504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Saturday, May 8, 2010

On Celebrating my Mom

My Mom is very much like many of the faithful members of University Baptist Church. She was born in the midst of the Great Depression, graduated from high school after 12th grade, and didn’t attend college. She was employed in the work force, but also did a stint in the circus as a member of the (then) only “all-female acrobatic tumbling team in the nation.” (For those uninitiated in circus lingo, she was the skinny lady who got flipped off the end of the see-saw and landed into a chair on someone else’s shoulders).
Mom married my Dad in the mid fifties and raised four of us Jackson kids, spread out over 11 years. She was the quiet rock in our family, with a mischievous smile and a great sense of humor (which she got from her mother who, while my Mom was in the hospital having my youngest brother, actually starched my basketball shorts just for fun). She fed, chauffeured, tutored, bandaged, rescued, consoled, and disciplined two girls and two boys.
She can set up a tent, upholster car seats, repair small appliances (including the garbage disposal), fix broken furniture (she had two boys), cook anything from gourmet to backyard barbeque, and sew dance costumes (my sister, not me). She could whistle loud enough for the neighborhood to hear but distinctively enough for the Jackson four to know it was time for us to come home. She dispenses better advice than Dr. Phil and Oprah combined. Her musical ability was passed to her oldest daughter, but not her oldest son.
My folks were godly, but not regular church attenders. As I put together my Mom’s story (in my adult years), she was baptized at the East Berry Street Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Tx. and as Mom to us, she made sure we attended a variety of Sunday schools and Vacation Bible schools. When God started moving in my life, she was very supportive and our house was always open for youth group fellowships, spontaneous sleepovers, and unplanned late-night buffets for one or more of us kids (plus friends). Her cheesecake is legendary.
She was incredibly strong when her husband of 45 years passed away but still allowed us to see the total vulnerability and frightened look in her eyes as she wondered how she would make it through the day. She has fought through multiple health issues of her own. She is active in her church and has built friendships in her Sunday school class, her Grief Support group, and her Water Aerobics class.
By the way, as I write, she is planning a trip with her older sister to take a train up a mountain in West Virginia where they will then detach the caboose car, spend the night sleeping in a train car in the isolated mountains, and wait until the train comes back the next day to pick them up....just because it is something they have never done before.
My point in this little walk down memory lane is to say that some Moms have impressive academic, vocational, or community service resumes, but all Moms have the not-so-public resume that my Mom has. My wife has an equally impressive Mom resume in a completely different generation, with a completely different set of challenges. Yet, both of them–as have you, Moms of the University Baptist Family, have shown themselves to be Proverbs 31. The end of that great proverb says that this woman of excellence,

27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 "Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all."
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Prov 31:27-30 NASB


  1. AJ
    We are each on a journey. We choose what kind of journey we take. You are a light amidst the world's darkness ever pointing others to relationship and fellowship with Jesus and then with each other. I'm drinking a cup of coffee for you right now. You are a good son and a good friend.