Lately I’ve been hearing people say, “you look just like your mother!” It’s a bit weird to me because all my life I’ve been told that I look just like my father, though I’m not surprised that when I am dolled up I may actually look more like my Mom (Someone once said that I looked like my Dad with a wig on and though my Dad is a good looking guy, I wasn’t particularly amused by this observation). In other words, looking like my Mom is something I actually enjoy hearing because, to me, she’s one of the most beautiful women in the world. She IS the most beautiful in the eye of this beholder.
My Mom’s beauty is unique as it really does encompass a physical beauty and the beauty of a quiet but strong spirit. It’s a beauty that she understates but others have no other choice but to see, admire, and respect. She’s embodied classic beauty and it can be recognized whether she’s in her sweats or in her Sunday’s best.
I can talk about how we look alike and which natural characteristics that I received from her but that would be stating the obvious. But when people say that I look like my Mom, I want them to be describing how I emulate her characteristics and disposition too.
My Mom is one of the most level headed people I know. As many may know, she has wonderfully played the role of ice to my Dad’s fire for awhile. When things happen, I can count on my Mom to do a couple of things. She’s going to reassure me that everything will be OK, she’s going to ask questions (which I don’t always enjoy), and she’s going to take action even if that action is immediate prayer. This is not to say that she does not ever get upset but she has mastered the art (in my eyes) of thinking first and then acting. I’m still trying to get there.
God has blessed my Mom with a serious gift of discernment. She knows all types of things about people and you’d never know it because she has never used this gift to tear people down. I remember as a teenager how my Mom would tell me and Brandon certain things about people by way of warning or whatever. Everything my Mom said in those regards ended up being correct. EVERYTHING. Her judgment of character was so accurate a lot of times it got to be scary. However what I love about my Mom’s discernment is her ability to recognize people who are usually looked over or given up on and her unrelenting desire to not give up on them. I wish I could tell you how many people my Mom has talked to, mentored, and asked to do things in ministry who other folks would look over because they look a certain way or were too quiet or weren’t polished enough. She is unapologetic in her advocacy for the “underdog” and she will work with you until YOU recognize what’s inside you.
Nurturing is one of my mother’s “spiritual gifts” in my opinion. She is renowned for her hugs; I consider them tangible expressions of God’s love. You can think I’m over exaggerating if you want – just ask anyone who has experienced these hugs. My mother will love on you, encourage you, and get you together (correct you) all in a sweet tone and with a hug.
This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of who my Mom is. It is such a generalized expression about her; I’m not even sure if I have enough words to describe her completely. All i know is that she’s always been there, she’s always loved me with an unshakeable love, she’s always believed in me, she’s always saw great things in me before I could see them in myself. She has always been a hard worker and whether she’s at home, on her good “gubment” job, or with her First Lady hat on at MBC, she is always working to make sure that everyone looks and IS excellent. She’s been the glue that held my family together when things happened. She’s placed on herself the burden of intercessor for me and my family as we moved through each and every phase of our lives. She’s been the comic relief we’ve needed in tense times (my Mom is quite funny). She’s pushed me to pursue everything that I want to accomplish and she’s admonished me maintain the highest standard in my behavior and character. She’s been a disciplinarian and now she’s a confidant and advisor. She’s the one who is always encouraging me to live above folk (Don’t stoop to childish levels) and to “kill ’em with kindness”. Her words resonate because SHE LIVES THEM. She’s not been perfect but she has been EXCELLENT and I rise and call her BLESSED.
Her ability to unselfishly sacrifice on my behalf is something I’ll never be able to fully comprehend. The many days and nights of worrying and praying about me and the outcome of my life are probably too many to think about it. But perhaps what I’ve come to love the most about my Mom is that for all that she has done, does, and will do, she has never held that over my head or thrown it in my face. The extent of her love is not something she needs to remind me of because her actions constantly show me and call my heart to gratitude for everything. I don’t know what would have happened or how I would have turned out if God hadn’t given me Marilyn King Burton as a mother. But in the humblest and most sincere way of saying this, I am SO glad He chose her to mother me.
As I am now grown and still working to be comfortable with the woman I am and the woman I am becoming, I am grateful for her example. No, I am not trying to be my Mom…our paths are different and mine will look the way mine is suppose to look. But I have no problem being like her. And I can only hope that as time goes on and people comment on how I look like her, it will be more and more for her total beauty package and not for just the mere way our beauty is wrapped.
Happy Mother’s Day to my mother and to all mothers. A mother’s love is rarely quenched and a mother’s work is never done. I salute you all.