Mama Lovin'

 It's a funny thing as you get older, you start to see your parents in a different light. And begin to see more of them in who you are. The cycles we go through with our parents through the years are intriguing–at birth we're completely dependent on them for everything. We move through elementary school years and think they are the superheroes. High school brings our darkest days as children–causing our parents many sleepless nights as we're out driving, making stupid decisions and thinking we know it all. Sorry about those years, mom and dad. 

Then college comes and many of us move away from home for the first time. And we experience a sadness we never thought would come after all those years of vowing to move out  on our own as soon as we turned 18. We strangely miss the nights of being at home and enjoying mom's homemade dinner, watching a movie together and relaxing. The memories we took for-granted growing up now cause an aching in our hearts.

As we celebrate the amazing gift of our mamas today, I am humbled and grateful for the woman God blessed me with as a mother.

The older I get the more I see so much of you in me, Mama. Your tender heart, compassionate spirit, and love for the Lord are qualities I deeply admire about you. My hands and skin look like yours. I have the same quirky, OCD habits that my husband hasn't come to understand why I do them yet (and I'm not sure we do either. It's just who we are).

I'm thankful for the meaningful conversations we can have now, how you spur me on in my relationship with Jesus and that we can talk openly and honestly–making up for those years when I was "too cool" to be best friends with my mom. Oh, how grateful I am to now have the amazing friendship we have as mother and daughter!

While neither of us fulfilled our roles as mother or daughter perfectly, I'm beyond thankful we got to mess up next to each other. And that now we can learn and grow from the past, rather than living in the sholuda–coulda–woulda regrets. You are the best and I love you so much.

This Mother's Day (for the fifth year in a row) I get to celebrate not only my own mom, but two other precious women that have become moms to be through marriage. 

Chris (my mom-in-law) has the biggest servant's heart I have ever witnessed. She loves and cares for the people the world doesn't even see–the broken, the hurting. Truly loving like Jesus commanded us to. And she just makes life fun.

Ma, thank you for loving me like a daughter, for raising the man of my dreams and always supporting and encouraging us. So often I thank God that our relationship isn't one like the stereotypical mother-in-law and daughter-in-law who are at each others' throats. You are a precious gift in my life and I love you so dearly. 

And last but most certainly not least is sweet Patti (my stepmom-in-law). Pat, you have the most humble, teachable spirit, and love the Lord and your family so passionately. Your genuine, child-like faith make me strive to have that same perspective and relationship with God. Generosity oozes out of you–not simply financially but in how you give of your time and talents as well. Thank you for how you helped raised Jordan and for the way you love me. You are one of a kind, Patti. Love you!

To all the amazing women out there who are moms–you are precious, valued, and loved. To my sister who celebrates her first Mother's Day–I am so proud of the woman, wife and mom you are! To my dearest friend Jenna who is starting The Mother's Nest to minister to moms, you inspire me and Hylan is a lucky little man. To all of my sweet grandmas who are thoughtful, caring and wonderful mothers and grandmothers, you are precious to me!

All of my sweet friends and family who have kids, you are heroes. I hope this Mother's Day is one where you feel treasured, appreciated and relaxed! 

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Niki

Twenty-something follower of Jesus, wife to my best friend, aspiring kitchenista, and lover of handwritten type, all things coffee, traveling and baked goods. Currently in the United States until my husband and I move back to Ljubljana, Slovenia, where we are missionaries with Cru.