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In 1908, Miss Anna Jarvis, of Philadelphia, observed the first Mother’s Day, in memory of her's.  

Believing others should share her feelings, she began a nationwide campaign to try to get everybody to observe the day. Incrementally, the idea grew, and finally, the U.S. Congress set this day apart by a formal act, and the president encouraged its observance.  

Mother’s Day is now worldwide, but it should never be limited to one day, as we must celebrate women of all ages representing all walks of life all the time.  

Men could never be what they are or do what they do. God instilled right into the beings of the opposite sex, an immensely thorough grace and holy strength that can only be defined as something supernatural. Try as some might, we cannot live without them. 

Mothers are priceless gifts from above, sent to bring us a taste of heaven on Earth.  

My daughter, Abbie, became a mom for the first time in March, and her twin boys, Levi and Benjamin, have already done a number on her emotions. Life will never be the same again, and yes, while moms change the babies, the babies change everything else.  

A woman quit work to stay home and take care of her new baby daughter, but countless hours of peekaboo and other games slowly took their toll.  

One evening, she smacked her bare toes on the corner of a dresser and, grabbing her foot, sank to the floor. Her husband rushed to her side and asked where it hurt. She looked at her husband through her tear-filled eyes and managed to moan, “It’s the piggy that ate the roast beef.”  

Motherhood can be the sharpest tool in heaven’s drawer when it is wielded with wisdom and intentionally invested with an eternal treasure in mind.  

My wife, Terri, is an incredible mom. This year’s remembrance is sure to be emotionally charged like no other.  

Last November, the week before Thanksgiving, Terri’s dear mom, Sandra, went home to be with the Lord in this crazy pandemic that has restricted loved ones from having a much-needed connection with one another. This June, our youngest son, Joel, will be graduating from Cape May Tech. Come this fall, when Joel heads to Taylor University, in Indiana, it will be the first time since August 1986 that we will have an empty nest.  

Rudy, Leah, Abbie and Joel will have all grown up. We are already blessed with eight grandchildren, and nana and pop-pop love that role, but there is no better mother than my wife.  

She is the woman from Proverbs 31 who gets up every day long before any of us and goes to bed long after I say, “good night.” She has raised our children with an example that I still marvel at in appreciation and admiration. While our Lord deserves the credit for the great kids we have witnessed growing up, I know Terri provided a foundation of faith and unconditional love that even when they are old, they could never forget -  

Thank you, Terri, for being you. How little could I imagine the countless ways you have been and always will be such the ideal life partner. I love you. 

I also love my mom - Happy Mother's Day, Joanne Sheptock.  

I am her firstborn child and obtain several qualities from her influence - blame her if you do not like me.  

My fierce passion and stubborn determination came from my mom. My love for old black and white romantic movies, like, “An Affair to Remember,” “The Joker is Wild” and “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” developed because we watched them and cried together.  

Before I owned any albums, I played her Joni James, Al Martino, Andy Williams, and Jerry Vale records, knowing the lyrics to every song by the time I was 4 years old.  

While I came to faith in my own way on my intense journey, my mom, a former nun, raised us with the Lord having a huge part of everything. I went to Catholic School and always earnestly considered Jesus.  

When I was in first grade, I was a shy kid on the inside, and came home one day overwhelmed because other kids wouldn't let me play kickball with them. She told me to go out there the next day, dare to make a difference, and play, no matter what others said, which I did. I played and realized my athletic ability and love for sports on that day.  

I also obtained her high talking volume and being a personality that sometimes scares others.  

Mom, I know you didn't like them, but thank you for letting me buy “Meet the Beatles” with my February birthday money, in 1964, letting me stay up and watch them on Ed Sullivan, and for you and Dad taking me to the drive-in movies, on Route 10, to see “A Hard Day’s Night.” I have never forgotten, and I still sing, “I Saw Her Standing There" like I did when we were at nana’s house.  

Through the thankless tasks of raising and refining our children, our God raises and refines us. The Lord does not use us to raise our children; He’s using our children to raise us. Any devastation can be redirected and redeemed in our gracious God's hands to break, chisel and mold us into something like Jesus.  

Never underestimate the privilege and responsibility that comes with being a parent.  Let us give us a shout-out of gratitude to all those incredible adults in our lives that, while not being related biologically, stepped in and became moms, dads, grandmothers and grandfathers. God strategically provided them when those who should have stepped up abandoned their posts.  

When was the last time you thanked this parental rescue squad who showed you love, kindness and instruction through coach, teacher, big brother, and big sister roles?  

A mother to a non-verbal child with multiple disabilities writes, “I have turned to the Word of God and the God of the Word when I grieve over not being able to hear my son say, I love you, Mommy.” She added, “After 14 years of intense behavioral, occupational, and speech therapies, my now teenage son functions verbally at the level of a 3-year-old. His communication skills have evolved very slowly. It took years of drills and interventions before he could even label me positively by pairing my picture with the word Mommy on a flash card, and even to this day, Jeremy doesn’t say ‘I love you' on his own, but he will echo it back when scripted." 

Over the years, I have learned to appreciate Mother’s Day cards drawn with the support of a skilled occupational therapist, hand-over-hand. I guess that all I am trying to say is “Happy Mother’s Day,” with lots and lots of love.  

Please take care of all these exceptional ladies. They are true jewels, and we are enriched to have them in our lives.  

Do not let what’s going without leaving what's unsaid. Say "we love you, mom" louder than you speak it. 

ED. NOTE: The author is the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church, 1248 Route 9 South, Court House. 

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