Today, we welcome guest blogger, Madeline Cole, who just happens to be one of our faithful Aspire Prayer Warriors. Welcome Madeline as she shares a glimpse into her life with us.
As a teacher, I get a “special kick” during Parent Teacher Conferences, because I am given much insight as to why my students have the personalities they have, when I meet their parents. That question I ask daily as to why Charlie is always shouting out in class, or why Sally is playing with her hair gets answered at the Conference. It really is worth buying a bag of popcorn to watch some of these meetings. But I truly see it as a privilege to view that exact same face and expressions that I see on my students, on their parents. It’s like viewing my students in twenty years. For some that is scary, but for most, it is a special privilege God has given me.
This takes me to my own childhood with my mother. I do not look exactly like my mother, I look more like my dad’s side of the family. But there are some of mom’s traits I have prayed to inherit. It isn’t the usual stuff, like hair, height, skin tone, etc… My mother has been a model of Jesus for me in my life. She has spent her years giving herself to others. She took care of her siblings and father when her mother was committed to an institution. She took care of my dad throughout his life’s battle with alcoholism, and four of us kids. (I’m the oldest! Of course that is necessary for you to know.) She watched other people’s children with an in-home daycare, and volunteered at thrift stores where the homeless would gather. She gave away our family’s clothes and food to anyone in need, despite the complaining from us.
We complained to our mom, for not being the mom we saw on TV shows like “Father Knows Best”, or “The Brady Bunch”, who was totally devoted to her own family (right?) She seemed to us, devoted to every other human being. She would smile and not point out the millions of actions she did for us, like finding every lost sock in the house.
I realized the true gift God gave me in her, years later when I became a mom. The Holy Spirit gave me revelation after revelation, like slaps in the head, when my own sons would ask me to find something for them. Or when I cried in the middle of the night with a sick child because of exhaustion and worry. Only now am I beginning to see the depth of this verse from God’s word:
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will blessed if you do them.” John 13:14-17
My mom, Maggie, lived this verse out for me to see! She served and still serves others through her own pain, through her own need, and with a joyful disposition. Lord, I pray that I may be more and more like Jesus, and my mom!