What Mama Did: The Imagining

Our friend, Lisa Jo, has been running a series entitled "What Mama Did." She's asked a few of us to pop in and share memories of our mothers, what they did that made our childhood special. I'm there today writing about my mother, but here's a sneak peek.


Before the urban sprawl, the popping up of shopping malls, strip centers, mega churches, and big business,we lived in Grapevine, Texas. In those days, Grapevine was a wide open, endless dirt patch, nestled just north of Dallas. On some mornings, we commuted into the heart of town, where my sister attended a Christian school. I was a tender-hearted child, always broken by my sister’s leaving–she, my best friend, and second-best playmate.

After she slid from the back seat, after the obligatory “have a good day,” my mother, resourceful as she was and hoping to assuage my sadness, would point to the water towers and gas tanks that pimple-marked the Texas landscape. “Look! Imperial drones!” she cried. “We’re doomed!”


Lisa Jo is kind to share her space with me today. You can continue reading the full piece there.  If you happen to visit her site, make sure you peruse her archives. She writes some of the most encouraging stuff on the internet as it relates to motherhood.

The Living Poems (a benediction and invitation)

I’ve watched Amber raise these children for seven years now—Ike with his missing teeth and love for all things wild; Jude with his dietary complexities and gentle barbarianism; Ian with his stocking cap, backpack, and his zeal for comedic fashion; Titus, the baby with the perpetual smile. It wouldn’t be honest to say that it’s been a walk in the park, all grace and peace, all sugar cookies and singalongs. I know the truth.  Some days are filled with white-knuckled prayer after white-knuckled prayer. Once, Amber was a graduate student in a prestigious Fine Arts program. She wrote strong poetry, the kind that made other poets want to wield better words. She’d never tell you that. She’s quiet that way. But I remember the day she decided to leave the program.  She didn’t want to lose our children to poetry, she said. Looking back now, I know that was a difficult decision. But Amber is a faithful woman and she never looked back.


She creates and curates a different kind of art these days. The living poems, they sneak handfuls of chocolate from the candy jar, count the ripples from the rocks thrown into the fish pond, or beg for one more night-time verse of "Trust and Obey"—for there’s no other way. All the while Amber pours life into them and calls them beautiful art--the very best of her creations--and she treasures them in her heart.




Today, we have the privilege of honoring mothers from all walks of life. What started as a simple project to encourage Amber three years ago, has turned into something quite amazing.

We’d love it if you would join us today at http://motherletters.com.  And if you are an instagram junkie, please check out the photo contest.