Claudia Barba’s Monday Morning Club

...ironing (her prayer time)...

We two were the original members of the Monday Morning Club. I was a very young pastor’s wife who often needed to unload to someone who understood what my life was like, and she–the only pastor’s wife I had ever had–was always there to listen. She celebrated success with me and reassured me during setbacks. She was my model, and she was a good one. For over six decades, she lived at home what her husband preached from his pulpit. He had the ministry vision and set the course. With grace and steadfastness, she helped make it work.

She loved the women in the churches he pastored–leading them to Jesus Christ and teaching them His Word, discipling them by godly example, loving them with thoughtful gifts and good counsel. When her husband left a compromising denomination to plant independent churches, she supported his convictions and with creative frugality stretched their income. He brought in bushels of produce from his garden; she served it at countless family suppers and Sunday roast beef dinners to guests ranging from lonely young servicemen to veteran missionaries. When her husband had a burden to begin a pioneer Christian school, she planned lessons, sanded and painted wooden blocks, taught her students with joy and energy, and then came home to fix supper, grade papers, supervise piano practice and mother her three daughters, ironing (her prayer time) and vacuuming long after dark. Somehow she even found time to sew for her girls (even after they grew up and married preachers) and earn a college degree.

Home and ministry never seemed to conflict. They overlapped, gracefully. They meshed into a long life of serving the Lord. Her husband’s life was more fruitful simply because she was his wife, and as long as he lived, he praised her to anyone who would listen. Today I too rise up and call her–my own sweet mother–blessed. Mother never would have wanted me to tell you she was perfect, but now I do, because now she really is. She is in heaven with her Savior, and she is just like Him (I John 3:2).

This is the first Mother’s Day I can’t tell my mother how much I love her. This year, I can’t tell her how grateful I am for the example she set for me. So instead, I’m telling you.

“A woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”  Proverbs 31:30-31

Elizabeth Martha Horne Holmes — October 20, 1921 – February 7, 2010

Used by permission.

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