When I think about the Mother’s Day, I sit still and ponder the man I am today and realize that I would not be me without THREE very important Mothers in my life. Three, you ask!? Yes, three!
You see I am privileged to have been raised by two amazing women. My biological mom, Barbara Jean Ritz “Mom” is that kind of women that put it all on the line for her three children. She has taught me to believe in my God and myself, and that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). I have been an “overcomer” over and over in my early years because Mom raised me to know that God is in always control (1 John 4:4). Now at the youthful age of 41 years old, there is no other person on this earth that has prayed, cried, and more importantly Believed for the Holy Spirit to be the “Helper” throughout my life time, than my Mom (John 14:16). To this day, she stands by me in all struggles & triumphs, and offers counsel, advise and most often “love” when she can (1 Cor. 13:3). I would not, and could not ask for a better mom than Barbara Ritz. I love you, Mom; Happy Mother’s Day!
While I could not ask for another mother, I did get another mother, Susan Kay Cooper my Step-Mother “Susan.” Susan went home/heaven to worship Jesus in spirit/person July of 2016, due to brain cancer. Susan played a large part in raising me as well, as she became my second mom when I was about four years old. At such a young age, she was always a mom in my life. Susan was such a blessing in my life. I miss her dearly. She was the essence of class that royalty aspire to be, with an external beauty that qualified her as Mrs. Michigan; but her physical beauty was only a mere shadow of the immense “Light” that she was for Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6). She was an incredible mother for us, and the one thing that she was NOT was the wicked-step-mother. Please understand that Susan always loved and treated us as her own children, like God “adopted each of us”, we were her children completely (Rom. 8:16). So much to the point that it is my memory that Susan taught me who the Holy Spirit is and how He is in my heart all the time (John 14:26). I love you, Susan; Happy Mother’s Day!
Now that I have covered my mother(s) I simply cannot end this post without recognition for the Mother closest in my life: my wife. Lori Ann Cooper is the mother of our two beautiful and smart children, Violet and Sawyer. Long before we were married I told Lori that she would be a “wonderful Mom.” I just knew it. Wow, I didn’t know that I was actually prophesying this over her life, but I was indeed. My world as a father is made easier because of all the nature desire she has to be the best mom that she can be every day. Lori is the epitamy of the Proverbs woman as she effectively and effortlessly lives out Proverbs 31:25-29 (ESV),
“25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’”
Lori is an education specialist. She has her degree in Education, and has been a teacher in many different professional settings for over ten years. However, what I am most grateful on this Mother’s Day is that she is the TEACHER of my children and she shares this responsibility with me in such an amazing way. There is nothing passive about her mothering skills. Lori actively instructs and “loves” on our children. Here is a twist, read 1 Cor. 13:4-13 not with the usual mindset of a marriage, but as a — mother. This “love” is how Lori mothers’ her children. She teaches Violet and Sawyer about faith and hope in their life at their age through appropriate ways accordingly. Lori is my Angel, my Partner in Parenting, my Best-friend, and the Marvelous Mother of our children. Lori, I love you, and Happy Mother’s Day!
I am aware and grateful of how blessed I am to have such wonderful mothers in my life. Each of them different in their own wonderful, yet they all hold the keys to what it means to be a woman that God called them to be: A Mother! While the role of motherhood is never an easy one to play, I am a blessed man to have these three women be three different Godly role models of motherhood in my life and why they matter.
D. Mark Cooper II