I could go through each verse of Proverbs 31 starting in verse 10, and show so many examples of how my mother is the epitome of the woman described.
There just aren't enough words to describe all the things she has done for me and so many others.
As a gifted singer/songwriter, she discovered at an early age, here with Marty Robbins, that she wanted to use her gift to glorify God, and turned away from a chance in country music.
God has blessed that, and she has had many top songs in Gospel music, recorded by groups like the Kingsmen, The Inspirations, Florida Boys, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and seen on the Gaither Homecoming Series. She also has music in the "Smoke on the Mountain" series of Broadway musicals.
But her first love has always been her family.
She always made all the clothing we wore, including some of my dad and brother's suits.
She designed and made entire wardrobes for the pageants I entered, including this beautiful green French silk evening gown for Miss North Carolina.
I always had the most beautiful clothes, and I remember hearing the hum of the sewing machine late into the night--many nights she would not even sleep at all as she sewed not only for us, but ran a successful design business to help pay the bills.
She has always burned the candle at both ends.
After having quadruple bypass and back surgery recently, this is the garden she produced just last year.
All for us.
She not only grew her garden, but picked all the vegetables then canned them herself. She says she loves it and she wants to make sure we have food that is clean and healthy.
Since I was a child there was not a time that she did not bring us something special back if she went to town. Eating out was a treat, so we looked forward to her bringing back McDonald's cheeseburgers. She still does that:-) When she goes to Sam's, she doesn't come back without a truckload of food and special treats for our kid's lunches.
She bakes fresh bread for us 3-4 times a week, and is always cooking meals for us just because she wants to help us out. And she doesn't just cook for us, she cooks entire meals for anyone and everyone she thinks might be hungry, or blessed by a homecooked meal. And she does everything from scratch. Paula Deen, bless her heart, could not begin to hold a candle to my mother's truly southern cooking. She makes a pretty great French crepe too:-)
She is always thinking of us, our needs, even our wants, and giving us something she knows will be special.
(with Marc Pruett and Tim Surrett of Balsam Range)
But in all honesty, that doesn't begin to touch the surface of all she does. I could write volumes. She has always been overly generous because she is so very thankful for everything she has been blessed with.
My mother cooks and cans and works so hard for everyone else, and she does it in a small, outdated 1960s kitchen with very little counter space. She has to go up and down stairs just to get a crockpot, and I have never once heard her complain about climbing the stairs or the lack of storage, or not having stainless steel appliances or a gas stove. For the record, she would hate stainless steel and gas:-)
The heart of her home is truly her kitchen and there is not a gourmet kitchen anywhere that can hold a candle to hers. If there was ever any possible way, I would enlarge and update her kitchen for her because if anyone deserves a great kitchen, it is my mother.
This Mother's Day, I am truly thankful for my mother. I'm thankful for the example she is. She is everything and more than the Proverbs 31 woman, which some scholars think was not even one woman at all, but several.
My mother, alone, encompasses all of it.
Happy Mother's Day mom...I love you:-)
From Proverbs 31:
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.