Happy Birthday Mom, 15 Reasons Why You’re Awesome

Today is my Mom’s birthday, she is a wonderful lady and has been a great influence on me. Allow me to celebrate her a little with everyone.

15 Reasons Why my Mom is Awesome 

My Mom and I at Johns Rock, in Pisgah National Forest

  1. She had 5 kids. That’s a lot. I don’t have any kids yet, but I’m sure all 5 of us was no picnic!
  2. She home schooled each of us until at least 7th grade. Her degree is in education, so she has training in teaching, but not in all subjects while varying grades between 9th, 7th, 3rd, Kindergarden, while caring for a 3 year old. Oh, 1999 must have been a challenging year! Besides that, she taught us well, academically we all transitioned well to school and eventually college.
  3. My Mom is patient. See above.
  4. She is a great cook, and while growing up was emphatic that we all ate together. As society has changed and family dinners became less of a priority, she held ground in keeping us around the table. And the food was great.
  5. She made us eat vegetables. Cooking vegetables, chopping fruit, and cooking fresh food is more time-consuming than set it and forget it, but the benefits to our early health were significant. I’m glad she didn’t take the easy way of TV dinners to provide our nutrition.
  6. My Mom loves coffee. ‘Nuff said.
  7. She is willing to let me go. I went to summer camp at age 10, flew alone at 13, attended college out of town, and we’re now living 500 miles apart. Throughout life, she has shown the wisdom to allow me to leave. This is also growing increasingly rare, as parents try to control everything in their kid’s lives. I’m not saying there were no rules, but what I could do and take responsibility for, I did.
  8. She insisted I make phone calls. Mentioned above, she didn’t do things for me that I was capable of handling myself, like making a phone call. Little by little, this built up the belief that I was capable of handling my life. When I went to college, I knew I would be ok.
  9. She loves sports. My siblings and I have been playing sports since I was 6, giving her 22 years of near-perfect attendance at various football, basketball, baseball, track, cross-country, volleyball, and lacrosse games. She also listens to sports radio on a regular basis and has a working knowledge of the Florida & Florida State football rosters. What a gal.
  10. She is active. We are a very active family, and she hikes, bikes, plays and runs with all of us. She’s run a couple half-marathons, the River Run 15k several times, and a sprint triathlon. We used to joke that the kids received all of our athletic skill from our Dad, who’s a great athlete, but it’s true that she had a genetic hand in that as well.
  11. She encouraged my development away from sports. I took music lessons, a little art training, read voraciously, and of course my writing.
  12. She loves our family, and all other people, very much. She also is open to admitting her mistakes and growing edges, bringing a great wholeness to her life.
  13. She is present. When you’re talking to her, she doesn’t become distracted. She’ll look you in the eye and listen. However long it takes, she’ll give you the time. Since she only has 1 kid left at home now, my Mom spends a lot of time building relationships with women in the area. We joke that she only has friends under 35 years old, but part of that is because a lot of these younger women look to her for the wisdom that can only be accumulated through 31 years of marriage, 29 years of motherhood, and today 54 years of straight-up life.
  14. She provided a solid spiritual foundation for me. We grew up in a Christian home, and she emphasized the gospel messages of love, unselfishness, caring for others, and living a life that is for God’s glory. That has continued to evolve throughout her life, and she told me about Tullian’s sermons, which inspired last week’s post.
  15. She practices her faith in tangible ways. In 2010 she went to Haiti for a week, gettin’ in the mess for God. She works with a local ministry that supports women in the seedier areas of Jacksonville, especially those who struggle with drug addiction and/or prostitution (read more here). She felt convicted about being the change of God in the area, and not simply praying for it.

See, told you she was awesome!

Happy Birthday Mom, I love you,


p.s. My Dad is a great man, and my parents were incredible partners and leaders for me. But I’ll write about him at a different time, today is Mom’s day.


1 thought on “Happy Birthday Mom, 15 Reasons Why You’re Awesome

  1. Fantastic, Matt! I agree with every word. I’ll add #16: Mae Beth is also a wonderful sister, daughter & aunt. Love u, Matt!

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