In honor of Mother’s Day, Good News Wants to Know… What is something your mother did or said that had a lasting impact on you?
Mom was so faithful about reading the Bible together as a family (“you can eat real food – so therefore you have time for spiritual food”) and about designating Sundays as a sabbath rest (a time to spend with the Lord and not work). I’m really grateful to have grown up with rhythms of resting and scripture as they’ve formed the way I live and work as an adult even now!
Amanda Forman, Lead Business Designer, Zone (UK)
I’m not sure whether I could quote my grandmother – she was a very wise woman and before I went into the ministry, she called me aside shared the following wisdom with me:
Her words were, “people are either going to make you a hero and tell you how wonderful you are, or people are going to tell you you are a failure – remember both those statements originate from the same source which is the evil one wanting you to fail.
Alan Platt, Global Leader, Doxa Deo/City Changers
When I was in the hotel business during the development of Auberge Beach, I needed to visit North Carolina to order some items for the hotel. On the way back, I told her I was going to stop by for an overnight in Jacksonville where my parents lived. She asked me what I would like of dinner and that she wanted to make me something special. I asked her to make her macaroni and cheese casserole with ham. I’ll do it she said.
I stop by for the overnight and had her famous dish. The next morning, she gave me a big hug as I was leaving and told me she loved me. Two months later she had a massive stroke and was gone to be with the Lord.
No matter how busy we get, take the time to spend time with loved ones. They can be gone in an instant.
Andy Mitchell, President/CEO, The Fairwinds Group
My mom used to tell me that instead of complaining that a church isn’t meeting your needs, it was my job to meet the needs of others. I think it was her paraphrase of Philippians 2:4, which says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Beau Heyman, Executive Director, First Care Women’s Clinic
I was privileged to have a hard working mom who unconditionally loved my dad, my brother and me. I remember many things that she did and said but three stand out above the rest. The first occurred when I was going through a particularly difficult time as a young adult and chose to respond with self-pity. She took my face, turned it toward hers and in a stern voice said, “I didn’t raise quitters.” The second took place as she was recovering at Broward General from open heart surgery. When I walked into her room, she looked up from a Christian tract she was reading and said, “I finally understand. I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart.” And, the third took place as she was waning in her final months on earth and my mom, the woman who lived life to its fullest, looked up from her bed and said, “It went so fast.”
William “Bill” C. Davell, Director, Tripp Scott Attorneys at Law
One of the important life changing lessons I learned from my mom was to serve her. I grew up in a home with a younger brother. My dad always made us clear the dinner table and wash the dishes. My mom got out of the way and let us serve her. I think this was initially difficult for her. I learned from this that there are no gendered chores. I also learned that a mother and wife need to be served. (Ephesians 5:25)
Dr. Bob Barnes, CEO, Sheridan House Family Ministries
Growing up my mom pursued outsiders and attacked them with kindness and an open door. From the homeless, to widows and the sick. She continues to live out the things Jesus told us about in Matthew 25. It made Thanksgiving dinners a little different… but I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.
Bob Denison, President, Denison Yachting
There are so many stories I could tell, though what stands out most was her support during my earliest days in radio. My first on-air shift was the late/overnight timeslot… she never missed a show.
Brian Mudd, Program Director \ Host of The Morning Rush & The Brian Mudd Show, iHeartMedia
A very specific and spoken impact my mom has had on me was one night of VBS, my teacher talked of how much love Jesus had for me that He died for me. To help us 3rd & 4th grades “get it” she told us to go home and ask our parents if they loved us so much that they would die for us. So I did, I asked my mom this very question and I can see it and hear it as if it were yesterday. Without any hesitation, she looked at me and said, “Yes, absolutely! I would die for you.” In that moment, I understood the love of Jesus, because I knew and experienced the love of my mom!
Major Connie Long, The Salvation Army
My Mom’s dedication, focus and hard work in serving our family and her husband of 50 years is what inspired me most – especially since she had a life beyond the house as an exceptional artist, tennis player, bridge player, award winning flower arranger and ballroom dancer.
Deborah Cusick, FAU Campus Volunteer, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
The ends NEVER justify the means.
Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, President, Professor of Health Sciences, Palm Beach Atlantic University
As missionaries my parents sent us off to boarding school for 4-5 months at a time right from grade 1, yet our mother had a way of reassuring us of their love and that we were little missionaries ourselves going away to school enabling them to excel in their medical ministry. Our mom always taught us to find the opportunity in any challenge.
Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service, Inc.
My mom woke me up every day with the phrase “Rise and Shine!” These words of purpose still echo as I wake up to a world in need of the light of Christ!
Doug Sauder, Lead Pastor, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
My mother, Esther, was the hardest working woman I’ve ever known. Her and my dad raised 10 of us as well as running a cotton farm in Mexico. Amazing. As I grew, my mom became my greatest fan. The first one at all my baseball games and yelling out, “Number 4, that’s my mijo (son)!!” Work ethic. Responsibilities, honor, respect and love for family are what my mama left as a lasting impact on me. Love and miss you, mi mama.
Fidel Gomez, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Hollywood
When I was very young I asked my mother what happens to you when you die. My teenage cousin had just been killed in a tragic accident while riding his horse. She explained that your Spirit goes to heaven right away. That really had a lasting impact on me. She made it so clear that there was no reason to doubt or be afraid!
Dr. Fred Scarbrough, Founder, Scarbrough Animal Hospital and Hope South Florida
My mother was the strength and foundation of our family. Her amazing witt, laughter, beauty and gentleness lit up a room!! But her unconditional love was felt by all!!!! She didn’t have to preach Jesus. She knew Him and she lived Him… My mom always ended a conversation with I love you.
Helen Wayner P.A., Century 21 Hansen Realty
My mom was absolutely selfless in raising my brother and me. She spent so much time driving us to practices and watching us from the bleachers at games and tournaments. She always made sure we had what we needed for school, our homework finished and lunches made. I also remember we could always make her laugh in just about any situation, which served us well when we were about to get in trouble! She loved us well both in word and deed! Her servant’s heart continues still and she’s a great example of putting others interests before her own. I’m so thankful for her and God’s goodness to me through my mom.
Rev. Jeff Lee, Campus Minister, FAU, Reformed University Fellowship
My Mom always reminds me to see (and even find) the good in others. She remains positive, optimistic and outgoing to this day.
John P. “Jack” Seiler, Esquire, Seiler, Sautter, Zaden, Rimes & Wahlbrink
My Mother is a remarkable woman. The most meaningful thing she said to me growing up and continues to say in my adult life is, “I love you.” She not only uses the words, but has demonstrated it my entire life. I am grateful for her and I love my Mom.
James Welch, Pastor, First Baptist Fort Lauderdale
My mom taught me the power of prayer. Most mornings I would wake up early and find her in the kitchen with her Bible and cup of tea, praying for our family. She would say, “Laura, if you’re ever in trouble, just pray!” The words especially rang true for me when I found myself in a dangerous scenario and heard her words in my heart. I prayed to God — He was faithful, and rescued me from a very dangerous situation. I am grateful for a praying mom!”
Laura C. Bishop, Executive Vice President of Advancement, Palm Beach Atlantic University
Without my Mother’s prompting to work and hustle at an early age, I would have missed out on so many lessons that have shaped my life. She taught me the value of a dollar: to earn, save and invest.
Mark Doyle, Chief Executive Officer, Holy Cross Health
My mother taught me many things that have impacted my entire life, but if I had to choose one, it would be the power of a praying mother. If she had not prayed for me and interceded for my life, I would be dead, in hell, separated from God for all eternity.
Dr. Mary Drabik, President, South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary
I don’t recall any specific words of wisdom from my mother, but she did require that I followed through on my commitments. Whether it was showing up to play on the Little League Team I was a part of; or working with our milkman on snow days when I was off from school and so wanted to sleep in; or being among the few choir members to show up and sing at Church on Christmas morning after having sung at the midnight mass the night before, she always made sure I kept my commitments. That lesson is part of me to this day. “Train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Happy Mother’s Day!
Mike McDermott, PA, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, The Keyes Company
My mother was always a very loving, caring and serving person. Her selfless attitude toward the family was an inspiration and taught me how to place other people’s needs ahead of mine. Growing up, she was the mom who cooked tons of food for everyone and even when you said you had enough, another huge spoonful of food was on your plate! She’s 88 years old and still serving my father who also is 88 years old.
Milan Stefanovic, Chief Operations Officer, Bass Underwriters
My mom always told me to ‘look at life like a sitcom.’ We have to be able to laugh! It really puts even some of the most difficult situations, personalities and challenges into perspective. I laugh a lot; it is good for the mind, for the soul and a useful business tool to lighten things up and reframe.
Nancy Robin, CEO and Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Broward
My mother’s actions spoke louder than her words. She was a woman filled with great kindness and generosity. She would be kind and serve all with dignity and excellence. I remember all our holidays whether Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter she would invite people, regardless of their station in life, who had no one with whom to share the holiday. A very talented chef, she would always have an incredible spread that all who attended enjoyed immensely. And to top it all off, when the meal was over, she blessed everyone with containers of delicious leftovers. In retrospect, I now understand that as blessed as guests were by her generosity, she was the one who enjoyed the greater blessing. She loved people and she loved blessing them – and while I didn’t realize it at the time, it’s clear to me now that my mom truly did have the heart of God.
Oksana Horton, Creative Director, Torch & Trumpet Theater Company
I will always be grateful to my mother for teaching me many things. One of the many things she taught me was, “ it’s OK to give out sometimes, but never give up.” As a result of my mother’s teaching, I have accomplished great things for myself and the kingdom of God.
O’Neal Dozier, Pastor, The Worldwide Christian Center
My mother was a person who was succinct with her words but her actions were more memorable. She managed to take care of all 7 of us children, work and get so many things done without forgetting a thing. Anytime I felt overwhelmed with life, I think of how she always plunged into a challenge with a smile and a positive attitude. She always saw possibilities where others might see hopelessness!
Patricia Colangelo, EdS, Lecturer, Professor, Trinity International University – Florida
In honor of Mother’s Day, I would like to say “My Mom is a SAINT!!! She gave birth to 11 children… I am #10. There are many things she taught us kids, but the one that stands out today, is that she would always tell us to Pray if we heard a siren of an Ambulance or a Firetruck. This is a compassionate tradition I have passed on to my Family and to all the Saints children as well. She is with Jesus now….thank you Mom for loving us the way you did!!
Coach Rick Andreassen, Founder/President, SAINTS International Sports Ministry and SAINTS of Florida Homeschool P.E.
Wow it will be hard to keep this short, but let me start with what she did for me, which I can wrap up in a few words …unmerited, undeserved, unconditional love.
As far as what she said to me, I still remember one late weekend night when I was in high school and she was still awake when I rolled in from a party, making sure I got home safe. We sat down and talked about my faith journey, and she took me right to the four spiritual laws and let me know that they should be the foundations of my faith and not to get to wound up in other matters. That confirmation was comforting and necessary at that time in life and has stuck with me all these years.
Romney C. Rogers, Managing Partner, Rogers Morris & Ziegler LLP
My mother was the finest Christian I ever knew; she practiced what I preach.
Samuel Lamerson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies, Knox Theological Seminary
I was sitting with my mom and dad just a few days before my mom passed. She sat straight up in bed and asked my 91-year-old dad to finally, verbally confess his belief in Jesus Christ as his LORD and Savior, and he did! She laid back down and, with a smile, said, “Now I can go in peace.” Never, never, never stop praying for your loved ones. It’s never too late.
Susan Kassing, Community Leader
I was bullied a lot in elementary school. We moved around, and I was always the new girl on the block. At one school, the girls could have starred in the movie “Mean Girls.” When I told my mom what was going on, she told me to be nice to everyone. She kept reminding me not to stoop to their level. And, when it got really bad, she was there to defend and speak up for me. She made things happen… There is a point where ignoring the situation isn’t an option. She taught me so many lessons through those experiences. I learned to be a voice for the voiceless.
Tewannah Aman, Executive Director, Broward County Right to Life
Read last month’s Good News Wants to Know at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/whats-the-most-memorable-charity-event-youve-attended-in-the-last-number-of-years/