“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:29
There’s a social worker at Jocelyn’s school who talks to each class about “bucket fillers” and “bucket dippers.” She explains that when someone is kind, they “fill” your bucket. On the flip side, if someone is unkind, they “dip” into your bucket. I think her objective is to teach the kids to be “bucket fillers” so they make this world a better place.
Thanksgiving has me thinking about, and grateful for, the bucket fillers in my life. I am incredibly fortunate to have a long list of them. But hands down, my mom is my #1 bucket filler.
It’s impossible to list all the examples of my mom’s generosity and thoughtfulness. Needless to say, every single thing I do has some aspect of her giving heart. At the retreats I run, she insists on supplying the journals and pens for the moms. But she wouldn’t settle for any journals and pens. Instead, she sought out journals with an inspirational motherhood quote on the front, and pens with a mother’s prayer attached. At Christmas and Easter, she buys small gifts for all the kids in Faith and Play, the mommy-and-me program I run. But rather than taking all the credit herself, she puts both our names on the gift bags she creates. When I hold a weekend retreat, she bakes breakfast casseroles and delicious desserts to help pamper the moms and show her support.
She is also incredibly generous with her time and talent. Every week, for seven years, she has been driving from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to lay out the craft and snack for Faith and Play. Although I live just five minutes from the church, she not only beats me there so she can do the lion share of the set up, but in her humbleness, she always parks in the second parking spot, leaving me the first.
Most importantly, she blesses my life with her faith. I’ve heard of people creating prayer maps, sketching out their spiritual journey to discover what and who have influenced their faith along the way. When I draw mine, my mom is at each and every twist and turn. At every cross road, it was her example of what faith in action looks like that inspired me to step closer to God, rather than farther away.
Moreover, her parenting style parallels every description of Jesus in the Gospels. Like He did with the prostitutes and tax collectors, she’s never once judged me for any of the poor decisions I’ve made. Instead, she’s loved me through them all, while at the same time, inspiring me to reach for a higher standard. When you’re loved unconditionally, and constantly witness compassion, humbleness, and mercy, it’s not hard to wonder what God’s love feels like: I experience it first hand through her.
My mom is definitely beautiful on the outside; but on the inside, she is stunning! I think it’s because she’s discovered the secret of life: having a belief in God so deep and so rock solid, no storm can shake it. That deep faith is woven into every fiber of her being, and into every act of kindness she does. Her devotion gets her up at the crack of dawn so she can get to 6:45 a.m. mass every single morning to fill up at The Source. Daily mass and constant prayer throughout the day fill her up to the top with God’s grace, causing her to glow, drawing everyone to her. When you are fortunate enough to get close, His grace spills out of her. That grace then pours over all of us who come into contact with her, filling each and every one of our buckets.
I have so much to be thankful for today, Thanksgiving. But words cannot express how grateful I am, nor how fortunate I feel, that God blessed me with my mother. I love you Mom!
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