This Sunday is Mother’s Day, so I thought I would use this week’s Doyle’s Half Dozen to pay respect to many admirable mothers who are well known and in my own life. Since there are so many mothers I hold in high regard, I had to be creative in how I would categorize some of them. To go with DHD’s theme, here are six categories of mothers I hold in high esteem.
1. Old Testament Mothers
- Leah – I feel sorry for Leah. Jacob made her feel unloved and ashamed. Even her father used her in a plot of deception. Through her difficult life, she remained faithful to God, and God blessed her with many children.
- Jochebed, mother of Moses – Though she is not mentioned by name in the Bible, her story is told in Exodus 2:1-10. This brave woman went to great lengths to prevent her baby Moses from being killed. She is a warrior in sacrificing her own time with her son for him to be under the care of Pharaoh’s daughter, yet she was able to nurse him.
- Hannah – This woman demonstrated great, passionate faith in God and pleaded to have a son. Hannah was blessed to be the mother of Samuel and remained faithful to her promise for him to be reared in the temple under Eli’s guidance.
- The widow of Zarephath – There are many exciting stories involving Elijah. One of the best involves his time during the famine with the widow in Zarephath who was ready to make the final meal for her son and herself. For this single mom to answer Elijah’s request of making a small meal for him, prior to making their meal, is a powerful demonstration of faith. As the story goes, God blessed this widow for her faith.
2. New Testament Mothers
- Mary – Is there a more famous and respected mother? She was so young yet so brave. Many misunderstand her purpose, but this woman was brave, faithful, humble. She withstood much criticism and cultural pressures as a young woman with child. She was a part of Jesus’ ministry, even when it was not popular, and was there when he was crucified.
- Elizabeth – I always liked Elizabeth. She was a rock for Mary. And she too was a strong woman of faith, bearing a son later in life.
- Lois and Eunice – This grandmother-mother team was influential in Timothy’s faith. The Bible never says whether or not Timothy’s father was involved in his life, but what is said is how Timothy became a man of God, one entrusted and mentored by Paul. Timothy’s Godly character is credited to Eunice his mom and Lois his grandmother.
3. Movie Mothers
- Maria Von Trapp – How about acknowledging a step-mother? Who wouldn’t want to be raised by this wonderful character in The Sound of Music? Maria took on a tall task of caring for seven children. And though she experiences an elegant wedding, she walks down the aisle with a chorus singing degrading characteristics about her.
- Edna Spaulding – If you want to see a perfect example of a warrior mom, watch Places in the Heart starring Sally Field. She plays Edna Spaulding who goes through great tragedy and turmoil to keep her family together.
4. TV Mothers
- Caroline Ingalls – There’s not a whole lot I remember from watching Little House on the Prairie, but I remember “Ma” being a sweet, kind, faithful, stable figure on the show. I also remember she had a sneaky sharp wit to her, as she would handle issues with Harriet Olson, the town snob.
- June Cleaver – Who doesn’t admire a woman who does gardening while wearing a pearl necklace? People have fun with this Leave It to Beaver character, but I appreciate her guidance to two adventurous, sometimes clueless, boys.
5. Historical Mothers
- Susanna Wesley – She may be one of the most underrated mothers of modern history. She gave birth to 19 children though nine died as infants. Her husband was rarely involved and even left the family for a period of time. But this godly woman had a great influence on two great leaders of the Christian faith, John and Charles Wesley.
- Ruth Graham – The wife of Billy Graham was a great woman of faith. She was the daughter of medical missionaries and an anchor of prayer and support to her husband who spoke to the world about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And while he was traveling the world, she remained home raising five children, and all five are currently involved in ministry.
6. My mother
Lastly, I speak to you about the mother I admire the most. She is my hero. Her influence on the path of my life is too great to be described in one DHD topic. But I will give some highlights.
Hester Doyle is the mother to six children. Two are not her natural children, but she cared for them all. She endured the death of my sister Sally who died of cancer in 1997.
She allowed me to go 1,200 miles away for college and then the start of my adulthood, which I travelled often over a span of 12 years and even experienced a car wreck and a few winter storms. I never mentioned to her about the time I picked up a hitchhiker, and I even let him drive while I napped in the backseat.
And while raising her children, she served as a pastor’s secretary of one of the more influential churches in Oklahoma City. The duties she handled are now delegated to about five church staff assistants. The operations weren’t computerized most of the years she worked, yet she knew every church member, where they lived and their children’s names, even a few more facts about them.
Now, I share the privilege with my siblings to help care for her at this time of her life. I know I live too blessed of a life. It is all to the praise of God, but none of the blessings could have happened without my momma.
Happy Mother’s Day!