When I was a little fella, my mother used to read a book to me.  I loved it, and I hated it.  The book was The Giving Tree, and it told the story of a tree that gave, and gave, and gave–her fruit, leaves, branches, her trunk, and finally when she had nothing left, she gave her stump–all for the benefit of a boy she loved.

For years, that book has reminded me of my mother.   She gave, and gave, and gave–sacrificially–and many times when she had even less than I did.

When I was living with the family in Grand Cayman last summer, I updated my status on Fruitiply saying, “Hep me!”  Mother soon came from the other room (I love parents who keep close tabs on their kids’ online activity!), asking what was behind that status.  I told her that we had a wedding date set, and I wasn’t ready to get married…the main reason was that my finances were horrid, and there was no foreseeable improvement happening between then and October 9th.

She left, and was back a minute later with the only money she had–a $5 CI bill.  Trapped on a Caribbean island, with no means of personal income, and she was giving me the last of what she had, doing everything in her power for the boy she loved.  I didn’t spend it–like the widow’s two mites, it wouldn’t have made that much of a dent in my expenses.  Instead, I put it in my wallet as a reminder of a mother who gave, and gave, and gave…and as motivation–inspiring me to be like her.

When I was born, Mother gave up finishing college.  Then she gave up thousands of hours to stay home and teach me–not just “school”, but life.  When she got money, she would give it away or buy something for one of us–rarely spending anything on herself, and she gave me an example of pure love.  Now I’m married and gone, but she’s still giving.  We don’t even live in the same country, but she is our full-time prayer partner–a huge part of some incredible stories of provision and answers to prayer (which you really should hear sometime).

The more time goes by, the more sacrifices I remember, and the more I appreciate how much my mother really gave.  I wish I could do it justice, but I can’t come close.  This much I know: any fruit that may come from my life, my marriage, my children, and those that the Lord has allowed and will allow me to reach is directly attributable to the mother who gave, and gave, and gave, pouring out her life for mine.

Mother, with all of my heart, thank you.