Tribute Tuesday: My Mom

This post could be endlessly long, you know.  I mean, we're talking about my mom, Laurie Lowe.  I don't even know quite where to begin, or quite how to say it all.   I feel pressed for time yet fearful that I might leave out any good thing.  I guess I'll just do some straight up thank yous.
Mom, thank you for teaching me about Jesus.  You made the introductions when I was very young, so young that I can't even remember a time before knowing that Jesus loved me.  You planted the seeds and worked to cultivate the soil.  Of course, God has been the one to make the seeds grow, and He's done lots of pruning and cultivating over the years and through many people.  But I will always owe it to you for teaching me the faith and seeing to it that I always had a Bible to read, good books and music to learn from, a good church to attend, and lots of prayers said over me.
Mom, thank you for being a great reader and always keeping me (and now my children) well-supplied in wonderful books.  You never stop reading, it seems.  You inhale books that would take other people weeks in the course of hours.  You read both widely and deeply.  I grew up in a house with so many bookshelves full to bursting, and like a child I assumed that books were a central part of every house.  It was not until I was in graduate school for education that I truly learned that not all families have as many books or read as often as ours did, and I know that we kids are all the richer to have such literate and book-loving parents.  I certainly doubt I would have chosen a Great Books college if I hadn't seen such a love of literature exuded at home.
Ruby's love of books has a solid foundation
Mom, thank you for making me do things I didn't want to do.  Whether it was eating splush or practicing piano or rewriting a report that I thought would be "fine" but you wanted to be "excellent,"you held me to a high standard and I met it.  This is probably the hardest part of parenting: knowing when and how and in what ways to encourage your children to be their best.  I know I will struggle with it, and I know I will make mistakes.  But I also know that it will be okay.
Mom, thank you for working hard to provide us with so many opportunities.  I got to take piano lessons, do swim team, take art classes, acting classes, choir…you gave us so many chances to be enriched (even when we resisted, cultural philistines that we sometimes were.)  While the boys and I were in elementary school you did all kinds of odd jobs--custodial work at the church, data entry, working in a high school computer lab--so that you could make a little extra for us to do neat things AND still be home with us when we got home from school.  You were never too busy to help with homework, prepare dinner, and do all of the myriad of household chores that parents have to do.  You worked hard inside and outside of the home to enrich our lives, and you still are. Even from 2,000 miles away you are enriching the lives of your grandchildren, before they even grasp what you're about.  But I see it now, and I am so very thankful.
Mom, thank you for your inspiring work ethic. You are a multi-tasker, a thinker, a hard worker, and one who never accepts anything less than excellence from yourself.  I have never, ever seen you do a job halfway or do anything even remotely close to shoddy work.  It just doesn't even enter your realm of thinking.  I know that you inherited some of that from your mom, and I am glad you passed it along to me (although I'm afraid that I'm not nearly as disciplined as you and often settle for mediocrity in some areas, like making my bed!)
Mom, thank you for being there at so many milestone events, at great personal expense.
Mom came out for my 25th birthday.
…and getting my MAT.
…and for a week before my wedding

and for my wedding itself, of course
Mom, thank you for loving your grandchildren.  I know it is hard for you to have to be so far away from them, and maybe in a few years we'll be able to remedy that situation…but even if Ruby, Max, and Ben always live far away from "gumma and gumpa", I know that you've learned from the best about how to be a grandma whose long geographical distance won't amount to emotional and relational distance.  Thank you for coming out when each was born to help us (and do some home renovations).  Thank you for bringing us out to see you guys.  Ruby can't wait to go to your house again, just as I always eagerly anticipated going to my grandma's house.   
Loving on the baby who made you a grandma for the first time

You've got your hands full!

You always said you wanted lots of grandchildren, so we just keep 'em coming...
 This litany of thanks is far from complete, but please know that you have been one of the greatest influences in my life for good.  I love you, Mom!

Strength and dignity are her clothing,

    and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:25-31, ESV

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