Saturday, May 12, 2012

Motherhood By Degrees By Kim Jackson

No beautifully framed diploma hung on my mom’s wall. She was a wise woman, but not a college graduate. She would say “I don’t have a degree in anything—unless you count washing and ironing!” But I’m confident her wisdom encompassed a wider variety of fields.

So in this season of Moms and Grads it seems appropriate that I award the following honorable degrees to my mother, Doris Rose Bush Jackson.

Journalism: Mom believed that all my articles deserve Pulitzer Prizes, but her passionate letters to the editor were the real award winners.

Engineering: No need to pay for a security system: she created her own burglar alarm by using a rubber band to hang a cowbell on the doorknob.

Research: Mom routinely cut up the local newspaper and mailed all the “who got married/divorced/had a baby/got caught speeding” news to me.

Education: Mom surrounded me with books of all types, magazines of all varieties, and often spoke the phrase “Get the dictionary and look it up.”

Marriage and Family: She raised us while dad worked odd shifts, portrayed how loyal a wife can be, and gave me two great friends, who also happen to be my sister and brother.

Psychology: Mom patiently waited for this late-bloomer to blossom and encouraged me through each prior stage.

Medicine: I watched her courageously endure 21 operations with an amazing will to live and a selfless spirit. After one surgery she went 47 days without tasting food, yet she would ask me “Are you eating well?”

She cried when she saw the ocean for the first time
Fine Arts: She cried when she saw the ocean for the first time; she loved October in the Blue Ridge Mountains; but even the clouds in her Midwestern skies captivated her.

Travel: Mom journeyed the world via “National Geographic,” had a map with all the airports where I’ve flown marked in red; and was so interested in her surroundings that it took 5 hours to drive 100 miles because there was so much to see along the way.

Religion: I carry Mom’s lilting version of “Love Lifted Me” in my memory, but the greater impression was made when I saw her faith sprout legs and take action, loving her neighbors not merely next door but next continent.

Mom earned these degrees and more. So be it known to all who read these words that my mom, having with honor completed all the requirements, is hereby awarded a
Masters in Motherhood.

And though her name was never carefully penned onto parchment paper, it’s my prayer that I will be her living diploma, a human certificate with her love written all over—a testimony to the fact that she majored in motherhood. 

“Make your father and mother happy; give your mother a reason to be glad.” Proverbs 23:25 (NCV) 

Read about Kim on our Lead Writers' page and about her ministry to Elder Orphans.

A 1-minute devotion about moms: Every Day.

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  1. You have used the name of a published book for the title of your blog post. This might be copyright infringement unless you received permission from the author.

  2. Thanks for your concern. This article was published 15 years ago with the same title "Majoring in Motherhood," and my research shows that book titles are not copyright protected unless they are in a series. But, since we have no desire to misdirect anyone, we've changed the title to "Motherhood by Degrees."
    Gail Purath, Editor of WOW

  3. Oh, I loved this! You made me cry! What a beautiful, moving tribute to a wonderful woman. A light and an example to many. Thank you for sharing her on NOBH!

  4. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, Diane. It's my delight to be able to "share" Mom with you!

  5. Thank you for sharing this loving tribute to your amazing mom! What a great example she is and you are her "living diploma!" How blessed you are and she is :)

  6. Dolly, I appreciate you taking time to leave such encouraging and kind comments! I agree--I am blessed!

  7. What a great idea for Mother's Day! I may give my mom a few degrees next year! Thanks for sharing on NOBH.

  8. Such a great, and true post.


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