Compiled by Carolyn Tomlin
Rhonda Galyean, retired editor of Mission Friends, national Woman’s Missionary Union:
My mother set an example for me as she was always at church, Sunday School or missions activities — usually I was too — and most of the time mom was teaching either children or adults. I especially remember her teaching Vacation Bible School and how the children loved her. Mom was involved in Woman’s Missionary Union and always had some missions activity going. Watching her and seeing how much she enjoyed serving in our church made me want to follow in her footsteps. I did and still enjoy serving God wherever I’m needed in our church.
“I’d say to younger mothers just to be there and be involved so your child sees you enjoying church and serving others. Teach a class your child is in or one with other children. Do your best to attend worship and other activities at the same time your child is involved in some learning experience and try your best not to be a drop-off parent. Always talk about what your child learned when at church and make learning about Jesus a daily occurrence, not just on Sundays.
“As a former school teacher, children’s minister and editor of preschool and children’s missions education materials, the best advice for any parent is to model Christlike behavior for your child. Pray with your child, reach out to help others and let your child participate too. Give regularly of your time and money, and teach your children to do the same.”
Jim Jones, co-director of Alabama Childhood Food Solutions (ACFS), Sylacauga:
My mother, Ruth Dunham Jones, had a powerful influence on what I do now. She grew up in a poor family with eight kids. Her father died while she was very young. Ruth and her brothers and sisters were pushed from pillar to post and often had little to eat. Understanding hunger, Ruth always made a point during her adult life to be sure those around her always had enough food. That desire to see people loved and cared for has encouraged me to help feed up to 4,500 hungry kids and adults in Central Alabama each month.”
Linda Jones, co-director of ACFS
As a grandmother I often speak to young adults, especially young mothers. I advise them to work diligently to have enough food for their families. Nutrition makes a difference in how kids learn and develop their self esteem. Mamas make the difference. To raise a godly child, make sure you love ’em, hug ’em, tell them about Jesus as often as you can and take ’em to church.”
Denise George, author and speaker from Birmingham
I’ve always admired my mother, Willene Wyse, because she is an energetic woman. At age 19 my mother moved to Washington and got a job as a general’s secretary at the Pentagon because she wanted to do her part during World War II. At age 92 she still has the same energy and spirit to be an active woman.”
Activities for young children
Fathers and other family members can help young children honor their mothers through these simple activities.
1. Bring mother breakfast in bed on her special day. Muffins, yogurt topped with fresh fruit, juice and coffee served on a fancy plate is a simple way to say, “I love you, Mom!”
2. Summer annuals potted in an attractive planter. Purchase easy-care annuals, such as marigolds, petunias, salvia or impatiens. With some help from an adult, this gift (with a little tender loving care) can last for weeks.
3. Daily “to-do” list. Write simple chores, such as “take out the trash,” “feed the pets,” “keep my room neat,” “wear a smile” and “set the table for meals” on slips of paper. You may add others that are developmentally appropriate. Place these in a box and ask mother to pull out one chore each day. The child agrees to perform this task when asked.