My mother breathes adventure.
Not the thrill-seeking kind of adventures you would find in someone like Bear Grylls as he undertakes the cliffs of Mount Everest, but the kind of adventures that ignites a unique joy when witnessing new colorful delights in garden estates, walking down historical avenues of city centers, tasting tantalizing flavors of foreign spices, and worshiping God in foreign tongues and with different people groups.
As a child growing up in east Los Angeles in a low income family, my mother’s childhood dreams of adventure beyond the busy streets and city parks were a distant reality only found in storybooks and missionary tales.
Yet when her heart was captured and turned to Jesus at a young age, she found a friendship that gave her a love for people and cultures beyond her backyard tree swing.
With hard work, sacrifice, and patience my mama not only discovered the beauty of experiencing first hand many of the cultures our world offers, but has raised three children who share in her adventurous spirit to fearlessly love and embrace all of God’s creation.
I have often been told that I have my mother’s features.
When I was young, I took these types of comments as a reflection of our familial facial and body structures, which I didn’t always want to admit to.
Now as I’ve grown, I can see what others may have been trying to express and I am now proud to acknowledge, that more than my mother’s physical features, what I most reflect is her unwavering zeal for discovering more than backyards can hold with Jesus as our guide, companion, and friend.
Although my mother has traveled all around the world, she would say her greatest adventure has been the joy of raising my brothers and me. When I would hear this, my eyes would roll and I would think, “Oh how cliche and utterly sentimental.”
But today I am truly humbled that my mom would see in me something more valuable and precious that anything this world could offer.
Through my mother’s eyes, I see a vast and expansive world filled with the potential for intimacy, belonging, and joy, because that’s what she sees in me.
Many days I can’t see it in myself, but then I see my mother’s acknowledging smile, a remembrance of her wisdom infused words, and an unmistakable whimsical twinkle in her eye, and I am again a woman with potential as high as the mountains of Nepal, a young adventurer with a heartbeat as deep and wide as the ocean’s floor, and a daughter with a voice that roars with the passions of my soul.
It is through my mother’s adventure in seeing me, raising me, and loving me that I am now released to discover my own joy and adventure beyond my mother’s dreams.
I am the woman I am today because of my mother.
Her best hopes, dreams, and prayers for me give me the confidence to live life authentically, boldly, and without regrets.
Her dreams, passions, and heartbeat live actively in me.
I love you mom and love how you continue to believe in me.
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