I'm currently in the process of planning a bridal shower. My friend Monica (read her blog here) asked me to be her matron of honor when she weds James in June, so I get the privilege of hosting a party! Believe me, I really do consider this an privilege. I love planning events like this. I haven't had the chance to host a party in quite a while, so I'm really enjoying it. I love brainstorming for ideas and thinking of all the cute decorations I can make and the food we can serve. Usually my imagination comes up with more than my wallet or time will allow, but I still love the whole process.
Where did I get this love of hosting? Simple. From my mom. My mom is the queen when it comes to hosting parties. She used to have big church birthday parties once a month at our home, fancy dinners for deacons and their wives, and numerous other events for special occasions. Generally on party days she's up at 4am, baking, cleaning, and decorating. Everything is always perfect, and guests often comment on all the details and care Mom puts into her hosting duties.
My two sisters and I inherited this love for hosting. I must say, Joni and I hosted a particularly cute bridal shower for Kristy (I hand-painted tin pots for guests to take plants home in) and Joni, Kristy, and my mom put together the most adorable yellow bridal shower for me. (Joni's shower will be in August - just wait to see what the Wuth women come up with!)
But this is just one of the many things I admire about my mom and wish to emulate. Remember how I said she was up at 4am above? Well, that was a little misleading...because she is up at 4am most days (or maybe 5am at the latest). She instilled in us the value of getting up early, and I really love waking up in the morning, ready to start my day, because my mom modeled such a productive attitude for me. (I don't know if Sam loves it as much because I also learned several early morning wake-up songs that I've graciously shared with him when he's hesitant to get out of bed.) But the two things my mom always did in those early morning hours were exercise and read her Bible. I am so grateful that she taught me the importance of starting my day in prayer, and I can honestly say that it was her example that encouraged me to begin the same habit.
She loves my dad and encourages him, supports him, and prays for him daily, which is such a great example for me now that I'm a wife. She encourages all of us as well, sharing the wisdom and insight she's gained over the years, at the same time remaining humble enough to admit when she doesn't know all the answers. She had all four of us kids in exactly five years (I'm the youngest and was born on Joni's fifth birthday - exactly five years), and we all knew how much she loved being a mom. She used to say that's all she ever wanted, was to be a mom. (Now I'm pretty sure her favorite thing is being a grandma, but we're all okay with that.) She is an incredible listener, and when I really need someone to listen, I still call my mama.
She's a ministry leader now, and has a heart for helping the hurting. She wants to use the things she's been through to encourage others. And she has been through a lot. But she's strong, and pushes others to be strong as well, though gently, and with grace.
I learned how to sing harmony through listening to my mom. She and my dad are both incredibly musically talented. Both are gifted singers, and Mom plays the piano and the flute. (Dad is a master at the piano and a music teacher, so he plays nearly every instrument.) I grew up watching my mom sing at church and listening to her pure alto voice. I am so grateful for my music-filled childhood, because it enabled me to learn and perform music, which is now one of my favorite things to do.
I couldn't possibly list all of her wonderful attributes or all the reasons I'm thankful she is my mother. She has taught me strength, determination, and perseverance, and continues to teach me all the time. I am blessed to be her daughter.
Here are a couple pictures of me and my mom. I once jokingly said to her, "Man, I was such a cute kid! How did you ever say 'no' to me?" to which she responded, "I didn't. Why do you think you're such a brat now?" ;)