A Life Lesson from Mom

May 07, 2022

By Camille Roddy

Like most mothers, mine had big hopes and dreams for me.  She was informed she was not “college material” in high school. When my siblings and I came along, she was determined her children would not hear the words spoken to her.  Mom aspired for me to attend Salem College, an all-girls school founded by the Moravians in Winston Salem.  She knew early learning was key to school success, but public kindergarten was not available for me. In hopes of a better job for herself, Mom was set to take classes and become a secretary. She instead chose to sacrifice her tuition to pay the cost for me to attend a kindergarten at Centenary UMC.   

In Paul’s letter to the Church at Corinth, he notes the importance of sowing generously. 2 Cor. 9:6- Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. As our churches continue navigating a Pandemic reset, the Corinthian text is a needed reminder on the spirit of generosity.  At a time when tightening financial resources and rising living costs may cause us to look inward, Paul’s encouragement to the Corinthians speaks to us on caring for “the Lord’s people”.  In doing so, we are giving thanks to God (2 Cor 9:11-13).  The result of our gratitude is a bountiful harvest from God to meet our own needs.    

I never attended Salem as Mom dreamed but thanks to her sacrifice, my position as a UMC Deacon was paved with degrees from two other prestigious NC schools-UNC Chapel Hill and Duke. I shared this insight with Mom during our drive home after my commissioning ceremony last year.  Mom was overwhelmed by the experience and offered encouragement in my current journey.  Having experienced the largess of church stewardship through varied connectional entities, I have been blessed through the gift of generous giving.  This generosity allowed me the privilege to sit with my Mom, as ordained clergy, and witness to her about God’s faithfulness in both of our lives as she transitioned into eternal rest.  Mom was able to retire after 30 years as a lead secretary with the local school system; each of her job promotions was from a boss who was a member of a United Methodist Church.

While we may not see the fruit of our generosity, our obedience always results in God’s abundant blessings so that in all things, we have all that is needed to abound in every good work.  A lesson well learned because of Mom.  

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