The Legacy of a Christian Mom

I’m a fourth-generation pastor’s wife. My great-grandfather was a Southern Baptist preacher as was my grandfather as is my dad. And, as it worked out though I promised never to do it, I find myself almost twenty-one years into marriage with my own pastor-husband. (Side note: Never say never.) As I look back at the legacy of faith my Christian mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother built, I realize I have big shoes to fill when it comes to raising my own Christian children.

My Neenie was the consummate Southern lady. Always elegant and gracious. In her ninety-plus years, her faith was the steady backbone of our family. As her sight failed, she listened to the Bible on audio tapes. She prayed over and for all of us, reminding us it was God alone who provided for us, who sustained us.

My Bigmama is, as my uncle says, “a force of nature.” Even at eighty-two, she sweeps into a room, filling it with energy and life. She’s passionate and creative and has the most beautiful servant heart. Even now, as she cares for my Bigdaddy who has Parkinson’s, Bigmama welcomes others into her home and her heart. Her hospitality is a beautiful picture of the God who welcomes us all to Him.

My mom is quiet, reflective. Rarely willing to step into the spotlight, her prayer journals are full of the needs of others and the sweet ways God has answered. Though she will always step in when needed, her preference is always to help and serve in the shadows.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about what a gift it is to have this heritage. To be part of a line of women who have taught and served and loved in countless ways is nothing to take lightly.

The lessons I’ve learned from each of them influence every part of my life. From my Neenie, a passion for the sustaining power of the Word of God. From my Bigmama, an abiding love for the Lord and for His Church. From my mom, a willingness to serve wherever I’m needed.

I’m raising a daughter of my own now. She’s seventeen and when I look at her, my prayer is always that she will love the Lord and abide in Him. I’m thankful she’s next in this line of women who have devoted themselves to the Lord. I see in her Neenie’s quiet grace, Bigmama’s devoted love, my mom’s ability to notice others.

Just as these women have profoundly impacted my life, they’ve also influenced hers. We’re the beneficiaries of these mothers who love the Lord, who pray, who walk in obedience and faith. It’s a firm foundation they’ve laid for us to walk upon and every day I pray we continue to shine, as they do, the light of Christ in this world.

What a better time than Mother’s Day to honor the women who have impacted your spiritual journey? Take time to let them know how much they mean to you with a handwritten card or inspirational gift, or by simply sending an Ecard. And for those who are no longer with us, like my Neenie, why not write them a little note in your journal to reflect on and celebrate their lives?


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