I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:5-7
My mother loved this verse.
When I saw it this morning, over at (in)courage, with the question, “Won’t you share with us today what you have inherited by faith through your mother?” I knew what to write.
I had wanted to write a thank you to Mom post for Ann’s project, but all my attempts came out badly. How do I write thank you to Mom who is gone? Do I thank her, or do I thank Jesus?
My mother became a believer when a baptist man who ate at her father’s restaurant explained the gospel to her simply and clearly and she passed on to me the clear gospel at a very young age. She always looked for the gospel presentation in any sermon we heard.
She grew up in a Greek Orthodox family and I have inherited her piety. For instance, she was taught a regular time where family members would ask each other for forgiveness. Instead of implementing this in our home, she taught my brother and me to forgive immediately and fully when asked by letting our love for the person overwhelm our feelings of justice. You only teach that by example, I guess.
Not a spirit of timidity but of power: my mother started a Christian school for Learning Disabled kids in the Dallas area when I was in high school. She asked me to quit my after school janitor job and she paid me the same to take care of our house and meals. Reflecting on that, her 13 hour days and teaching me to keep a home (bookwormish me), I am amazed at the spirit of power to do what is right that flowed through her.
Self-discipline: when I was just a young mother it seemed like every time we got together, Mom and Ravinia and I, my mom could only see what I was doing wrong. It bothered her so much she had to blurt out correction in the moment, which I found distressing. But we worked that out, God giving me insight and grace to explain that I did want her correction, just not in front of the child, and that I would be working on those things she taught me until we met again when she would see the next thing for me to be working on! One of the dearest to me was when she told me that in order to discipline another one must first be self-disciplined.
I still miss my mom, but I am so very grateful for her, and thank the Lord daily that she brought me to him, making her faith and love and dependence on him real in our home and inviting me into that relationship. That is what I hope to be doing with my daughter now. (She is baking those cupcakes to give to mothers today.)
All thanks and praise to God!