Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Reading about the industrious woman in Proverbs 31 makes one listener think of her own mother.

Listener: It was just amazing how her time multiplied. Even when she was in the hospital before she died she told us, “I can still do more than any of y’all put together.” And that was the truth.

Leslie Basham: It’s Thursday, March 8th, and you’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

For the last few weeks, Nancy’s been introducing us to an incredible woman described in Proverbs 31. This in-depth verse-by-verse study will open your eyes to the rich content Proverbs 31 holds for every woman. We’ll hear from Nancy in just a minute.

But during her teaching a lot of listeners have thought of their own moms. Let’s hear how they saw Proverbs 31 being lived out as they grew up.

Holly Elliff: My name is Holly Elliff. As I was thinking last night about Nancy teaching on verse 13 of Proverbs 31, she talked several times about being a woman who worked with her hands. I thought about helping my mother care for her mom who lived with us part of the year. She had muscular dystrophy.

I can remember my mom taking care of her mother, which at the time I thought was just kind of a normal thing to do. It never occurred to me how much of her time that took, how difficult that was, and how many hours she must have spent using her hands not just to care for her children, but also for her mother.

So it was very precious last night as the Lord just flooded my mind with those little, small things. Now with my older children they remember details of some things we did really only once or twice. But they talk about them as if we did them over and over and over.

I just wanted to encourage us today to realize that even those tiny things that seem insignificant are very precious to our kids.

Beverly Lewis: My name is Beverly Lewis. In September I moved to Fayetteville to take care of my elderly parents. What a pleasure and how neat that is. I know exactly what you’re saying, Holly. You don’t realize what parents do until you’re doing it yourself.

A sweet little thing my mama said just last week. She said, “You’re over here taking care of me. I’m the parent; you’re the child. I’m supposed to be taking care of you.” I’m just like, “No mom. This is what I want to do. It’s my turn.”

But she can’t even remember some of the things she used to do. I’m the baby of five. She can’t remember that she cooked. I said, “I baked a casserole, and I’m going to bring it over.” And she said, “What’s a casserole?”

I’m talking about a woman who cooked for not only five children, but spouses. There are 12 grandkids. There are 8 great-grandkids. She did all of that for all those years and doesn’t even remember doing it.

But when we were selling their things from her home we found a doll, my last doll. She wrote on the box, “This is Beverly’s last and prettiest doll.” My mom had stayed up night after night making clothes for that doll. She always did it for the girls anyway and sometimes shirts for the boys. But she had a red velvet cape with a hood that had fur, pink fur to match her pink hair.

I’m thinking the nights that she stayed up and the mornings that she got up early. I don’t think I ever saw my mother in pajamas. She was always up and dressed and had breakfast. We did not go to school without oatmeal.

I don’t remember dad being there. He was working two jobs. He was a bread man, so he was gone in the morning by three. I know she got up and cooked breakfast for him.

She used to tell me when I had morning sickness—I had all day sickness, not just morning sickness—she’d say, “I can remember holding a rag over my face so I wouldn’t throw up when I was pregnant, but I’d cook for your daddy anyway.”

I’m thinking, “You talk about sacrifice.” I’m thinking, “Why would you want to cook when you’re about to throw up?” But she would. It didn’t even cross her mind not to is the thing. So I’m very grateful that she did that, and I’m able to take care of her now.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: That’s great.

Summer Wallace: My name is Summer Wallace. I really find this opportunity to praise my mom just a gift from the Lord because I have been found lately (really most of my life) criticizing her in my thoughts and outwardly. So I’m really very grateful for this opportunity to praise her.

My mom is wonderful with her hands. There is nothing that she can’t do, nothing that she can’t do with her hands. I really admire that in her. There are two stories that have come to my mind during this time.

One was when I was a little girl and it was during the time when everyone was getting those huge antebellum dollhouses. I wanted one so bad. I’m the baby of three, so we didn’t have too much stuff, but they saw that we had good things. That was one thing I didn’t have. I cried and whined and screamed and begged and pleaded, all of that, and had no clue that my mom was working on making one.

She cross-stitches. You know the Chinese rugs that we all have that are really delicate and beautiful and have all kinds of colors? She was cross-stitching five rugs for me and a hall rug and little pillows to go on furniture for my dollhouse. She would do that when she wasn’t working on the actual house.

Christmas morning came, and we walked in to see our things. There sat this beautiful baby blue with white shutters dollhouse. It was huge, and it had little . . . I don’t know what you’d call them. They’re tiny little pieces that made the roof. What are they?

Audience: Shingles.

Summer: Shingles. Oh yes. Anyway, there must have been at least a hundred or something on there. And oh! It was just beautiful. She had created this little tree to sit on the porch of it, and she just decorated it. It was so beautiful.

I didn’t find out until a long time after that that she had to put every one of those little pieces together, glued them one-by-one, and all the work that went into it.

But that night, that Christmas Eve night, she went to the shed to get it out at about midnight. Well, they had locked the shed, and she couldn’t get in. Well, she finally got a window up and crawled through. This is my mom and my dad doing this in my neighbor’s shed. They tried to fit it through the window, and it wouldn’t fit through the window.

So she was screaming and crying and wondering what to do. They figured out a way to unhinge the door. So my dad unhinged the door of this shed. They had to take the door off to get the dollhouse out. It was just crazy.

It was a stressful event for my mom, but she did it for me so that I could have that. It meant a lot to her. And she smiled, and she didn’t tell me all of that. She didn’t tell me all of that until a long time ago. I never knew any of that.

The second thing that came to my mind was when I was a senior in college, and I got my own private room. I really wanted it to be pretty. I didn’t have money to buy anything. So my mom came up and surprised me and brought just material and scraps. To be honest, I was ungrateful. I was like, “What is all this? I want a pretty room, Mom. I want people to come in here and just feel like a lady and feel good.”

Anyway, I was horrible and ungrateful. I had to go and do a concert that night, and part of me was angry because she didn’t go do that with me. I wanted her to hear me sing. I was a music major.

I came back, and when I came back, I walked into a beautiful room. She had decorated it and made curtains out of what I thought was scrap material. They were beautiful. She had tied them up so beautiful with what I thought was scraps of little ribbons. It was beautiful. She re-covered my couch and my rocking chair.

It was beautiful. It was a haven. It ended up being a haven for many girls that year. They would always say, “Your room is so beautiful.” And I would have to say, “You need to call my mom and thank her because she did this.”

Anyway, she is just so giving, and she is just so wonderful with her hands. So I just want to praise my mother for those things.

Wanda Boss: My name is Wanda Boss. My mother just passed away in January. But this Scripture, the 16th verse of Proverbs 31: “She considers a field and buys it. With her profits she plants a vineyard.”

My father passed away when I was six, and my mother bought a piece of property at a little town near where we lived. She raised a garden. On this piece of property there was an apple tree; there was a grapevine; there was a peach tree, and there were nuts, a pecan tree. She took all of these, and we’d make jelly. We’d make juices. We made all kinds of things.

She raised a garden around our house. It was a very small lot, but she raised a garden. The garden almost took up the whole yard, but she sold it in this café that we had. She bought a café as well. We ran the café. It was in my family; there were eight. I was the youngest girl. I was the seventh girl, and I had a brother that was 13 months older, and my father died.

So she ran this café, and she raised the garden and sold vegetable plate lunches. We always had plenty to eat, and we always had love in the family. We always had more than even our neighbors had. We didn’t realize it at the time; we complained and grumbled, but she did such a wonderful job.

And she did like her mother had done. She pieced quilts and took all the scraps and made some of the most beautiful quilts. We still, every one of us, have probably 15-20 quilts in our closets that my mother made. And the neighbors—all of those have quilts.

She canned for everybody in the family. I mean it’s like everybody’s pantry was full by the end of summer. It was just amazing how her time multiplied. I mean, even when she was in the hospital before she died, she told us, “I can still do more than any of y’all put together.” And that was the truth.

It still just amazes me how she did this. Not only did she do all of this, God was absolutely number one in her life. She was just like the other lady. She got up every morning, but she stayed there throughout the day. She kept her Bible opened wherever she was. When she’d have the time to sit down, she would sit down with her Bible.

It was years later when I really recognized how important this was. I still have that picture of my mother sitting reading her Bible. A lot of times she would sit behind the counter in the café, and there would be three other ladies that would come up. These ladies, two of them, did not go to church at that time.

But she would sit there and talk to them. Those ladies have all been very involved in church lately in their later years. But she would sit there and talk with them throughout the day when she was not busy in the café.

The heritage that I have and the legacy that my mother left is just beyond my comprehension. If I could just do a small part of what my mother did would be my dream right now.

Leslie Basham: Proverbs 31 says that a woman of virtue will have children who rise up and call her blessed. That’s what some members of our audience have been doing today. Dennis Rainey would be thrilled to hear those women honoring their moms. He’s seen over and over how powerful it is when a child gives her parents a tribute.

Dennis Rainey writes about why you should honor your parents and how to honor them. It’s in a powerful book called The Best Gift You Can Ever Give Your Parents. Here’s Nancy talking about the affect that book had on her.

Nancy: I’ve really been stirred just hearing some of you share about the role model and the example that you had in your mother. I want to encourage you—some have called it a tribute, and a couple of you at least have said, “I really need to share this because I’ve really been more critical of my mom in my thoughts or in my words than I have been positive.”

So whether you’ve been critical or whether your mom is your best friend, I want to challenge you to take time to write a tribute. For some of you that will be real easy. Some of you are sitting here and thinking, “I don’t think I could fill a three-by-five card with things I appreciate about my mother.

But start by asking God to show you. If all you can start with is a three-by-five card, then start with that. Ask God to show you some things that you can thank Him for that you saw illustrated in the life of your mother that are godly qualities, qualities of a woman of virtue, an excellent woman. She undoubtedly was not excellent in every area. No woman is. But what are the things that you do appreciate? Write them down.

Let me encourage you. If you need some practical help in doing that, I want to challenge you to read a book that was life-changing for me when I first read it several years ago. That’s a book that I have said that every person who has ever had a parent needs to read. That would be most of us who would be included in that. It will give you some practical tools, and it helps you in how to think through and write a tribute.

Then I want to challenge you to present that tribute, if your mom is still living. Look for an opportunity to get it written up—maybe done in a pretty calligraphy or in some way framed or in some scrapbook or in some fashion to make a tangible tribute to give to your mom, to present to her. She may be 40 years old. She may be 70 years old. She may be 92 years old, whatever. If she is still living, don’t wait until the funeral to say thank you.

Now you may not be able to go home and dash out that tribute this afternoon. You may not be there yet. I realize that for some of you to write much less present a tribute to your mother is going to take a real work of God’s grace in your life, but God will give you grace for that.

If it takes you weeks or months or a year to work on it, ask God to take you through that process. You will find yourself getting freed up to be more of a woman of God as you honor your own mother just as these women have done here so beautifully.

Let me say that if you did not have a mother who feared the Lord or walked with God, that does not have to be a handicap to you. You can start a whole new generation of women who do fear the Lord. It has to start somewhere.

My mother did not come from a Christian family. It was a good home in many respects, and there were a lot of good examples that she had in that family. But she didn’t come to know the Lord until she was a senior in high school, and her parents did not come to know the Lord until years after that. So she didn’t have the value of a godly upbringing.

She was the first one, and she had a lot to learn spiritually. She didn’t grow up being taught all the things I grew up being taught. But my parents’ heart was that we would go further spiritually than they had ever been; that we would stand on their shoulders; that we would take what they were able to offer us as young believers when they started our family, and that we would have the benefit of growing up in the ways and the heart of God.

So I have the privilege of being that second generation. You may be the first generation. You may not have come to know the Lord yourself until later in life, but you can start here and now. You may have already raised your children and be thinking as a mother, “My mother blew it; I’ve blown it. Now my children are grown. What hope is there?”

Don’t leave here in despair. That’s what grace is for. Mark it down. Grace is for failures. People who have never failed don’t need grace.

Some of you have little children and are just getting started. Thank the Lord that He’s giving you this kind of instruction and example when you’re young. Some of you are older. And I’m saying, “Start to fear the Lord right now.”

All these qualities that we’re seeing in Proverbs 31 and out these tributes and precious testimonies that we’ve heard . . . Don’t get overwhelmed by all that you haven’t done or have failed to do. Ask God for grace to show you where to start today. Start in your relationship with the Lord.

As you express gratitude for the mother who gave birth to you . . . you may be adopted, by the way, and there may be issues there that you have to deal with in terms of giving God thanks for a birth mother and an adoptive mother. I’ve watched a number of adopted young women have to work through issues of acceptance and love and gratitude for both moms.

So the issues may be a lot more complex than what we have sat and addressed in this room in our time together, but plow through them. Work through them. Take one step at a time and then take the next step. As you take one step of obedience, God will give you grace to take the next step.

You can become a woman who fears the Lord. You can become . . . Though you may now be even a grandmother and in that season of life, an empty nester; it’s not too late for you to start living out some of those qualities, that heart of a godly mother for your children, for your grandchildren, for your great-grandchildren.

I hope that you’re praying for future generations until the Lord comes. Even those prayers now are going to sow seeds that maybe you didn’t know to sow when you were actually raising your children.

So whatever season of life, whatever the issues, whatever the heritage that you have or don’t have, we can be women who reverence the Lord and who are worthy of having said of us someday the words that so many of you have shared about your mothers.

Let’s pray together.

Father, thank You for the sweet spirit and the sweet example that we’ve seen in these women who have obeyed Your Word and have honored their mothers. As I’ve listened to these women, I just want to thank You for my mother and for the different ways, some of which have not even been shared by others, that she modeled to me and continues to model some of these qualities of what it means to be an excellent woman, a woman of virtue.

I know Lord that her heart for me would be that I would continue in that pathway and would develop even more of those qualities in my own life. So Lord, we just pause to give You thanks for the mothers that You’ve given to us, for whatever number of years we may have had them, for whatever their strengths and weaknesses may have been. We give You thanks.

I pray that You would help us to know how to honor them in ways that are appropriate and meaningful and in obedience to Your Word. And for the very one who’s listening right now who thinks, “I just could never do this; I couldn’t honor my mother.” Would You show her how to do it and give her the heart to do it and the grace and the courage and the faith? And let her know that through honoring our parents there is release. There is freedom that You will give us to become the women that You want us to be.

And Lord, I pray that wherever we are in our development as women who fear the Lord, that we would come to You with our own failures and our own deficiencies and our own lacks. I pray that we would apply to You for grace, humble ourselves, acknowledge our need, and then take the next step by Your grace to become women who are worthy of praise and honor.

And Lord, it’s not for our sakes. It’s not just so people can say great things about us someday. But all of this is so that You can be magnified, so You can be glorified, so people can see a reflection of Your beauty and Your greatness and Your glory. I pray it in Jesus’ name, amen.

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been giving solid advice to moms. Pray. Start a new legacy, and honor your own mother.

Most people know that the ten commandments includes the line, “Honor your father and mother,” but they don’t exactly know how to do it. Dennis Rainey will walk you through a process of honoring your parents in a meaningful, tangible way. When you go through the steps of writing a tribute the way Dennis outlines, you’ll be creating a memory neither you nor your parents will ever forget.

It’s likely you’ll connect with them at a depth you never thought possible. Dennis Rainey’s book is called The Best Gift You Can Ever Give Your Parents.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.