It is true, we become like what we see. Growing up, what I saw was my mother, Sallie. She worked hard and gave everything she could so my sister and I had opportunities to thrive. She served in the church and in the community. She loved family and was always hospitable to strangers. She was a humble woman who led—a woman of influence.
When she married the strong man who raised me, she made him believe that his contributions in this life were valuable. He was an ever-present father, and together they started a business. He labored earnestly and built his team. She was the keeper of the books and office administrator. They cooked and cleaned and did yard work together. Sometimes he braided my hair. They welcomed another child into our home, this time a son.
As our family and business grew, so did my mother’s faith. She was like Lydia—when she committed her life to Jesus (I mean really committed her life) she took the whole family with her. Sallie and her household were baptized. There we stood at the pulpit in our swim caps, white robes, and new Bibles with my mother sanctifying our home.
Because my mother was committed to serving and was free to do so, nonvoters were registered, students were taught, young people remained in college, girls walked away from bad situations, families stayed together, friends found comfort, and expectations were raised. She did not have the best pitch, but she sang on the church choir to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” she used to sing. My pastor wanted to know when she was going to get her minister’s license. We all saw the light.
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