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Michel: Mothers’ sacrifice for children to walk independently

If you are a woman blessed with a child of your own, you will probably agree that motherhood is the most challenging role of your life, yet one of your greatest joys.

I know that I’m early, but I want to be the first one to tell you, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

From the moment of your child’s conception, you have accepted the responsibility to care for, and be available to, this miraculous life 24 hours of every day.

A wise woman realizes this task is impossible without God’s continual assistance, and she seeks His guidance daily. No one but God realizes the amount of time and energy you put into raising your child, and only He can equip you for this lifelong commitment.

I honor you for the job you’re doing with your children, and I know your impact reaches far past your own family.

You often go beyond your borders and touch the lives of all of the children you love — nieces, nephews, grandchildren, students, children of friends and your neighbor’s children, as well.

I want to speak for them, for all of the children you have mothered, and thank you for a job well done. I want to stand, representing them, and applaud your unselfish and often sacrificial gifts of time, energy, love and, yes, money.

And I want to kneel in their place and ask our Father to strengthen you, to energize you, to fill you and allow you to overflow with His love, joy, peace, mercy and wisdom.

I’ve been blessed with an excellent mother, Jeanne Keller, who is the most giving person I have ever known. She’s the quiet strength that balances my dad’s outgoing and impulsive nature; the role model for every decision I make; and the ever-available grandmother to 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Though none of us live lifestyles of the rich or famous, Mama has shown us how to celebrate every day. She excels in turning the ordinary into extraordinary, and the mundane into magnificent memories.

She loves unconditionally, shares unselfishly and exhibits patience my husband only dreams of being mine. The fastest she ever moves is to pick up the check when we dine out.

Despite her tremendous example, nothing I’ve done has been more difficult than parenting. Or more rewarding.

It’s been an incredible experience to watch pieces of my heart walk and talk and move independently from me. At times I’ve been overwhelmed by the desperate desire to prevent a child from repeating my mistakes by trying to download everything I thought I knew. Then came the painful realization they just might make mistakes of their own.

Anne Bergeron, mother of 11 children, told me something more than 20 years ago: “My job as a parent is to take my children from dependence on me to dependence on God.”

I have reflected upon that often as I raised five children and hope every lesson they have learned, for me or from their own life experiences, have brought them to a deeper relationship with God.

Psalm 127:3 beautifully declares, “children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward.” May God continue to pour out His grace on all mothers as we daily care for our precious gifts.

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.