If there is one word that I could use to describe my mother it would be strong. She has submitted under trial after trial and yet her faith in the Lord only grows. She endured 23 years of an abusive marriage before the Lord freed her from it. She did her best to raise 3 girls in a violent environment day after day. I don't think I will ever understand why God allowed this is in her life and in mine and my sister's lives but He did. He is sovereign and He has His reasons.
My mom holding her niece at her wedding
My mom taught me to love the church and ministry. She exemplified the importance of being in the Word and in prayer daily. Sure, she didn't go to my volleyball games or my track meets. There was never a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies waiting for me at home. She spent a lot of her evenings doing ministry at church. To be truthfully honest I resented this for many years. But, can you really blame her for wanting to get away from my father and the misery she experienced every day? The impact she has made on so many others lives and on my own life is eternal. Now that I am a mother I often think of the problems I gave her as a young child. I reacted a lot to what I saw happening at home and she took the brunt of my rebellion. Later on as a teenager growing up in a single parent home, I took advantage of her trust. But thankfully God watched over me and protected me.
She really enjoys being a grandma. She once told me that it was her joy to finally be able to enjoy children without being under so much hardship from my father. She said she really never got to enjoy the coos and warm hugs from her own daughters as babies because she could never relax and enjoy being a mother. Josiah just adores his Grandma Maria and not a day goes by that he doesn't ask to go to "Grandma Maria's house".