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Monday, May 10, 2010


Something in us as women changes and becomes innate when we give birth to a child. While I recognize that there are exceptions to this in the world, I respect the fact that God designed me this way as a woman and that the first time I saw my children in an ultrasound, felt them kick, or looked into their eyes as I held them for the first time, something changed within me. This was the beginning of motherhood, a journey, and adventure! And I realized what my own mother must have experienced when she looked at me for the first time, and then of course all 4 of my siblings in the 16 years that followed...this blog post is about the greatest example of a mother I could ask for.
Though I recognize that some women feel that they must work outside the home every day, my mother and father felt that God wanted my mom to stay home with all of us kids. So she chose not to finish nursing school (but ask her if she has ever used her 'almost-nursing-degree' raising 5 kids???) and be a full-time mama to all 5 Rucker kids. Now, as a stay-home Mom myself, I know this is NO easy feat! But Mom has always done this with grace, humility and a passion for leaving a legacy far greater than what this world expects of us.
Daddy worked when I was little and then sometime when I was in elementary school started his own business and worked from home, and he worked hard! So we were blessed to have both parents around a lot, but with one parent working, finances were often a struggle. Did we know this growing up? Nope. We never wanted for anything! Mom has been a yard sale queen my whole life and is seriously the best 'stretcher of a dollar' I have ever witnessed! We lived in midtown Memphis most of my childhood and then moved to Southaven for better school options. Mom has made every home I've lived in a safe haven and a cozy environment for learning and loving and home is truly where I have always felt most myself. Mom was always up with us in the mornings, even if just to sip her coffee by the front window and just 'be present' for us and then she was always home in the afternoons when we returned! She carted us everywhere for our many activities, but also encouraged us to be independent and self-sufficient as we got into our teen years. We began hating the school bus, but instead of catering to us, taught us that if we got a ride we didn't have to ride it. So we did! 
I don't remember spending a lot of time at friends; houses growing up, with the exception of a few church friends, but I do remember having get togethers and having so much fun at OUR house! There was always a houseful! And my parents were always THERE. Mom was always cooking something, the house was never immaculate but it was always clean (I mean, honestly how clean can a house with 7-9 people living in it be??) and cozy. We called it "the Cracker Barrel" look because of Mom's way of decorating, which I wouldn't have traded for all the matching trendy decor in the world!
On a serious note, my mother's faith in the Lord has continued to strengthen my own faith and teach me through the years. Mom has birthed 5 children and lost 6 others. This alone would cause most women to crumple and question the Lord, but not Mom! She has always been so strong, even when inside I know she must have been dying from sorrow. What an example of faith!!! She always knew that while we don't understand God's plan, we should trust that He always does! 
When Micah was diagnosed with cancer, I leaned on my parents so much. I do not know how I would have survived such a terrible ordeal without my Mom. While she was still a Mom of young children at home, school and a couple already in college she had also become a grandmother. Yet, she was still somehow able to balance being Mom to me, and Nana to her very sick grandchild. What an amazing balancing act! I'm not sure I could ever thank her enough for the guidance and prayer and everything else that she provided during such a traumatic time in mine and Micah's (and all of our) lives.
As I close, I realize I haven't even mentioned that my mother is hands-down, THE GREATEST COOK OF ALL TIME, and I believe that! She can provide a meal every single Sunday for our whole family, plus spouses and kids, my grandparents, a few extra friends, plus often a new family from church each week. And it tastes AWESOME. Then she can whip up a meal in like 5 minutes if we're ever over there at lunch or dinnertime and hungry. It truly is an art, and I am so inspired by her abilities in the kitchen!
She sews, she cooks, she is crafty and thrifty, but most importantly, my mother has prepared me for my own adventure in motherhood by providing a phenomenal example that I will never truly be able to thank her for.
Mom (aka "Nana") I love you and I am so thankful for you and the Proverbs 31 women that I see in you! 
"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy!" Phil. 1:5