Friday, November 6, 2009

Weekend Wish

This is my mom. She might not be thrilled with me at the moment for choosing this picture, but I have my reasons. So let me address my mother first - Mom, you are beautiful! I've never seen a bad picture of you, except for that one Dad took when you had the surprise extraction of your wisdom teeth when I was younger. Other than that, I don't want to hear it - you are gorgeous!

Now, on to my post. This picture was taken last Christmas when my whole family (sisters, husbands, nieces, nephews) all went to Aruba together over the holiday. I captured this shot on a typical afternoon at the pool. Kids were swimming or floating in the ocean, adults were warming themselves in the sun, and Mom...was reading. I wanted to share this picture with you because this is a typical Judy VanKampen pose. Warm, lovely smile, reading glasses and monster book in her hands.

Notice the title of the book - "Titan - the life of John D. Rockefeller." Mom doesn't tackle fiction books. She likes historical biographies and when she's done, she never forgets what she read. She is a walking Brittanica Encyclopedia. When we travel with her we don't need a guide, because she's read a book on it, guides us with great ease, and is a bastion of information.

We're all glad she moved on to Rockefeller because we were getting worn out by her latest conquest, Genghis Khan. Before that she was into the founding fathers and we have all received copies of James Madison's autobiography, amongst others. Actually, she just sent me her latest book craze (yes, Rockefeller was so last year) and it's about 5 inches thick and I think it's the first in, like, three, based on the history of the world by Winston Churchill, or someone like that.

When I was younger, Mom taught women's Bible study. She still teaches in her home today. Tuesday mornings was study and I can remember coming home from school on Tuesdays and all of Mom's books were spread out across the kitchen table. It wasn't left overs from study - she was getting ready for next week. She had her Bible, a few commentaries, the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and always a book or two by Spurgeon. Now, this hasn't ended. As she continues to teach, Mac Arthur and Kent Hughes have been added to her collection and though I don't live near her, I still receive her wisdom via email. Her lessons are well studied, full of wisdom and love, and she is always overly prepared to share with women the Word of God.

That's why, when I saw this picture, I thought, "What a great way to tell the women about my mom - an image from my past captured in the present." When I think of my mom, I think about how well-read and well-studied she is, and how much she loves to share what she is learning. She's a great communicator.

My weekend wish for you is that you take some time and think first about your own mother. What picture could you share that would capture who she is? Once you've figured that one out, make it more personal. What will your children remember about you? What image does your family have in their minds about who you are and what you devote your time to?

You might be pleased with what you think of or you might feel like you don't have a good answer. Are you known for your temper or your gentle touch? Are you the fun parent or the disciplinarian? What hobbies do your children see you involved in and do they understand why you spend so much time doing them?

My final question is this: what would you like your children to remember you by? It's not too late to change their memories. If you fear that perhaps they won't even have fond memories of you, now is the time to discuss this with the Lord and find out who He wants you to be.

Have a great day of worship and don't let it end as you walk out the door of the church!


(P.S. Love you, Mom! Thanks for teaching me how to responsibly study the Word and how to communicate it, as well.)


  1. Wow, Kristen, your mom is beautiful! Both inside and out from your description of her! And you strike me as a women after her mother's own heart! What a blessing!

    Now you have me searching for a picture of my mom, because I want to frame it, and put it up to remind me of who she is, and give me cause to tell others about the good in her.

    You also have me searching my heart to guess at the picture that my children have of me. Granted, for different children, it might currently be different pictures, but overall, I would like them to see me as a women fully dependent on God and his word. I would also LIKE to be thought of as joyful, and I'm afraid that is not the picture they have of me. I am asking God to help me change that, as only he can. Thanks for the reminder! And thanks to God again and again that he never gives up on me! He is my Hope!

    As for that (hope/joy), one of my favorite reads lately has been John Piper's, Future Grace (full title - The Purifying Power of Living by Faith in Future Grace). (Bring on that Purifying Power!!!) Piper says that joy is precious, and he reminds the reader that Jesus and Paul both talk about enduring, and fighting the good fight of faith. Piper says that "the fight for faith in future grace is a fight for joy." His point is that the knowledge of this fight is to be a reminder when temptaions come, that my "diminishing delight is a summons to war." I am to especially then "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Timothy 6:12). I always thought maintaining my Christian joy should come easily. Apparantly it does not, and that is reassuring to me, because, he also reminds me that "the victory is assured."

    Looking forward to a nice weekend! See you around!


  2. A beautiful (and humorous) testimony regarding your mom Kristen, and more great, thought-provoking questions as well.

    Godly mothers are such a blessing, aren't they?

    (Judy, as a photographer, I haven't met anyone who likes their own picture...including your daughter, it is a lovely picture and you have a great smile!)