My Tribute to my Mom
Bethel Littlefield Griggs Jackson Kip
Mom, with this tribute, I honor and bless you concerning who you are to me. There is no other person in my life that has impacted me more than you, Mom. I thank God for you, that He allowed me to be your daughter, and for the legacy of integrity you modeled for us as we were growing up. The first thing I remember about you, Mom, is how you cared. You loved me and Esther so much. You showed up at my basketball games and softball games. No matter what I was doing, you got behind me all the way. You taught me how not to judge people by the color of their skin, and to respect other people no matter what they look like.
I want to say that I respect you; I’m proud of you. You are a wonderful and passionate person.
I want to thank you for allowing me to grow up in an intact home. Through the good years and the hard years you stayed true to your vows. It was apparent that you and Dad loved, cared for, and liked each other. I never felt insecure or fearful that one of you would leave or divorce the other. I treasure the gift of your good, solid, happy marriage. I attribute a great deal of the success of my marriage to the example I saw in yours. Thank you for remaining faithful to my dad. I admire and appreciate your faithfulness.
I praise God that you have always prayed faithfully for me and your grandkids. I thank God for every spanking (I know I was a challenge, and you did it because you cared about and loved me), for every lesson you taught us, for staying with Dad and him staying with you, for leading us in prayer, for making tough stands as we were growing up, for working hard after Dad died to put food on the table. I have noticed lately how much of what I do I don’t even think about. I just do it because I saw it done by you: managing money, making the most out of little, taking care of my belongings, fixing things, working hard. You always laughed easily, and I love the way you love my family, my kids, and my husband. I respect you and I just don’t think the word LOVE is a big enough word for you.
One of the most priceless gifts you gave me was a good spiritual foundation. We faithfully attended church and Sunday school as a family. I was encouraged to attend Vacation Bible School and youth group. I learned the central importance of God in my life because we were always there. I praise God for a mother who helped introduce me to my heavenly Father, and who said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” I have seen you impact untold numbers of people because of your faith and because of your consistency. Mom, I want to say that I love you. It is an honor to pass on this same faith in Jesus Christ to our children. I love you deeply, and I look forward to passing on this legacy to your grandkids, and great grandchildren.
I am so grateful that you are still with me here on this earth. Thank you for taking such good care of yourself. I will always be grateful for the love that you extended to me and for teaching me how to accept love from others. Your love for dogs big and small is priceless. Thank you for the wisdom that you shared with me during my growing up days, the protection of a roof over my head, food to eat, and a Christian education. I have so much respect for you, mom, and the hard choices you had to make raising four kids, running multiple businesses, and managing apartments.
Thank you for the courage that you gave me to keep going even when life got rough. The love I have for you is tremendous and I’m so grateful that God chose YOU for my mom. When Dad died, there were so many things you could have done: turn inward feeling sorry for yourself, become angry and give up, or blame God for all your problems; but you didn’t. You are a gift to me. You taught me to love God by demonstrating that yourself. Your struggles were real to me and I saw you seek the Lord to overcome those struggles. For that, I’m deeply grateful. When I look at you, I do not see a perfect mom; I see a mom who was very real in her faith. Thank you for forgiving those who hurt you and for demonstrating to me that there is a Holy God in heaven that loves us and wants the best for us. We can trust Him with our life; I learned that from you.
Thank you for saying “I love you” when I was a child and even now as I’m an adult. I have never doubted or questioned your love for me. Thank you for telling me that I have done a good job raising my kids. Some of my adult friends never hear their parents say that to them. You never had a harsh word for me. I’m sorry for not calling you or coming to visit you more. I’m sorry for not being more sensitive to your feelings when we moved your treasured grandkids to Georgia.
I am thankful for the gift of self-confidence. I always knew you believed in me. I remember you and Dad allowing me to do a lot of adventurous things: driving go-carts and motorcycles long before I could drive a car. Doing all those things helped me have self-confidence. I can also remember being in my room, as a little girl falling asleep to the sound of you playing the piano and singing, while Dad laid on the couch, drinking in the talents of his wife. To this day when I hear piano music, it takes me back to the simple innocence of my childhood.
The quality of my life and the substance of my character, I attribute to you. You are the boldest person I know, which makes me bold. Your faith in Jesus, no matter what life throws at you, is a constant source of inspiration to me. Thank you for always teaching me to work hard, making sure that I always finished what I started. When it comes to parenting, you taught me the importance of always affirming my children. Because you affirmed me often, I affirm my own children often. I have a strong character because of you and Dad. As the twig is bent and as a young child is led, so determines the direction of that life…… The sacrifices you made to invest in me impact my children and my children’s children. Thank you for all that you are and all you have done….I respect you. You are a great lady, and I love you.
And so, some 50 years after you gave me the gift of life, I give you this tribute, with a heart of gratitude. I give you my appreciation, my admiration, and my love. I love you Mom!
Your daughter, Naomi
There is no other person in my life that has impacted me more than you, Mom. I thank God for you, that He allowed me to be your daughter, and for the legacy of integrity you modeled for us as we were growing up.