A Mama Tribute

My mama and I have a special story together.  One I will always remember.

It begins with me standing in my kitchen some short time after having my second child.  I was eating an entire sleeve of graham crackers in one setting.  I was bored. Distracted. Confused. Empty.  She called to talk and we began to chat about something we had never conversed about before:  women’s Bible study.

You see, she had attended her first ever small group study, which had ended.  Another one was starting up and she wanted me to come. Her invitation was a big deal. Huge. This concept of Bible study was new to her, new to our family, new to our relationship as mother and daughter, and quite frankly, we didn’t make it a habit to discuss “religious” things in our family.

Sure, we had conversations about church functions.  She brought me to church almost every Sunday as a child. The hopes that we’d stop at the little gas station across from the church after it was over and Casey Kasem’s American top 40 countdown playing on the radio in the car were two of the biggest memories I have from those early days.  Vacation Bible School in the summer and those Sunday School teachers and classrooms would fall close in line.   

But the work of the Lord, the intimate, personal work of the Lord . . . this was something we had never verbalized.  My mom was excited about what she had experienced in that Bible study.  She had learned so much, but more than that, and she would tell you this, she grew in her relationship with God.  The transition from religion to relationship had occurred in her life.  And it compelled her to extend an invitation for me to join her.

What makes this story so special is this:  I was not a Christian at the time.  I was 24 years old with two kids and a husband, a foundation of faithful church attendance and even a baptism at the age of twelve.  But God was distant to me.  As for church, Andy and I hadn’t stepped foot into a service since our wedding day, nearly seven years prior.

Here’s the raw truth:  I was not looking for God, concerned about the things of God, or aware of my need for Him. 

But to mama, God was now different.  Her eyes were opened to His goodness and His love for her by the power of His Word.  The Bible was holy and also meant to guide her everyday living.  When she asked me to attend the next study session, I agreed.  Not because I was compelled, not because I thought anything in my life would change. I went, well, because though I didn’t realize it at the time, God was drawing me to Himself and He was going to use her invitation to do it.

The rest, they say, is history for me. Quite literally, His-story in me. I was overwhelmed by His grace and love.  I was saved.  Transformed.  Shortly thereafter, I found myself teaching my first Bible study to women, compelled to share His truths with others. Everything about my relationship with my husband and children began to change, and we became a different family than we were before.  God was working in a mighty way, a way that I had never expected.

And it all started with my mama’s question, “Do you want to come with me?”

You know what? She and I have the blessed privilege over the many years since, to grow in our knowledge of Him and love for Him together.  To learn what it means to be a godly woman and to live out your faith in obedience and trust.  We’ve worked alongside each other in a variety of ministry contexts and have had conversations about the Lord that are too numerous to mention.  I pray that there are many, many more to come.

This Mother’s Day, I thank God for my mom.  For the foundation she laid.  For the example she set to love and serve others sacrificially.  For the courage she has shown and the persistence she has had over the years to share Jesus with her family. 

I thank God for the way He leads His people to reach others.  Thankful for that one conversation and for this one special story that I can share for the rest of my life.

“Her children arise and call her blessed . . . “ ~ Proverbs 31: 28

I bless you today, Mom.

Interested in hearing more?  I recently had the privilege of sharing my entire journey to a group of small women who attended my latest Bible study.  The decades of God’s grace, love, mercy and redemption have infiltrated our family and we will never be the same.  He has a plan, my friends.  He has a purpose for you and yours.  Be further encouraged and hear more of my testimony by emailing me at jamiehoos7@gmail.com and visiting Contact – Jamie Hoos .

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