best examples. Still, a century after the first Mother’s Day, we’d be wise to remember many of the life lessons our own mothers have taught us, whether good or bad. I’m sure they’d prefer that to roses any day.

The final chapter in the book of Proverbs gives us an example of a king who recalled his mother’s great wisdom. While instructing her son, the king, on the importance of finding a good wife, his mother said of such women, “Her children rise up and bless her.”

The writer knew our mothers are honored not only when we tell them what they’ve done for us but when we show it through our actions as well.

We recently witnessed a shining example of a son rising up to bless his mother from the NBA’s newly-crowned Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
During a heartfelt and tearful speech, Durant said to his mother, “…I tend to look back to what brought me here…You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”

Today, I rise up to bless my own mother, the late Ruth Crawford, who passed away following a ferocious health battle that lasted more than 16 years.

While growing up, my mother sacrificed much as the Air Force called my dad to pack up his family across the country and overseas; she offered support in the face of worry as I served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician in the Army and as I rode broncs in the rodeo circuit; she, with my father, answered a call from God to serve as international missionaries in Turkey; and she witnessed me marry my wife Stacy, who, in turn, has become an amazing mom to our two children, Will and Delaney.

Whether my mom was teaching me to swim, coaching my soccer team, giving me driving lessons, or making a home wherever my brothers and I laid our heads, she put her family before herself. She’ll continue to live through the love and legacy she left behind.

Many of your moms — whether biological, adoptive, step, or simply a mother-figure who invested herself in you — have done similar.

Please join me in saying to all our First District moms out there: Thank you, Mom, with all our love. You’re the real MVP.

Ruth Anne Crawford
September 21, 1941 – May 6, 2014

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