Last June, Zach and I married in Waco. Two weeks later, we moved to Little Rock. One week after that, Zach left for Air Force training in Colorado. It was a whirlwind of a month. As the dust settled, I found myself surrounded by cardboard boxes, furniture, and pictures to hang.
I grew up moving. But this time it wasn’t just my room I was unpacking and putting together. It was a master bedroom, a guest bedroom, a kitchen, and living room. I had flashbacks of my mother papering cabinet shelves and washing our Fiesta Ware clean of cardboard box debris. So many dishes, details, and decorations. How did she do it? Somehow, by the end of the week, I had our apartment livable. I flew out to Colorado to be with Zach. On the day Pike’s Peak saw it first skiff of snow, we returned to Little Rock, happy to be in one place for a while.
While Zach was at work, I was looking for jobs and cleaning. Always cleaning. One load of laundry done meant another basket of clothes to fold. The dishwasher was always full of either dirty or clean dishes, and each night I was faced with a choice: macaroni or leftovers from a meal Zach made? (We’ve eaten a lot of leftovers this first year.) How did my mother keep up with all the cleaning and cooking?
This is not to say that my brother, father, and I were incapable of vacuuming, washing dishes, or helping out with laundry. This is not to say that Zach works the day away and leaves the all the chores for me. (I rather like cleaning, actually.) This is to say that in my first year of marriage, I’ve developed a new appreciation for my mother. She kept our home beautiful. She kept our bellies full. She paid attention to detail and our interests. She woke us up in the morning and kept us on top of things. She made our lunches and then tucked notes into our lunchboxes. She attended baseball games and drove me to FFA meetings. She encouraged us when we were down and cheered us on in every struggle.
And she never made us feel like we were stressing her out or robbing her of time for herself. Well, a few times my brother and I pushed the limits. But we appreciated her then and we appreciate her now. And as a first year wife and homemaker, I’m learning just how hard she worked to bless us so.
When I think of the woman I hope to become I think of the Proverbs 31 woman who “watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27). When I envision that woman, I see my mother.
To my mother, and mothers everywhere: the little details you tend to do not go unnoticed. Your great influence extends beyond the home and the days of changing diapers, doctoring scraped knees, and singing to us about Jesus. Thank you for teaching us to dream, create, inspire, and love like Christ. You are appreciated and loved, everyday.
(Pictured Below: my mom, “little” brother, and I)
(Pictured Above: Pike’s Peak and the Garden of the Gods)