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Mothers are amazing reservoirs of grace, mercy, and love. They give when they should receive, and they never think twice about any of it. 

With Mother's Day right around the corner, I wanted to share a simple story about my mom. The memory is as vivid as if it happened yesterday.

Mission Impossible?
The year was 1974. I was 10 years old. It was my mother's birthday, and I wanted to give her a present, but I had no idea how I was going to do that. As usual, it didn't take too long for my mom to realize that I was struggling with this predicament. And as all mothers do, she provided a selfless solution to my problem.

"I have to go do the grocery store for a few things. Do you want to come with me?", asked my mom cleverly.

I was so wrapped up in my concern about how I was going to get her a birthday present that I completely forgot about that part of the problem: I can't drive or get to the store by myself! But I recognized an opportunity when I heard it.

"Sure, let's go!", I said enthusiastically.

After a quiet ride to the store, my mom provided the next opportunity.

"Meet me back here at the checkout lane in about 10 minutes, ok honey?", she said.

Perfect! This will give me enough time to find her a birthday gift.

"Sure mom!"

She smiled and turned toward the frozen meats, and I immediately turned to begin my present-hunting mission. After about two minutes of frantic searching, I soon realized there aren't that many good "mom" birthday gifts in a grocery store.

In the '70s, grocery stores were not the mega super centers which exist today. Our little corner grocery store sold—food, and not much else. Occasionally you'd see a store clerk sweeping the floor. At one point I'm sure I saw Mr. Whipple down one aisle begging customers to not squeeze the Charmin. That's about as exciting as it got.

To say that my options were limited is an understatement. Sure, I saw a few potential presents in the "Housewares" section, but I just couldn't see giving my mom a new incandescent light bulb or a set of those pink rubber dishwashing gloves for her birthday. So I kept searching…but by this time I was getting nervous. "I just HAVE to find a present for my mom!" I mumble to myself as I passed the bread, eggs, and milk. Sheesh! What kind of store is this? No toys or good gifts?

Then I passed the eggs for a second time. Wait! Those aren't eggs…they're "L'eggs®"! That's right—sheer energy revitalizing pantyhose—and they came in this really cool egg-shaped colored container.


What mother on earth wouldn't want a nice pair of "revitalizing L'eggs® pantyhose"? Thank you, Jesus!

Now that I found the perfect birthday gift for my mom, I realized I had yet another major problem: I had no money. It was right about then that my mother came around the corner. "Time to go, dear."

NO!! I've come this far; I just can't leave without completing my mission! But since I had no money, there was nothing I could do. I dropped my head in disappointment and followed her out of the store.

I slumped into the front seat, folded my arms across my little chest, and just stared back at all the "SALE" signs in the store window.

"What's wrong honey?" she asked.

I could no longer keep my plan to myself. "I wanted to buy you a birthday present mommy, but I don’t have any money," I cracked, almost crying. She paused for a few moments.

"How much do you need?"

"Two dollars." (sniff)

At that point, my mother opened her purse, took out two $1 bills, smiled, and then handed them to me.

"Here, you can use these."

"Really? Thanks mommy!"

I took the two dollars and ran back into the store. I grabbed the first container of L'eggs® I saw (to this day I have no idea which pantyhose size or color I selected), and then paid for them at the checkout lane. "Mr. Whipple" placed my purchase in a brown paper bag and handed it to me, and I ran back to the vehicle grinning from ear to ear.

"Happy Birthday Mommy!" I said as I jumped in the front seat of the car.

I was giddy with anticipation as I watched my mother gently open the paper bag. This was it! The big moment. The life-changing event I had envisioned for days and somehow managed to orchestrate into a successful conclusion.

"Hurry up! Open it!"

She carefully removed the container of pantyhose from the bag and held them up. The rays of sunlight beaming through the windshield made that egg-shaped container even more beautiful! It was something to behold. Maybe it was just me, but I swear I even heard the halleluiah chorus from heaven at that moment.

With a look of genuine excitement and surprise my mother finally said, "Wow! Thank you SO much, honey! I love them!" She then kissed me and hugged me tightly.

Mission accomplished.

I was convinced it was the best birthday present ever! I smiled the entire way home.

To this day, what I cherish most about that memory is not what a great gift I bought her, but about what she did for me and why.

She made me think I was a genius that day—that I had somehow managed to give her the best birthday gift she had ever received. It was her birthday, but she made that day all about me. And I'll never forget that simple gesture of motherly understanding and love as long as I live.

That's what mothers do. They give when they should receive. And they never think twice about doing it.

What sort of story or "sheer L'eggs" encounter have you had with your own mother? What is special about your mom? I'd love to hear your answers!

In fact, I encourage you to go to the cfaith Facebook page and leave your own personal comments about why you love your mother so much (or grandma, sister, step-mother, aunt, or daughter, etc.). We've recently posted a thread entitled "I LOVE MY MOM BECAUSE…" and you get to fill in the rest! Simply enter your response in the "Write a comment…" section. There are several comments already posted by many others, so be sure to read them all.

NOTE: Before you can leave a comment on Facebook, you will need to join or "Like" cfaith. Simply click the "Like" button at the top of cfaith's ministry page on Facebook!

Our ability to utilize the Internet for outreach and ministry purposes is dependent on your
faithful support and participation in the vision and ministry of cfaith. Whether you are a regular donor, a member of our free website, a cfaith email account holder, or a customer of our Internet access services, I want you to know how much you are appreciated…and prayed for!

Thank you for helping make the ministry of cfaith a continued reality to individuals and families around the world. I trust that the ministry resources on the cfaith website will continue to be a blessing to you and your family.

Now go call your mom and tell her how much you love and appreciate HER! ?

In His service,

Jeffrey Litfin
ministry operations leader

Author Biography

Jeff Litfin
Web site: Generations Legal Services
As a Certified Estate Planner, Jeff works side by side with our attorney partners to provide each client with professional and comprehensive solutions. As our face to the client, Jeff utilizes his 30 years of public speaking, corporate communications, and business management experience to make the estate project process seamless. Jeff conducts GLS estate planning workshops and takes the lead role in client engagement. Clients appreciate Jeff's ability to take complex legal topics and explain them in an easy-to-understand manner. No one helps families and individuals navigate the Bermuda Triangle of estate planning (legal, finance, and tax) better than Jeff. In addition to his CEP certification, Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from North Central University and a Minnesota Life, Accident, and Health Insurance license.

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