My mom is not an outspoken personality like me, but she has an incredible gift for quietly nurturing the things and people around her, fostering season after season of new life, beautiful blooms, and fruitful growth. Her green thumb in the garden is truly a sight to behold! Those gardening gifts were not ones I inherited, but the principles she’s shown me in the garden have translated into tangible gifts that easily reflect how kind and beautiful she is. She’s able to quietly sow seeds of life and truth and pour her resources of time and love into others. She’s shown me the importance of eliminating weeds or the things that could choke out your harvest and rob your reward—a process that is arduous and uncomfortable but a necessary chore to help produce the very best crop—and that pruning and refining isn’t just for aesthetics but also for the health of the garden. Equally impressive is the way she displays a graceful patience while she waits to reap the harvest of her labor. My mom is an incredible friend, wife, grandmother, listener, advice-giver, comforter, shopping partner, traveler, hard worker, and has the very best laugh I’ve ever heard. One of the things I love most about her is the way she speaks truth into my life and finds ways to gently remind me that I don’t have to be the best at everything—including a fabulous cottage gardener—to invest the time to sow seeds, plant roots, and beautifully bloom in any situation.
I’ve learned a lot in my mom’s kitchen—although she’s a woman of many talents, I have more memories of baking with her than I could ever write in one place. But not all of the lessons I learned had to do with the best way to ice a cake. Whether with her culinary creations, her quilts, or her family Christmas gifts, my mom has always put an emphasis on personalization and presentation. For her, making beautiful things isn’t just a hobby—it’s a way to make people feel special, welcome, and loved. By turning everything from home décor to sugar cookies into a life-long ministry, my mom taught me a lesson I’ll always be happy to have learned.