Sinh nhật mẹ, con chúc mẹ sinh nhật vui vẻ, luôn mạnh khỏe, luôn vui vẻ và mãi bên bố và chúng con. Con cám ơn mẹ đã hy sinh vất vả vì gia đình mình.
Today is your Birthday. And, for me, it’s one of the biggest days to celebrate of the entire year. I always have the hardest time putting my feelings for you into words. When I think about you, I think about goodness. Every time it’s the first word that comes to mind. It always seems too simple and not enough of a word to describe just how amazing you are. On Saturday, I was thanking God for one of His most precious gifts to me in making you my Mom. I began to pray about the blog post I wanted to create for you on your birthday, praying that He would give me words to honour the most special lady in my life. And, just as He always does, in His most perfect timing, He gave me the most beautiful answer and reminded me of Philippians 4:8…whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
When I looked up this verse, and read it word for word, it was as if God, the only One truly worthy of our praise, revealed to me the words that were in the deepest places in my heart to describe you. It was as if the word goodness now exploded with new meaning. Momma, you are all of these things and so much more. You are noble and admirable. You are virtuous, gentle, and humble. You full of grace and worthy of respect. You are consistently faithful and loyal. You are hard working, selfless, and servant-hearted. You are so loving and you are so fair. You are my biggest supporter and my most encouraging fan. You are thoughtful, helpful, and patient. You are my truest role model. You are beautiful. You are my precious Momma. And you are so good.
Everywhere I go, people come up to me and say “I just love your Mom!” “I wish I had an ounce of the patience that she has!” “How does she do it?” People are drawn to your smile. You are real and genuine. You are truly happy. You are a strong woman. I’ve been around you all my life, and I can testify to the truth of this statement! I do not know a better woman than you. You are the most loving, caring and compassionate person I’ve ever known!
But I know that you would be the first to say that it’s only by God’s grace that you are who you are. That is the most amazing thing about you! Jesus shines through you, and that is what is most attractive. Your words are uplifting and kind. His love flows through you to everyone you come into contact with.
Coming up with this list of things I’m most thankful for in you was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. You’re a gem. “Your children rise up and call you blessed. Your husband also, and he praises you! Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all” (Proverbs 31:28-29).
There isn’t a specific order here, but as they came to mind, these are some of the top things I love and adore in you as a Mom, a Grandma, a Woman, a Wife and my greatest Role Model!
Thank You So Much…
- for giving birth to me (I now understand first-hand what a labour of love childbirth is, and I cannot thank you enough!)
- for siblings… All of them!
- for carrying on joyfully even after nights of minimal sleep
- for letting us eat leftover pizza for breakfast
- for letting us rearrange the living room for our “forts” and “castles” with a combination of couch cushions, dining room chairs, cardboard boxes and duct tape
- for carrying around your “50lb” purse, which also doubled as our first-aid kit, diaper bag and catch all for sippy cups, socks, toys and everything else!
- for memorizing our likes and dislikes to a “t”
- for correcting not only our wrong actions, but taking the time to dig deeper and discover the underlying attitudes
- for not allowing tattling, but encouraging us to communicate calmly with siblings and work things out amongst ourselves whenever it was possible
- for being patient and continually leading me in the right direction, though I was quite a handful!
- for telling us stories and teaching us life lessons from your childhood
- for showing me that Jesus could forgive me for everything I’ve ever done wrong, and give me a clean slate to start over again
- for unconditional love
- for choosing to forgive those who hurt you before (and regardless of if) they ever apologized or took responsibility for their actions
- for warning us that harboring bitterness and resentment in our hearts towards others is like drinking poison and hoping for the other person to suffer
- for blessing your enemies— literally. So many times I’ve seen people say and do incredibly hurtful things to you, and yet when those same people are in need, you’re the first one to come to their aid, and give of your time, money and energy to see them prosper.
- for teaching us character lessons, and showing us that only Jesus in us can give us the power to do what we should when our own natural inclination would lead us to do or say something we shouldn’t
- for speaking with soft words even when you feel like yelling, and teaching us kids by example that “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
- for knowing when to give advice, and when to simply give a listening ear, a hug, and a shoulder to cry on
- for the “I remember what it was like to be your age” talks, and helping me realize that I wasn’t weird but completely normal
- for modeling hospitality by having people into our home regularly for meals and spiritual encouragement
- for not being a perfectionist, and for seeing the beauty in the toddler fingerprints on a newly cleaned window
- for always letting us make a pallet on your floor or sleep in your bed when we had a scary dream or were awakened by a thunderstorm
- for all the hundreds of outfits, wet sheets and pjs you patiently and endearingly washed for the potty-trainers
- for all the times you let us “help” you with projects such as making meals, even when it took 2x as long and sometimes made more of a mess than if you’d done it on your own
- for the one-on-one outings to run errands with you, and the anticipation of knowing you’d always give us $5 so we could pick out a special treat
- for engaging me in deep and meaningful conversations and showing me that you cared about my opinion and input
- for listening while I talked
- for letting us climb to the very top of the trees in our backyard, though the thought of my own daughter doing this makes me so nervous!
- for praising us publicly, but always speaking words of correction in private
- for not gossiping or saying embarrassing things about us kids to others, but building up and speaking words of love instead (though I’m sure you have a boatload of hilarious stories you could share)
- for being an example of a godly marriage, and giving us confidence in your love for one another! (Even when we’d pretend to be grossed out by your kissing, we were grateful to know that Mom and Dad loved each other, and that nothing could ever come between that!)
- for your love for bargain hunting (clearance racks, thrift shops), and teaching us to be good stewards of the money God gives us
- for teaching me the value of diligence and following through with what I started
- for dealing with stomach bugs and flus, even in the middle of the night, and hugging and kissing the sick ones knowing that increased your chance of coming down with it yourself
- for staying up in the night with crying babies, rocking, cuddling and singing lullabies
- for turning on a sprinkler in the backyard on summer days, and then mopping up water after us when we had to come inside for a potty break
- for the example of how you’ve reached out and invested into the lives of others, from the beginning of your marriage and still continuing till this day (opening your home to others).
- for walking the walk you desired for us walk
- for not allowing teasing or hurtful words to be spoken
- for telling us to “Put yourself in that person’s shoes and ask yourself ‘Is that how I would like to be treated?’”
- for making a regular habit of asking us “How are you doing?”— and knowing if “Fine” simply meant fine, or if we needed you dig deeper with “How are you really doing?”
- for being a safe place to share our heart
- for meals together around the family table
- for your delicious Vietnamese soups that had all us kids eating our vegetables and loving them!
- for your homemade soy milk
- for realizing that as parents, you and daddy were responsible for every influence you allowed into our young and impressionable lives and guiding us to make good choices with the things we viewed with our eyes, the music we listened to and the friendships we formed
- for hundreds of noses wiped, faces kissed, hands washed, hairs fixed, diapers changed, boo boo’s bandaged and baths given
- for hundreds of loads of laundry washed and folded, long before any of us were old enough to lend a hand
- for unending dishes upon dishes washed
- for sticking to your “one sweet treat a week” (for the most part and encouraging us all to eat better)!
- for filling the kitchen with healthy snacks of cucumbers, tomatoes, apples and bananas, instead of chips and pop, etc.
- for figuring out a hundred different ways to eat rice, and feed a big group on a budget!
- for not comparing us to other siblings, but encouraging each of us to be the best that we can be with personalities, gifts and talents God has given us!
- for not using movies as a babysitter, but doing crafts with us, taking us to the park, and thinking of new and creative ways to have fun together as a family
- for praying us through tough times
…and the list could go on and on!
Momma, I celebrate your life today, and I Thank You for every single sacrificial, special, and intentional thing that you have done for me, Dad, Duc, Whit and Kathy. Thank You for loving each of us so well and in the unique way that only you can. Thank You for accepting us, spoiling us, helping us, and teaching us. Thank you for showing us the unconditional love of a Mother, and in this way, representing the unending, unfailing love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Happy Birthday, Momma! I Love You With All My Heart.
We are forever grateful for your investment into our lives!