Honoring Mom

I just received word this morning (written 9.21.13) that my mom has passed away. You may think it strange that I am writing at this moment, but writing is a way that I am able to express myself, and secondly her death does not come as a surprise. You see my mom lived to the ripe old age of 94 and was very ready to move on to her next life. I hope you won’t think it indulgent, but I would like to tell you a bit of her story and in the process honor her passion for Christian education as well as hopefully encourage your heart.

My mom loved learning – she must have done well in school as she was the valedictorian of her high school class. As a product of her times, college was not an automatic option, at least not for a rural farm girl. However, she managed to save some money and convince her parents to let her attend the closest available college to take business courses for one year. Lacking further financial and parental support, she was unable to continue her education and married my father, a farmer.

Mom continued her education on her own through reading, crossword puzzles, writing the church bulletin and writing family members on a regular basis. Having been denied a college education, she made education a priority for her children. When I dropped out of college my mom was very frustrated with my choice and I know that intensity came from her not wanting history to repeat itself.

My mom came from a family that valued public education highly; her cousin went on to become the local public school superintendent. My parents chose Christian education for their children and my mom took a lot of grief from her family for that decision. However my parents were convinced that this was the best way to fully educate their children about all of life in the ways of the Lord.

My mom backed up this decision with hours of volunteering over the course of her lifetime. One of the major fundraisers for our little local Christian school was the Hunter’s Supper. Hundreds of hunters would descend on our little farming village in November and the ladies would serve them hot mashed potatoes, ham, and home-made desserts. My mom used her excellent leadership skills for years to chair this event which required hours of preparation for an unknown number of hunters. The hunters would line up outside of the church to file into the basement for this wonderful feast of home cooked food.

I saw my parents’ sacrifice for Christian education: sometimes the milk check was small, but the church and Christian education were the first two checks written out, and we lived on whatever was left. That example has shaped my priorities about, and I am grateful to, my Mom for her passion for Christian education and learning!



Filed under devotional, encouraging the heart, parenting

5 responses to “Honoring Mom

  1. caroline penberthy

    What a wonderful legacy she left for all of us!! My mom is presently 97 yrs old and continues in her work for the Lord. It is a pleasure to see their stories carried on in the lives of their children. Blessings on you and your family as you celebrate her going

  2. David Ritter

    Dan – My sincere condolences to you and your family. Yet I celebrate with you that your Mom lived very fruitful years and now continues to live eternally in Christ’s perfect presence. May you find His favor in these next days and as you carry on your Mom’s legacy and Christ-honoring work ethic.

    David Ritter

  3. Pete POst

    Blessings to you Dan – in this time of loss. And I appreciate the sentiments expressed in honor of a dedicated mother. The model that we share with our children is always crucial and essential (Proverbs 22:6). Although my mother never made it past the freshmen year in high school, I still remember her as the most naturally gifted teacher I have ever observed. God grants us all different gifts and your mother certainly chose to use hers in service to others, a wonderful legacy.

  4. Mary Beth Pollema

    What a beautiful testimony of a life lived for Kingdom service! We all have much to learn from your mom’s example. Thank you so much for sharing her story and know that our family is lifting you up in our prayers at this time.

  5. Mark Agrellas

    Amen. Thank you for sharing, Dan

    Your Mom’s life is one to be remembered and celebrated. May the Lord, be with you and your family in your loss.

    On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 8:57 AM, WordPress.com

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