Monday, May 11, 2009

My Mother- Nancy Shirley

How does God ever figure out how to give us the right Moms? I think when he chose Nancy Shirley for me he looked down from heaven and said...

Hmm- Cylinda by nature is going to be goofy, disorganized, crazy, a people person, carefree, and did I mention goofy? Let's give her to Nancy Shirley to normalize her life.

When people meet me they have one opinion of me- it usually is that I am outgoing, crazy, and like to have fun. That would be my true nature coming out- which is more like my Dad- Lloyd Shirley.

When people work on projects with me or REALLY get to know me -they think I am organized, a list maker, a great teacher, perfectionist, and a work-a-holic. That would be all of the Nancy Shirley training years coming through.

My Mom is amazing and is my best friend. We are polar opposites- but I have learned to embrace her great qualities and some of her obsessive ones and that has made me - well me.

My Mom is loving, nurturing, a card giver, a listener, an encourager, a great sounding board, fun loving, intelligent, gracious, logical, and have I mentioned an excellent speaker and teacher?

She loves reading and dives into books when and if she has time. She is a giver of hospitality and an excellent cook. She is a great housekeeper, and makes everyone who enters her home feel so well cared for they don't want to leave.

I can still see her cleaning and organizing our home before we would have guest coming from the US. She would polish everything.

The Bible School students would beg her to make her "Sloppy Joes", and homemade donuts. She makes the best German potato salad, BBQ ribs, pies, potato salad, and more.

I think that some people read the Bible and that is great. Others know the Bible and that is even better. My Mom has Lived the Bible in front of me and that is priceless. I can not recall a time in my life where my mom has ever criticized anyone. That has always amazed me because there have been times when our family was under attack- specifically my father and she prayerfully kept her mouth shut and let the Lord do the work- and HE always did.

My mother is a hard worker. I can still see her shoveling gravel into the cement mixer when they were building the Bible School in St. Croix. She learned how to drive a stick-shift truck on the farm. She drove the tractors, milked the cows, gathered hay bails, and lent a hand to whatever was needed. She was never afraid to hop on the back of my Dad's motorcycles and later in life enjoyed her convertible to the fullest - even gleaning a few speeding tickets. Did I mention she likes to drive?

She has always been my Dad's best friend. I can still hear them talking till late in the night when we would go to bed. To a little girl there was nothing like hearing your Mom and Dad talking in the next room, sharing dreams, laughing, and discussing the events of the day.

She always put Steve and myself first. She saved grocery money one time just so that I could have my favorite shoes from Kinney Shoe Store.

She knew the wisdom in raising Steve and I as unique individuals. Steve was a 4.0 student. He was his class valedictorian and succeeded at whatever he applied himself towards. I was a straight B- C student that had little interest in studying. I was fully interested in student government, drama club, yearbook, and more. She celebrated our differences and made each of us feel like we were exceeding.

When my path became blurry- as it often did. She committed to praying with me for HIS direction. I remember one summer I applied for a job at about 20 places in Winona, MN. I even got turned down to be a maid at a Holiday Inn. My Mom finally called me and said- maybe the Lord wants you to come "home" this summer to St. Croix. I went home and ended up working at two jobs. I decided to stay on longer and that was when Hurricane Hugo happened. If I would not have been with them there is no telling what would have happened to my dad that fateful night. My Mom had wisdom enough to let me know there might be another plan for me.

My Mom has always been a prayer warrior- like her mother and can quickly call on the name of Jesus in any situation, and has prayed me out of many situations.

My Mom has always celebrated with me. She has spurred me on to pursue working with MK Ministries, she has encouraged me to write (however she does not read my blogs), and she gets misty eyed when I tell her anything that God has done in our lives.

I only hope that I will be half Mom to my girls that Nancy Shirley has been to me. I thank God that he chose her as my Mom. I can't imagine my life any better!


Jessica M Marquez said...

I love your Mom. I have known her for 12 years now, and she is one of my favorite people in the world. You are a great Mom....and are and will continue to be just as good as Sis. Shirley was to you. You are a blessing to us, my friend....

Girly Muse said...

i love this. she sounds truly exceptional. no wonder you are so fabulous.

Kathy McElhaney said...

So beautiful.

Tracie Smith said...

Great tribute to a great lady!

Renee said...

Hopefully she'll read this blog! What a beautiful, heartfelt celebration of your mom. And she did a great job on you!