Friday, May 9, 2014

The Women In My Life


I'll begin with the very first woman I met when I came to this world, my mom, of course. 

She is strong, hard-working, compassionate and a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. She has dedicated her life to the service of the Lord, alongside my dad. They pastored for 40 years before retiring.  However, that has not slowed her down.  Ask anyone who knows her, she has the strength of an ox.  This year she celebrates her "HmmHmm" birthday, and you'd never know it.  Her face, hair, personality and energy is as young as it ever was. She eminates beauty from the inside out. 


My mom worked for most of her adult life in education.   
She was a translator at a local high school when I was a teenager, and later at the middle school level. Many of her students came from the inner city and blue collar working families.  Mom was committed to help these kids graduate from high school and attend college.   


 Students would visit her office daily with academic and personal problems.  My mom was always there to give them a kind word and sometimes use tough love to keep them from jeopardizing their own dreams.  She'd help them apply to colleges, FAFSA, and sometimes even pay the application fee.  Some kids never believed they'd ever go to college, no less graduate.  Her love and consistent encouragement was their inspiration and support.  

Today, she is a retired pastor's wife and school translator, but you'd never know it.  She heads three bible institutes, preparing and training future pastors, missionaries, evangelists, teachers, and ministers.  She works in her church office and preaches and speaks at many venues and church events.  She has a world of experience and has so much wisdom to sow into young people aspiring to answer the call of God upon their lives.

 On this Mother's Day I want to honor her for her continued example of a godly woman, a tireless servant and a huge love for God's people.  


What a blessing!  My younger stister, "Netty".  
She has my mom's energy, for sure. 


I remember the day she was brought home from the hospital, the baby of the family. My mom's surprise.  As full time pastors, having 3 children, the last thing they thought was that they'd be having a fourth.  But, here came Netty, ready or not.  And, we wouldn't have had it any other way.  

She shares my mom's passion for people and committment to growing the body of Christ.  Twenty years ago, as soon as she came home from her honeymoon, she and her husband birthed a vibrant church, "The Lighthouse" (English), "El Faro" (Spanish) in Port St. Lucie.  

  She also went into education.  She is an adviser, helping college students accomplish their academic and life dreams.  Netty is my role model.  Everything she sets her mind to do, by the grace of God, she is able to accomplish.  She has a radiant smile, a bubbly personality, and everyone who meets her instantly falls in love with her. 


On this Mother's Day, I honor my sister, Annette. 
 What a gift you are to me.  


And, my little angel, the girl the Lord sent to my life to teach me the greatest lessons I'd ever learn.  My Analissies.


She is everything I never deserved.  
She is evidence of God's immeasurable grace.
Filled with my mom and sister's energy and passion for God, 
his people and worship,
my daughter gives and gives and gives.
Speaking of role models, she leaves me speechless.


And, on this Mother's Day I want to honor my daughter for allowing me the great joy and fulfilled dream to be her mom.  Another amazing gift.


My mom in law is also one of the strongest women I know.  
She and her husband immigrated to this country to make a better life for their children.  Without knowing the English language or the American culture, the Lord blessed them with their own business, great jobs, and a new life.  It was in no way a piece of cake, but by God's grace they achieved the American dream.  Her husband came to know the Lord here in the United States, and through his instant and complete transformation, brought his family to the Lord.  Later on in life, both he and my mom-in-law were called to the ministry and they also pastored a church in Brooklyn, NY.  He is with Jesus now, but my mom in law continues working and serving God and her family.  She is an example of a loving mom, compassionate servant and faithful friend.  


I honor my mom-in-law this Mother's Day for accepting me into her family 27 years ago and loving me as one of her children.  


and

to all women
young or old,
with children, without children, 
or children who are with Jesus,
married, single or widowed,

For a "mom" is not limited to a woman who births her own children, rather a "mom" is a woman who allows herself to pour into the people God places in her life.
To nurture, protect, guide and encourage.
To correct, love, and feed.
To cry with and be happy with, to heal and to forgive.  

Happy Mother's Day
to all women who give, serve, and sacrifice everyday
for others.

May you be strengthened in His joy.
Be encouraged by His unconditional love and acceptance.
And, may your burdens be lifted as you lay them at His feet
And allow His grace to cover you.

This day and every day.

= Credits =


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