Two of the most influential women in my life have birthdays this weekend. Jeanie’s was yesterday (she’s my wonderful, evil step-mother) and Bonney’s is today (she’s my awesome sister-in-law).
As I was pondering what to write about them, I thought about the concept of God Bearers. In old church theology, God Bearer refers to Mary, who actually “bore” Jesus in her womb, but it also can refer to any ordinary thing or person who brings God to us – not always in big ways, but also in small ones too. Both of these beautiful, ordinary women have been God bearers to me throughout the time that I’ve known them.
Bonney has a fierce faith, and through the course of our relationship she’s been a prayer warrior for me and an ear when I need a friend, but also someone who will make me admit the truth of my own shortcomings – if not to her then at least to God. We see God in all sorts of things if we just look, and I see Him in Bonney’s friendship, humor and compassion. She’s funny, warm, loving, focused, hard-working and faithful. And I hope to be like her some day.
Jeanie has a quieter faith. What I’ve learned from Jeanie is that the things that are valuable are not things we can touch and hold. The valuable things are time with those we love, taking care of those who have less than we do, being careful with the earth and being thankful for those things we are given. God shines through Jeanie as she lives her life focusing on these treasures. She loves me more than I could have ever hoped someone who didn’t actually give birth to me could, and I am so thankful for her presence in my life and the life of my family. Every time she introduces me to someone new as “our daughter” I know that God has given me the blessing of not just one mother who loves me, but two.
So happy birthday to both of these remarkable women, a mother and a sister. I’m so blessed to have you both in my life, and I love you!