My oldest girl works for the Lifeway headquarters in Nashville. For Christmas her gift to me was a ticket to see Beth Moore or “Mama Beth” (as they lovingly call her) at the exclusive Lifeway 20 year celebration in honor of this partnership.
My baby girl knows me well.
Beth Moore was one of my very first Bible studies. Believing God was so precious to me that after I was done with it I invited my girlfriends to do the study in my home, and then invited more girlfriends a third time.
The gathering was a heartwarming experience. Thom Rainer, the CEO of Lifeway honored Mama Beth with a framed piece of artwork. A beautiful collection of flowers–except each stroke of color and light weren’t painted on. This gorgeous bouquet of flowers were made from shredded pieces of every piece of published work she’s done. The perfect way to honor someone who has spent her life bringing Jesus to life in ours. (Click HERE to see how it was made.)
But, what brought me to tears happened even before her message to the audience. It was her message to her family “her people”. Her grandbabies, her son-in-law, her girls and her husband.
“I’d like my family to stand.”
She called them out, one by one from her youngest grandbabygirl, all the way up to her “wild man” husband. She so tenderly called him. This tiny anointed powerhouse of a woman edified and encouraged each precious soul that bears her DNA and we all got to listen in.
I can only paraphrase, but her message to her grandson went a little like this:
“Jackson, my sweet boy. Baby, I’ve traveled the world and met wonderful and gifted young men, but I have yet to discover a boy as wonderful and as gifted as you.”
Her message to her grown girls broke me up the most.
“Amanda and Melissa, you precious girls are the chambers of my heart. You’ve been my teachers and my encouragers…” She finished by exhorting them in their God-gifted purpose, “Do the thing. Do the thing. Do the thing…do it unto the glory of the Lord and do it unto the end.”
Waterproof mascara would’ve been a smart choice right about now.
Emotionally Invested – Spiritually Compelled
Her message to all of us came from the Book of Acts 20:16-27/36-38. She shared about the ministry and the cost. She exhorted us to never quit and soberly reminded us there would be critics, but, who cares?
“Critics are much better than crickets.” She teased.
I couldn’t scribble notes fast enough. Just what I needed to hear with my book coming out.
Here’s a few messy quotes I’ve retyped for ya’ll. These are Beth’s words, not mine. Maybe something here will resonate with your mama-heart and whatever ministry work you’re struggling with today.
“Our hurts hold us back.”
“We can’t complete our ministry–our calling, if our hearts are not in it.”
“We’re people of the calling, not just people of The Book.”
“Let’s keep our hearts in it. We can’t fulfill ministry with our hearts detached.”
“If ministry doesn’t make you cry, you may not be in ministry.”
“If we would hold on to God’s Word full of the Holy Spirit–He will see us through victoriously.”
“We must be emotionally invested and compelled by the Spirit.”
“We’re still here because we have tasks that are not complete.”
“We must be driven to complete our God given tasks and take it right to the line where Jesus waits.”
“When our hearts are pulled out of ministry we become sluggish.” (Hebrews 6:11-12)
“You can hold back until you’re utterly sure, every “I” is dotted, every “T” is crossed and you are Christian populace-approved…but those who are risk free are the least free of all.”
This spiritual-titanium powerhouse of a gal brought God’s Words to life and I soaked them up. Sitting beside my own beautiful blonde baby girl, I wondered about my mothering and prayed the bumbling choices I’ve made in her life and the path we’re on now would continue to be bring us close.
Before “Mama Beth” began sharing, she prayed and asked God to give each one of us something special, something we could each take home, not to be tucked away but to be used for His glory.
God answered her prayer and hot tears rolled down my cheeks. “If ministry doesn’t make you cry, then you may not be in ministry.” I remembered, I’m a mom. I’m doing the thing–the greatest ministry work of all…tears are proof of that.