Revive Our Hearts Podcast

(Phone rings) “Thanks for calling the Revive Our Hearts tribute line. At the tone, please record your tribute. (Beep.)

Listener: Hello. I listen to your program on my radio at work, and I love it. When I first heard that women were invited to call in and speak about their mothers, I thought that was so nice, but then I felt sad and wouldn’t be able to call in because my mom has passed away. Then I thought maybe I could still honor her and call anyway.

My mom died unexpectedly a year and a half ago. I started to think of all the wonderful things my mom had done for me. She had a gentle spirit, never criticizing, praising our lovely home, even when I could see it was all a-clutter.

So many times at the very last moment, she would come when I called to babysit while my husband and I could go out for a walk or to a movie. She was always there for me, encouraging me, and loving me. I miss her so. I miss her voice, and I miss her hugs. I love you, Mom.

Leslie Basham: It’s Friday, March 16th, and you’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Well, for the last several weeks, we’ve been studying Proverbs 31 together, and I know this has been a rich study for me personally. I hope that it’s been an encouraging and a challenging journey for you as well. On Monday we’ll look at the last verse of Proverbs 31, but today I want to take a pause, a time-out, and have us see some examples, some real-life examples, of what we’ve been talking about.

Yesterday as we were looking at this passage, we studied the concept of true beauty, and today you’re going to hear a description of some women who truly are beautiful. We set up a special phone line and invited our listeners to call in and share a personal tribute to moms or women that they’ve known who exemplify the qualities of Proverbs 31.

You’ve already heard some of those tributes, but as we come to the end of this series, I thought it would be meaningful for you to be able to listen to some more of what I felt were some deeply moving recordings. I think you’ll be encouraged as you listen in, and let me just say that if these women could learn to live this way and to exemplify this kind of true beauty, then you and I can as well. Let’s listen.

Lisa: Hi, my name is Lisa Zulgaria, and I lost my mother-in-law, Grace Zulgaria, last week. She struggled with the effects of Multiple Sclerosis for most of her 78 years, and the following is what I wrote about her for her memorial:

I’d like to remember with you a little bit about my other mom. Grace was a patient, devoted wife. She loved fussing over all the details of making her house a home for her family. She was very artistic and creative and loved to make something out of nothing.

She was a loving, supportive, nurturing, and at times very silly mother and friend to her son and daughter. How great was her love for her children, and how often she made it a point to let them know how much she believed in them! She said things we all need to hear.

She was a mother-in-law who made it her mission to let her son-in-law and I know that we were a very much-loved family. She was a faithful friend, a rock to be counted on. Once you became her friend, you were her friend for life.

She was a professional gift-giver. She put so much thought into and received so much joy from the gifts she gave us all over the years, but as for me, she gave immaterial gifts which I will treasure even more. She was a comedian. She was a poetess, a news reporter, a deep thinker who had something important to say. She was a life-long supporter of poor children and many other charities.

Grace accomplished all this from a wheelchair with a disease that gradually robbed her of her body but not her heart and mind. For most of her life, Grace was unable to walk, but I believe that Grace walked closely with God and that He was her strength in coping with her suffering.

How many of us went to visit her with the intent of being the giver and walked away being the recipient of her love, attention, sense of humor, and friendship? It took so little to make her happy, and how inadequate I felt in my attempts!

Grace had a way of making you feel comfortable around her. She took all of her discomforts in stride, briefly commenting on them, then went right on to the next joke or bit of news. How many times did we hold our breath as she tried to catch hers while her only thought was to finish saying, “Did I tell you that your sister wrote me yesterday?” or “How is work going?” or “Wait till you hear this joke I heard”?

Grace taught us all the literal meaning of her name—forgiveness for what we don’t understand or believe we deserve. She went about living despite her circumstances and unintentionally taught people like me a more realistic perspective on my own pain and suffering.

Someone said to me in the last few days, 'What a blessing that she has passed! It must have been such a burden." Grace was not a burden at all. The Lord says that we are to bear each other’s burdens, which to me means to help each other feel what the other is feeling.

It was an honor to reposition her arms to make her more comfortable, to comb her hair or to scratch her nose, to help her through a choking spell, to pray next to her in the middle of the night in the hospital as she struggled to breathe. God used my discomfort in these situations to soften my heart.

How blessed we all are to have known someone to have made such a profound impact on our lives! What can we do at this point to remember her, to keep her memory alive? Well, I vow to be a better letter-writer, to let those I love know it. We will miss the weekly reminders of her love so much, with grateful thanks to her friend, Tom, who wrote them for her.

I will try to be more forgiving, even when I’m the victim of uncaring or deceit. I’ll try not to complain about anything. I will let as many people as I can know that they matter just by acknowledging them. I think most of all, I’ll try to find another lonely soul in a nursing home to love—to let them know that they matter, and I will thank God daily for the gift of Grace as my teacher and friend.

Listener: I’m calling to give a tribute to my mom, and I thank God for giving me a very special mother. Her name is Cecilia, and she is 72 years old now. She still loves Christ and believes in the power of the Holy Spirit.

She was the first person to become a Christian in her family. She did not go to school or anything. She didn’t know how to read the Bible or anything. Her love for Christ when she really, really got the understanding for God and Christ—she put herself into it, and through them she learned how to read the Bible in Somalia, which was my language.

Through that she taught me how to read the Bible because my mom can read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and because of her love and kindness towards her children, (she had four girls). She really, really introduced the Lord Jesus Christ to us. I am very grateful for her life.

Karen: Hi, this is Karen Long from Pennsylvania, and first of all, I appreciate your program so much, and I thank God for all of you. I wanted to give a tribute to a woman by the name of Gladys Pain. She went to be with the Lord while we were in Costa Rica in language school preparing for a term of service in Ecuador in church-planting.

As an early child, I grew up with her. She lived across the road, and we called her Grandma. She taught me to pray from little up. I was always at her house, it seemed, because my mom was having children. We would just always go to Grandma’s, or she’d be at our house taking care of everybody.

The thing I remember most about her is how she taught me to pray and taught me missionary stories of other people on the field and put in my heart the special desire someday to serve the Lord in that area, never dreaming that I would marry a man with the same goal, to share the Gospel with those who had never heard. Grandma passed away in the midst of language school, but I’ll forever be grateful to her for teaching me to trust in God and to pray about everything. We found out when we got to Ecuador that we needed to pray literally about everything, and we have since our return home. Thank you.

Michelle: Hi, my name is Michelle Decassedillo, and I’m nine years old. I want to give a verbal tribute to my mom because I love her very, very, very, very, very much. She has done so much for me by homeschooling me. We’ve been planning to move, and so she’s just done a lot by helping me clean my room and stuff like that.

I want to give a verbal tribute to her because she’s just been great. She’s been there for me when I’ve had my hard times, and she’s taught me a lot of things. Oh, she’s taught me how to cook. She’s taught me how to bake. I’m only nine years old, and I know how to bake an entire meal for my family. I just love her very much because she’s always been there for me. Bye.

Listener: Hi, my tribute is for a lady who was my spiritual mother. Her name is Juanita Watkins. I haven’t been in contact with her since about 1998. I heard we were both in the army when we met, and by the time—this was about a year that she was in my life—I knew that she was my spiritual mother. She knew I was her spiritual daughter.

She and her husband held a cell group Bible study for the church we were attending while we were in Germany, and she was just a wonderful influence. She taught me things, just enforced things that my own mother had taught me, that my step-mom had taught me. She taught me how to be a Christian wife, things that I didn’t even know about. I had been doing so many things wrong.

Whenever I would go to her with a question, she would lovingly give me whatever the Word said for me to do. You always follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. She didn’t just talk it. She lived it. There was so much peace and love in her home and with her and her husband. I knew that he loved her and that he admired her and that I was walking and talking with a true Proverbs 31 woman.

She was obedient and submissive to her husband. She fairly and consistently disciplined her children, and she disciplined them in love. She kept her home in order. She was just a awesome woman, and I wanted to give tribute to her on being such a wonderful mother, my spiritual mother.

Listener: Hi, I’d like to make this tribute to my mom, Sharon Schrag. It was through my mom that I became a Christian when I was about eight or nine years old by a heater in our home. It was a cold, Colorado winter.

My mom sat there, and I think she was reading us a Bible story. I remember her showing me how to ask Jesus to come into my life, to forgive my sins, and to be my Savior. I just think what a powerful example and tool parents can be, especially moms, to their children for God!

When I think back on that and I remember that through my mom I came to know the Lord and how much God has changed my life from what it would be without Him, then it really encourages me with my own children to tell them about Jesus, and I’m so thankful that they both have open hearts to the Lord. I just pray that will continue for them. It’s just so neat that now we have three generations—my mom, me, and my children—all loving God. I’m so thankful for my mom.

Listener: I want to make this tribute for my mom. My fondest picture of her is just seeing her as an eagle always soaring high above all of life’s trials and tribulations and still praising God. It just amazes me that I decided I wanted to leave testimony of my love to her and my adoration towards her. I’m privileged and so honored that God would bless me with this woman.

It’s kind of funny because when I was growing up, my mom and I did not get along at all up into my teenage years, but I always remembered her praying and trusting God through everything. That would just blow me away.

We lost my oldest brother, her first child. He was about 30 when he passed away, and even in that, she still praises God. Now that I’m saved, I kind of understand, but not having any children of my own, it’s still so hard for me to understand how she just praises God no matter what’s going on—even through other difficulties that our family has had to embrace along this walk, the Christian walk. I just wanted to thank the Lord for my mom who enjoys praising Him and worshiping Him and rejoicing in Him.

Lisa: This is a tribute for my mother, Josephine Gillan. Dear Mom, I just wanted to take this opportunity to give thanks to the Lord, our Savior, for you. Even though you raised your children alone, you also took care of your mother and worked full-time, and you never gave up. Instead, you taught us to trust God and have faith.

You taught us to pray and took us to church. Though there were many, many hard times, you showed us the power of our Heavenly Father. God bless you. May the Lord bless you abundantly this year. Love always, Lisa.

Listener: I love you, Mom, and I thank you for everything you’ve done for all of us. I know it wasn’t easy raising us kids by yourself, and you never gave up on us. Without your prayers interceding for me, I know I would not be the godly woman I have become to be.

Listener: Well, Mom, I just want to thank God that I have you in my life. After 38 years, I’m happy to have you, my birth mother, back in my life, and I know that God has good things for us in the future. I just want to let you know I love you very much.

Katie: Mamma, this is Katie. I just wanted you to know how much I love you. Thank you for walking with the Lord and obeying Him. You’re such an awesome example to me in so many ways.

You’ve shown me that there’s beautiful freedom in embracing and obeying God’s Word. The way you obey Daddy and love him and joyfully submit to him is such a beautiful picture to me of how God wants us to love our husbands. By your example in the home and in public you’ve shown me that it’s such a high calling, and it’s a beautiful mission to be a godly wife and mother, a precious sacrifice to the Lord, worthy of our time and hearts and lives.

Thank you for all the times you’ve set aside things to have our little talks, our mom and daughter talks, even if the chores weren’t done yet or the house wasn’t perfect. It has shown me that people are the most important.

Thank you for trusting the Lord with your children. You and Daddy trusted God and let all eleven of us come into this world, and I’ve seen how you’ve trusted the Lord with us in our lives and our educations. I just thank you for that.

You’ve shown me that as we surrender everything, God is able to make something beautiful out of our lives. I pray that I can follow in your footsteps as you have followed after the Lord. I love you, Mom.

Nancy: “But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:30-31, NKJV).

Wow! We’ve been listening to some heart-felt tributes to mothers, and as I think about what these women have shared about their moms, there are two questions that come to my mind.

First of all, is there something that you need to say to express gratitude to your mother?

I have a friend who’s had a difficult relationship with her mother over the years, and recently she said to me, “I realize that I need to take every opportunity I can to express what I do appreciate about the investment that my mother made in my life.” Let me encourage you to pick up the phone today or jot a note, write a card, do something if you possibly can, to let your mother know how grateful you are for the ways that she has touched your life.

Then here’s a second question. If you have children of your own, what will your children say about you someday?

I got an email recently from a woman who said her mom was turning 50, and she was putting together some tributes for her mom. She said, “I could write you an email a million pages long telling you about what a wonderful woman/wife/mother this lady has been over the past 50 years. She’s raised five children, homeschooling each of them, and each of us are now godly, decent, law-abiding, patriotic citizens of the USA. Her husband has pastored several churches in the east, and she has been a humble and loving wife and partner to him for the past 30 years.”

Then this young, adult daughter said about her mother, “She’s a woman of great patience, a woman of tremendous values and morals. If all the women were like her, this world would be like heaven.”

Well, that’s quite a tribute, and it makes me wonder, what will your children say about you someday? You know, the choices that you’re making today will really make a difference in what your children are able to say when they talk about you someday or perhaps send an email to someone else, maybe even after you’ve gone to heaven.

Now if you have a desire, as I know many do, to continue becoming more of the woman God made you to be, let me just remind you that the entire series of our teaching on Proverbs 31 is available on 10 CDs. If you’re going to listen on your iPod, you can make it easier by ordering one MP3 CD. I do want to encourage you to get a hold of this resource, especially if you had to miss some of the sessions, and even if you heard all of them, this is a great tool for you to be able to share with other women who want to be counter-cultural women.

Then I hope you’ll also learn more about what it means to serve God in ways that are distinctively feminine by ordering a book we’re making available called Becoming God's True Woman. I had the privilege of editing this book and also writing a couple chapters in it myself, but there’s some great chapters with some really rich content by my friends Bunny Wilson, Carolyn Mahaney, Susan Hunt, and other godly women. Let me encourage you to get a copy of this book called Becoming God's True Woman if you want to continue on your journey to becoming a counter-cultural woman who will really impact this generation and the next for Christ.

Leslie: As we’ve been studying Proverbs 31, it could be you’ve heard some great teaching from Nancy and then failed to act on it. I sure have—a lot. Find out how to respond to failure in faith. That’s Monday on Revive Our Hearts. Now we have time for one more listener to tell us how her mom lived out Proverbs 31.

Pat: My name is Pat Orton, and mine goes way back to the Depression. I was born in the Depression, and the role model that mother set for me I treasure because she did work with her hands. They had to.

She canned, and she canned by coal oil lamp at a time, a period of time. She quilted, and she didn’t just go to the store and buy pieces or buy fabric that she liked to match. She made it out of leftovers, the leftover scraps that she had from sewing for me or from clothes that part of it had worn out, and the good part she would take and cut up and make in pieces. She made something out of everything.

When something wore out, there was a way to use it for something else. She made aprons and pillows out of shirts. I had a pillow until recently. (I’m not sure where it is now.)  But it was made out of a red, corduroy shirt. The top of it was smooth, but if you turned it over, there were the buttons because that was the only way she could use that fabric. Then she put a little trim around the edge.

Then from that period of time, World War II was here, and so my dad was in defense work, working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. I never remember my mother complaining to my dad because he had to work so long, complaining because of what she had to do. Like Beverly said, she was preparing a meal around 4:00 or 4:30 for my dad to get off, but no complaint.

She raised chickens. She canned, also. Because of the scarcity of things, she would have to travel to another, little town to get us sugar with the coupons, and coffee and Jell-O and vanilla.

She was constantly using her hands. She did a lot of handwork. She crocheted, and she did her pillowcases. All of our pillowcases had all this embroidery on it—beautiful embroidery. She did that at night while Dad was still working.

Absolutely, she just amazed me. She would re-web chairs. Instead of tossing the chair away, well, you re-web it, and then she would take any leftover scraps and tie them together or put them together somehow and crochet a rug. I have another pillow that was stuffed with newspaper. She didn’t have any stuffing for the pillow, so part of it was newspapers. I mean, I sat on that for years not even knowing what was inside it.

I cannot thank the Lord enough for the example because years later when I was married, we went through almost bankruptcy, and these things would come back to me. You can do without. You can do without. You can do without. Because of that role model, I just thank the Lord for some choices I was able to make, so I really do appreciate her.

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

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

Join the Discussion