Nine years ago today, my mother died

legacy | missionary

Guess which one is me. I “stand out” a bit from the teachers who now lead the Christian school in Guatemala in my absence.

It was a glorious conclusion to a life lived for God. In her later years, she had served as a chaplain in the Sylmar juvenile hall facility to counsel wayward youngsters back to the the Lord’s path. She oversaw the preparation of turkey dinner with all the trimmings for incarcerated youth and solicited toiletry packs for the kids.

“You are so lucky to have Chaplain Beth as your mom.” The hoodlum’s words hit me hard. I had accompanied her to a Bible study one day. The thug’s admiration for my mom exceeded my own. To be honest, at the time I was annoyed in typical teen rebellion by some of her irksome attributes (all humans have them). It took a delinquent to set my thinking right.


With my family last Fall.

Years after, I set my life-course onto the mission field and served with my wife in Guatemala for almost 16 years. When my mother died, I could affirm at her funeral that she was alive — in me. I had no regrets because I figured I had caught all the good lessons to learn from her. I’m still serving Jesus today. I teach at a Christian high school in Santa Monica for no other reason to help kids get into the right path. My mom helped kids inside jail, I help kids outside.

My pastor sometimes says he feels as if his dad were with him, encouraging to glorify Jesus. I don’t feel my mom with me. I feel she is me. I live what she lived. Everything she stood for, I stand for.

I can’t hardly remember the things that irked me about her (stuff like nagging). Now what stands out is her legacy.

I love coffee.

I love Jesus, my wife, my family, my ministry and coffee — in that order.

There are rich and famous people who are widely admired by the world, but when they die, they become forgotten. They leave nothing to the world. Give me the simple soul who plants his imprint on a fellow human being. You can change the world one soul at a time.

I wonder if I’ll ever meet that kid from juvenile hall again. If I do, I’ll thank him.

Am I supposed to say I miss Mom? Am I supposed to brood and fret over no longer being physically present in my life? Sorry. I feel like her death was a glorious graduation.

14 responses to “Nine years ago today, my mother died

  1. mrsmariposa2014

    Praise God for that legacy of faith! My upbringing was rather rough and tumble, but somehow my family and I did learn about Him in the process. And now, where there was pain, we are experiencing a new legacy I hope to pass on to my children. This was a beautiful tribute to a wonderful sounding lady. Thanks for a good read. Be blessed as you carry out her work.

  2. Such a great post! You had a wonderful mom, my friend.

  3. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Awesome testimony!

  4. Mother passed three years ago. She is constantly sending me signs. Yesterday I found her 1937 high school pin on the rug near the dresser. I have no idea how it got there.

  5. Wonderful! You do her proud!

  6. I love the joyful way you see it. I hope to leave a legacy of faith for my kiddos too!

  7. Like you, I have a “goodly heritage.” (Psalm 16:6) Praise God!

  8. You’re making her proud!

  9. Love your Mother story … 🙂

  10. What a testimony of a mom’s faithfulness to the Lord….

  11. Appreciate your wonderful thoughts regarding your mother. Mothers make the world go round.

  12. PTL and may God continue to bless your mother’s legacy, throughout this new year! Now sifting through my overgrown inbox (30,000 or so msgs), I’m so pleased to have caught (and pinned) this particularly joyous post! 😀 ♥ ❤

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