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This girl… she is a mother to our kids in the most amazing display of love I have ever experienced.

Autumn, our eldest daughter, wrote this on her Facebook wall today…

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Thanks, Autumn. You said it all very well.

This evening, as I finally got around to editing video from the girls’ trip down to Colorado on Easter weekend — I can remember when I used to edit these family videos the day they happened… what happened to all my time? — I couldn’t help but smiling ear-to-ear. I know my beautiful family comes from the outflow of their mother’s faithful and unending love for them. Deanna’s amazing…

Deanna makes me more confident as a parent. She teaches me constantly how to better love when my patience grows thin. And she’s thick-skinned when our kiddos need some tough love. I’m blessed. Our kids are blessed.

And then there’s my Mom. I’ve always thought this picture was fun…

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That’s me and my brother Bryan towering over her on a trip we took out to the east coast in 2008.

My mother’s faith and tough love is the reason I have an unwavering faith of my own today. She taught me that “to love God and love others” is above all else. This life isn’t mine. It’s His. And anytime I want to live selfishly for my own desires and wants, I look at her example and know that she’s right. I have a rock and a sure foundation in Christ because she led me in my faith walk.

Her grace and humility has shaped me into the father that I am today. I can remember a couple of times that I made her cry because of some stupid decisions I made as a teenager. When I saw her tears, I never wanted to hurt her again. One time especially, when I was caught in a pretty epic failure, I expected major chastisement when I returned home. But instead, she greeted me with a hug, loads of grace, and lots of love. And about a month’s worth of being grounded. 🙂

Her devotion is unmatchable. For years I can remember both Mom and Dad getting up an hour early to pray before their days. Not because I was awake to see it, but because I knew. I knew because Mom would tell me constantly that she was praying for God’s favor in my life, that I would find good relationships, and that I would prosper in everything I endeavored. I can see the fruit of those prayers to this day. And now she’s praying the same for my kids.

She has unwaveringly believed in me. Mom (and Dad) sowed so much into me as a musician and, later on in life, as someone pursuing ministry as a life-calling. I got my first keyboard when I was in grade school. My first professional gear when I was in junior high. And they drove me to every Christian rock concert within a two-state radius. We rocked out together A LOT! And then, when I started doing concerts in my early teens, they followed me everywhere with a camcorder and recorded hours upon hours on home videos of my shows. Many of you were subjected to watching those. And I’m sorry. Haha!

She’s loved my kids as her own. I don’t think I fully realized how much of a treasure Mom is until I’ve been able to see her love my own kids. It like seeing her caring for me all over again from a new and overwhelmingly grateful perspective as the parent and father that I now am. She doesn’t hold back. She has taught me how to give and live selflessly by her example.

But words are not enough for either of them. And I’m deeply thankful for the gifts that both Deanna and Mom have been to me and to my kids. All my love. Happy Mother’s Day.


Shawn Michael

Husband, father, musician, pastor, Internet junkie, and Foursquare District NextGen Rep for the Gateway District