She is Clothed with Strength and Dignity

Happy Thursday Central Family! I pray that today finds you full of joy and strength in the Lord! Be encouraged this day knowing that you do not face anything alone today! : ) God is with you! Amen! I want to take this opportunity to share with you about a very special woman who shaped my life in an extraordinary way. Being that this Sunday we are celebrating mother’s, I thought I would share with you about the woman who I called Mom. : )

MeMamaMy mom, Martha, was a remarkable woman who truly embodied the Proverbs 31 woman.  She was born and raised in Mexico and during her teens transitioned to the United States in search of a brighter future. I did not discover a lot about my mom’s childhood experiences until after she passed away.

Unfortunately, when I was just twelve years of age, my mom unexpectedly went to be with the Lord. Life changed dramatically for me the day she died.  I grew up quickly and faced responsibilities that most twelve year olds do not have. I have a brother who is three years younger than I, and although I was never directly asked to take on responsibility for him, I naturally placed it upon myself.

As a result of the life my mom exemplified, I knew that the only place that I could run to for comfort and refuge was into the arms of Jesus.

My mom was raised Catholic and even before she entered into a personal relationship with the Lord, I believe He was already looking out for her needs.  When she moved to the US and settled in Burley, Idaho, (a small community about 2 ½ hours South of Boise), she found a home with an elderly couple who allowed her to live with them in exchange for helping them take care of their home. My mom found favor with this couple and they became like her own family.

 She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. [Proverbs 31:17]

I inherited my mom’s journals and I would read stories that she had written of her childhood.  Had it not been for her writings, I would have never known the trials my mom endured growing up.  She was second oldest, but had to carry the responsibility of the older child because her older sister was disabled.  My mom worked long hours, rising in the early hours of the morning and being one of the last ones to go to bed. I saw these traits carried over into my mom’s adult life.

She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family… [Proverbs 31:15] My childhood is filled with fond memories of time spent with my parents.  My parents and I were always close and I loved waking up in the morning to see my dad off to work.  I would get up and run into the kitchen because I did not want to miss seeing my dad.  In the kitchen I would find my mom making fresh homemade tortillas (Praise the Lord!) She would diligently make my dad lunch on the days he worked. My dad’s co-workers knew my mom’s cooking was superb and he would be asked on a daily basis what he had for lunch! : )

 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.  Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. [Proverbs 31:20-23]

There is an abundance of stories I could share from the times my mom would go to doctor appointments with ladies in our church to interpret for them, to the times she would make homemade meals for the elderly, to the times she would provide a ride for a family member who was unable to drive, and even making meals, single-handedly, for a missions team of 100 or so members.

To me, my most cherished moments are those when my mom taught me about the Lord and instilled godly principles in my life.  Every night, without fail, she would come into my bedroom, tuck me in bed, help me memorize a bible verse, and then pray over me.  The first time I experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit was with her.  My mom had responded to an altar call and I went along with her.  I sat on her lap and I looked up at her face, her eyes were closed and tears were streaming down her cheeks.  Although she did not tell me, I knew that the tears were not of sadness, but because of the precious presence of the Spirit.  I then closed my eyes and became aware of His presence too.  My mom taught me how to become aware of His Spirit.

 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” [Proverbs 31:25-29]

This upcoming June will mark eleven years that my mom went home to be with the Lord.  Although that number looks like a long time, in my heart it does not feel like eleven years.  I realize that sometimes it can be easy to almost glorify someone to perfection after they have passed from this life; my mom was not a perfect woman, but I saw grace and humility radiate from her life.  In fact, I was not aware about how her life truly lined up with the passages found in Proverbs 31 until I studied those lines and compared it with her life.

This mother’s day, as I reflect upon my mom and the life she lived, my heart is filled with joy because someday I will be reunited with her.  In truth, Mother’s Day is not the easiest day for me. Yet, I cling to Christ, and the beautiful thing is that I have hope. I can have hope in Jesus that I will get to see her again and we will worship Him together! : )

My heart and prayers are with those who are not able to be with their mother as we celebrate Mother’s Day.  I have seen the goodness of the Lord in my life and cling to His promise in Isaiah 66:13 that says God will comfort us like a mother comforts her child.  I also rejoice with those who have the opportunity to celebrate their mom and encourage you to esteem the woman that she is! God has placed amazing women in my life to fill that void in my heart throughout the past years! I am so thankful for these women God has given me at just the right time!

If you get a moment, I encourage you to read Proverbs 31 verses 10-31.  My prayer, for my life and the girls and women of my generation, is that God would give us the grace to develop these qualities in our lives. My heart’s desire is to live a life that honors the Lord, like my mom taught me, and that God would arise these kind of women in our generation today!

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. [Proverbs 31:30,31]