MsDora is a parent, grandparent, and Christian counselor who offers suggestions on raising confident, compassionate, responsible children.
“One who bears the sweetest name,” states the popular little verse in its tribute to a mother; and that fact is universally agreed upon. Still, other words beside “mother” come to mind when we think of the mother figure in our lives. From her first embrace we experienced love, joy, nurture and protection beyond our ability to express.
Years later, even with our excellent communication skills, we still struggle to select the right titles to describe a mother’s influence in our lives, but it's worth a try.
What if, as a tribute to our mother, we selected six words each beginning with the letters which spell M-O-T-H-E-R to guide our focus concerning her contribution to our lives? Make it a family project.
In a family of two or more children, letters can be assigned; or if the children are talented speakers or writers, each child can select six words and compose his or her own six-title tribute. Of course the only child has to do it all—a payoff for the advantage of receiving all the love.
Below are several possibilities of good titles for each letter, and each child can select the word which jumps out as appropriate for the description of his or her mother—not necessarily describing her life’s occupation, but describingthe role she played in the household. Different households may prefer different words, but here are a few examples of titles.
M -- Manager, Mediator, Medic, Mentor, Minister, Model
O—Observer, Officer, One-liner, Organizer, Outrider, Overseer
T—Teacher, Technician, Theologian, Timekeeper, Toymaker, Trader
H—Hairdresser, Handywoman, Healer, Heroine, Home-Maker, Hostess
E—Educator, Economist, Entertainer, Entrepreneur, Evangelist, Explorer
R—Reader, Recruiter, Referee, Renovator, Repairer, Restaurateur
Below is my sample tribute. There are Bible verses included for additional inspiration, but that’s optional. Yours could be done in all poetry or all prose; one line, two lines or more under each title. Stamp it with your own creativity.
However, if for any reason, you have difficulty completing your tribute, feel free to use any part or all of mine; mothers are very similar. However it turns out, make your mother figure smile with pride for having you spell out M-O-T-H-E-R.
M for Model
Guide . . . women into lives of reverence so they end up as . . . models of goodness (Titus 2: 3).
Forever etched in my mind, is the image of my model-mother walking life’s runway with confidence and grace.
She has worn garments designed by “strength and dignity,” “hard work,” “perseverance under pressure” and “trust in God.” Her strides display determination and hope; her upper body features long arms and hands extended in helpfulness and generosity.
She models to me the sense of responsibility, the importance of family, and the joy of living a life of faith and prayer. Now I try to duplicate major aspects of her model for my own benefit, as well as the benefit of my daughter.
O for Organizer
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day (Proverbs 31: 15).
At first, there was not much to organize, but organizing the little we had, was important to my mother. The grocery list was prepared according to the meals for the week ahead. Each household item had its assigned place. School clothes were for school, not for playtime after school. Church clothes had to be laid out by sunset on the previous day. That sense of order and preparation in advance transfers into our more complicated lives. Last minute rushes still make me uncomfortable, and they always remind me of the value of the organizational skills I learned from my mother.
T for Teacher
When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness (Proverbs 31:26 NLT).
My mother, like so many others without the privilege of academic achievements, taught the basic life skills. Even if we learn some theories on behavior in the classroom, it takes the keen interest of a caring mother to enforce the practice. We take the lessons they taught us for granted until we meet people who are socially or morally handicapped for the lack of training in basics like personal hygiene, good manners, self-respect and respect for others. These good traits give us the edge in the adult world. We did not develop them on our own. Our mothers taught us.
H for Homemaker
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking (Proverbs 31: 19).
Not only did my mother keep a good home, she taught me how. Gradually she assigned me cooking responsibilities; having me start or help when she said she had something else to do. I still remember how she praised me the first time I pressed my school uniform, not realizing until later that she tricked me into doing it for the praise. Our house was always a little clean spot and visitors said so. My mother was always creative and until very recently, belonged to a Golden Age Club for seniors where they made crafts for display in their homes.
E for Economist
She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden (Proverbs 31: 16).
Growing up, it baffled me whenever my mother said, “I don’t have any money,” only to have her give me money for a school project on that same day. My daughter, who is much braver than I was, called me on the same discrepancy. I had learned from my mother how to put aside a few dollars for specific home and family projects, when it is necessary to spend, and when to declare a cut on spending. There is a mother’s brand of economics which teaches control spending. Left to our old-fashioned mothers, we would have no credit card debt.
R for Repairer
God couldn’t be everywhere, so He created Mothers (Jewish Proverb).
Mothers are gifted to heal, repair and restore--everything from broken toys, to split skirts, to broken hearts. Mothers can sense the brokenness before the children voice it. In response, they know the right question to ask. They know the right line or verse to quote. They know how to share hope out of their own experiences. If my mother couldn’t fix it, she knew how to pray about it. She knew how to encourage and how to offer a better perspective. Mothers are always on stand-by in this role. They remain nurturers and repairers as long as they are able.
Scripture quotations in this article are from the Message Translation unless noted otherwise.
Personal Tribute Poll (2021)
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© 2013 Dora Weithers