Happy Mother’s Day!
If it wasn’t for all you mother’s out there, not only would none of us be here, but our socks wouldn’t match! Our stomachs and our hearts wouldn’t be full, and our boo-boo’s wouldn’t have been kissed. We might have run to dad when we wanted to horse around and play, but we ran to you when we were hurting… even after we grew up.
I miss my Mom. She passed away on Christmas Day, 1996. It look several years for me to stop reaching for the phone after I got a great children’s ministry idea. She was always the first I told it to. Of course, for a long time, I just ran into the kitchen to show it to her. My children ministry career started at age ten when I told my mom I wanted to be a children’s evangelist when I grew up. My mom said, “What’s growing up got to do with anything? You start next Wednesday.” I answered, “But I said, “When I grow up!” Her response was, “If God called you to be a children’s evangelistic, why wait until you grow up?” She coached me through planning my first talk, and I spoke to all the children at Awana the following Wednesday evening. And I’ve never stopped.
I’ve been speaking at a children’s ministry conference all weekend here in Canada and tomorrow morning for Mother’s Day I preach in the Sunday Morning Service. My sermon title ought to be: Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Children’s Ministry I Learned From My Mom.
I am so thankful for a mother who saw past my craziness and energy and hyper-activity and saw only God-given potential. I can remember countless times when she would hold my head between her hands and though exhausted (exasperated even!) she would say to me, “Karl, if you can ever figure out how to focus all this creative energy for God – watch out world.” Even when my creative energy was getting me in trouble, she was instilling in me HOPE that God wired me the way He did for a PURPOSE – that I wasn’t a screw-up – that He made me for a reason! That I would someday help people, even if while I was young it meant getting in trouble for being misunderstood. Today my puppets do the things that once got me in trouble. People buy DVDs of toys doing things that I once got taken away in church. Through Kidology.org and the other things I do, I have so many creative outlets now to equip and encourage other kid ministers and impacts kids, but I had no way of knowing those things then – children’s pastors didn’t even exist then!
But the words of my mom did. And I hung on them, sometimes daily, for hope. I am whatever I am today because my mom believed in me often when no one else did. (and dad too, but hey, it’s mother’s day!)
So for all you mothers out there – I don’t know how you do it all – but my hats off to you!