This was a special day. Today, my sweet mother had her 80th birthday. I could never adequatley express to anyone exactly how much I love this lady. There are really no words to describe how she has selflessly poured her life into mine for over four decades. She still pours her life into my own, and I'm paying much more attention now than I ever have.
Eight decades of life bring with it wisdom that I will probably never know. I've said it before, and I am still convinced, that the older I become the smarter she gets. My mom struggles with the technology of her iPhone and iPad, and she would have no clue how to do many things on a computer that most younger people take for granted...but she is still much wiser than I will ever be.
She can touch a flower, and it will bloom into something magnificent. She can create great meals with anything in the refrigerator. She can sit down at a piano and play it by ear...and, at 80, my mom can still sing like an angel. Her voice still calms my soul, and when I don't feel well, it's still my mother that I really need. For over 50 years, my mother has stood beside my father as his spouse. Their marriage has weathered over five decades with a grace that is seldom seen today. They have been nearly perfect examples of faithfulness and love...and they remain that tremendous example to this very day.
My mother's greatest contribution to my life is the example of her unshakeable faith in God. I can never repay the years of personal discipleship that my mother breathed into my often inattentive nature as a child. However, as inattentive as I was, I still took notice of her example, and that example has served me well throughout my life. Her deliberate actions of pointing me to Christ mean more to me today than they ever have. She still points me to Christ. Often our telephone conversations are spent talking about scripture...long conversations at that. When I call her at night, I almost always interrupt her while reading her Bible. And tonight, as I left her in the living room to go to sleep, she was reading her Bible. There's nothing more precious to me than to see my mother diligently communicating with God...the very one who made me her son.
As the years pass by so quickly, I know that I will not always be able to come home and see my mother. There will be a day when her chair sits empty and her voice is not there to calm my soul. However, as heart-broken as I will be to experience the loss of her presence from this earth, I will rejoice in the knowledge that she will be in the presence of Almighty God. Until that I day, I will continue to treasure this beautiful, magnificent mother that God has chosen to grace my life for almost 43 years. I will continue to try to live my days striving for the Godliness that she so lovingly displays in her own life. I will forever thank God for her depth of Christlike character and grace that has been my example. And I will forever be indebted to God for allowing me a lifetime of opportunity to simply be my mother's son.
Earnestine Beatty, my beautiful, sweet and loving Mother...I love you with all of my heart! I hope you've had a wonderful birthday, and I hope to have the opportunity to celebrate many more with you! I am honored to be your son, and it is my prayer that my life always honors you as the reflection of Jesus that you have always taught me to be.
I love you! Happy Birthday, Mom!
Keith Beatty is a Worship, Missions and Media Pastor living in North Alabama. He's excited and very humbled to be a follower of Jesus Christ!