Sunday, May 10, 2015

Women of Nobility

Sitting on my back porch this morning in quiet solitude, I am enjoying the rain on this Mother’s Day 2015. I’m not a fan of the contrived, commercialization, coercion, and yes, added condemnation that comes from the Hallmark Holidays. So much of what they’re about is the polar opposite of the two women I admire most in my life, my Mom and my Wife. They are anything but contrived – they are the most authentic people I know.
Mom was born October 10, 1929 – 2 weeks before the start of The Great Depression. She was the 2nd to the youngest of 9 kids – 7 sisters and 1 brother (poor guy). Her life was carved out of trial by fire – the poorest of the poor. For part of her life they lived in an abandoned broom factory. The O’Hara clan also picked cotton.

One of the legacies mom has built over her lifetime – now 85+ years – is that she understood what an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay meant. When my biological father left her with 3 kids 11, 5, and 6 months, she worked at Morton Foods, which may explain my affinity for potato chips. We lived in “the green apartments” (see projects) off of Harry Hines BLVD in Dallas, Texas. Broken-hearted and broken financially, mom pressed on. Today, if you asked her she would tell you she is weak, scared, and nothing special. I know better – she is strong, courageous, and one of the most special women I’ve ever met in my life.
She’s been with the man of her dreams now for 51 years. But, for 4 ½ years, an eternity by today’s standards, she fought through poverty, loneliness, and even despair. She would tell you today that life is a journey and we figure it out along the way. That’s what she did, and that’s what we did. Our family struggled financially until sometime while I was in High School. Even through those hard times, she always preached to work hard, be thankful, and be generous. It’s funny how she was never one to take charity (see welfare), but has always been one of the most generous people I know.

Ally was born in Houston, Texas March 9, 1966. She was living in a Trailer Park in Roanoke, Texas when I met her. She was younger than I realized at the time – 6 years my junior – but she had two important qualities that stood out…wait – not those, but yes, but I mean she had a couple of assets – shoot – two points – dang – two really nice features… She was tough as nails and authentic. THERE!
When someone is real with you, when one is genuine, you can build a relationship. Authenticity MUST be the foundation of every relationship in one's life. We have tried to instill that in our 3 kids and it has been painful at times. Know this: the world will leverage authenticity against you. By its very nature, society itself is anything but authentic. Though reality TV is extremely popular, it is anything but real. People are hypocrites. For the one who swims against that current, to be naked and vulnerable, there is great risk of ridicule and rejection.

Our family has suffered through this. The reason most people aren’t real is because they fear rejection. So many relationships and marriages fail because they are built on lies in the attempt to avoid said rejection. Ultimately, when the house of cards falls, the very thing they were trying to avoid is the very thing with which they are left. TRUTH really DOES set you free.  I’m so thankful for a wife that lets me be ME without consequence or rejection. She challenges me when I’m wrong, and on the rare occasion I get something right, she gives me high praise. She has set the standard of authenticity in our home.

She is still tough as nails and will fight for what is right. She has chased down a wife beater on the side of the road (while I was on the phone with her), she has confronted a dad who was hitting his son in public, and she’s drawn her gun on two men trying to force a woman into their home against her will. She is a defender of the weak and oppressed. She passionately advances and defends her convictions, and lives her life as a light shining in a dark world. She does so without regret or apology, and that is amazing to me.
I am a very blessed husband and son. As a man, I left my father and mother and cleaved to my wife. She has so many of the wonderful traits my mother showed me were important in a woman, a mother, and a wife. I am forever thankful that the Father in Heaven chose Esther Beatrice (Barbara) O’Hara/Michael/Rockwell to be my mother. I'm also so very grateful that He chose Mary Alicesun Williams/Michael to be my wedded wife – to have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or health, till death do we part.

This side of heaven, these women are living examples of what the pioneer spirit of early America looked like and what serving our Lord really means. They have never been too proud to work hard or serve others. They’ve shown that they are willing to be last, so this day I honor them first – my first-fruits of love.
Proverbs 31 is a Mother teaching her son – a KING – some very important qualities for which to seek out in a wife. I can relate to so much to this as I have a mother and wife who fit this description so well – Happy Mother’s Day Mom and Ally!

Proverbs 31 Sayings of King Lemuel
The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.
It is not for kings, Lemuel— it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

The storm continues to rage, the winds continue to blow, and the rain pours, I watch from my porch as a sparrow brings her babies breakfast – the heart of a mother. A few minutes later two egrets are flying by into the wind and rain. I perceive these two are mates, the wife by his side no doubt prodding to stop and ask for directions. Still, by his side she flies, in the storm, in the rain, in this life – the heart of a wife.

1 comment:

RebornAlly said...

Thank you for honoring me in this way. I love you always and forever.