December 19th. Some people see this date as one of the few left to check off Christmas to-dos, wrap up last minute holiday-related purchases, and start prepping for the family gatherings and festivities that will soon be upon us. But really this day is far more important than any of those things. This day, my friends, is when one of the greatest human beings alive today was born.
Yep, that’s right. Today marks the birth of Jean Marie Moore, my fabulous mother. And it’s really quite unthinkable that there was no recorded tribute to her name on this blog before today. I, of course, have my own small biases towards her as her own daughter, but it’s really quite true that she objectively takes the cake for best mother on the planet, and an incredible woman in the more general sense as well.
[Some] things I love about my mom (as there are far too many to list here):
My mom is legit. And when I say she’s legit, I’m trying to communicate that she’s got all the organizational and practical qualities you would want in a mother. She’s always got a plan, and she’s just good at most everything. Let me give you some examples. We always had delicious home-cooked meals at the dinner table. She was the kind of mom who helped plan school parties and neighborhood get-togethers and birthday extravaganzas while successfully co-running her own business. She hand-sewed all of our dance costumes, as well as all of our best Halloween costumes. She essentially single handedly planned my wedding while I was at school in California, but in the way that allowed me to be involved in all the important stuff, while she quietly and seamlessly managed every detail. As Jeremy always says, my mom just gets stuff done like nobody’s business. She’s an organizer and a doer, but with the perfect balance of a go-get-’em spirit and a careful regard for the needs and desires of others.
She loves people. This is one quality of hers I am most thankful for, because she has passed some of this along to me, which I am incredibly grateful for. She’s the kind of person who would drop her own agenda in a heartbeat for the benefit of someone else. She’s a loyal friend and a wonderful neighbor, and gets great joy out of supporting others and seeing them receive blessings. Her love for others requires little of them. If you’re in her sphere of influence, her default position is to be interested in your good. Whether you be her closest friend, or someone behind her in line at the grocery store, she’s eager to bless you with a kind word, act, or gift.
She is hospitable. This, of course, goes along with her love for others. But more than just a desire to be hospitable for the good of others, she’s straight up good at having people into her home. She knows how to cook a meal and set a table. But even more important, she knows how to make her guests feel at home. There are few things more relaxing and reassuring than staying at my parents’ place, which she views as a blessing to be shared with others. She keeps a beautiful home, but instead of taking pride in it, sees it as a gift she’s been given. Her example has taught me to hold loose to the things of this world with a spirit of gratitude and generosity.
She is funny. It’s no wonder I appreciate a good sense of humor, considering my gene pool. Our family is a hoot, and my mom is a major contributor. Some of my best memories I have are of laugh-till-we’re-cry-ing moments with my mom.
I just connect with her. People dread becoming their mother, but I am glad to see signs of her genes in myself as I get older. On a simple note, we just enjoy a lot of the same things, and we think similarly. For example, the first winter I moved to Chicago I bought myself a down parka, only to travel home for Christmas to realize my mom had the exact same coat. “We’re frickin twins” is a family mantra often quoted between the two of us, and it applies frequently. On a more important note, I can talk to my mom for hours and feel like she completely knows where I’m coming from. She’s easy to be honest with, and our conversations often turn to the truly important things in life.
She’s just a good mom. This sounds fairly generic, but what I mean is that she’s been a great mother to me. I was a reasonably difficult kid with a pretty fiery spirit, and she did an incredible job putting up with me. She’s the perfect balance of friend and parent, and I am so thankful for her ability to care for me well over the years. There’s never been a shadow of a doubt in my mind what kind of love she has for me.
This is getting LONG, but I have to say two more important things about my mom:
She loves my dad. This cannot be overstated in times like we live in. Her example has taught me the importance of loving your spouse in a way that takes marriage vows seriously and values enjoying each other throughout your marriage. She loves my dad, but she also really likes him, which has served as a sweet example of what marriage can and should be.
She loves the Lord. She really does. She cares about how she lives and how she cares for others as a direct result of her knowledge of God’s saving grace for her. She’s an incredible example of faithful Christ following, and has been throughout my whole life.
So there it is. A tribute to my mama, Jean Marie Moore. Cheers to her, and to all of us who are blessed to have her in our lives! Xoxo!