My Mother’s Incredible Legacy

My mother left an incredible legacy for my two brothers, my sister, and myself. Her life has inspired me to live for Christ and my hope is that what I share about her will also inspire you.

In early 2019, I spent a month with my mother, Evelyn Bollback, visiting and encouraging her as she quickly declined. She was 97 1/2 years old and had been married for 75 years.

As she passed into the presence of Jesus, I was holding her hand. I was singing  Face to Face with Christ My Savior as she entered into God’s presence listening to this precious hymn.

Your Mother Gave You a Legacy Too!

Even if your mother is not saved, she has given you the precious gift of a legacy that played a part in molding you into the woman you are today. (James 1:17)

God chose a mother who was perfect for you! (Psalm 139:13)

Be Thankful for Your Mother and Thank Her Often!

Too often we neglect to show appreciation by thanking our mother. (1 Chronicles 16:34)

In my mother’s last month while I sat by her side for hours and hours on end, over and over I told her what a good mom she was.

I was shocked by her response!

She often didn’t have enough energy to say much, yet she would shake her head, no!

That really surprised me to think that at the end of her life, she would look back and think she had failed in some way as a mother. (Lamentations 3:22–23)

Did I fail to thank her often for being the BEST mother EVER?

I think most mothers don’t realize their impact on their children’s lives and focus on what they could have done better!

Have you told your mom how much you appreciate her?

Not the best quality picture but it captures my mother’s joyful spirit. She had just beat me (again) in a game of Scrabble which included those two letter words. She never lost her ability to play!

My Mother’s Grateful Spirit

As staff would come into my mom’s room to clean the floor, return laundry, bring her meals, and do many small insignificant things . . .

My mom would say, “Thank you!” (Colossians 3:17)

She always had gratitude in her heart for each task done for her right up until her last day on earth!

She did not cultivate a grateful spirit in her nineties!

That was something that she allowed to grow in her heart many many years ago. It isn’t something that just happens.

It is deliberate.

It shows the character that she had allowed the Holy Spirit to cultivate in her heart.

It was one of the many ways that she demonstrated a quiet reflection of Jesus living through her life!

My Mother’s Gift of a Smile

My mother had a beautiful smile even when her life had bumps along the way.  (Proverbs 15:13-15)

There have been times in my life when a smile would have cracked my face!

Not my mother!

I have so much to learn from her about smiling even when you don’t feel like it.

A smile is a gift you give to someone and my mother gave it freely!

I know your life isn’t any more perfect than mine or my mother’s.

So . . .

I challenge you to give the gift of a smile to those around you!

My Mother’s Legacy of Faith

My mother had incredible faith in God. (Ephesians 2:8)

When my parents had a financial need, they didn’t tell anyone about it but instead prayed and waited for the Lord to supply what they lacked. (Philippians 4:6)

During the last few weeks of her life, she demonstrated her faith in God even though it was difficult for her to talk.

She loved when I prayed for her children and grandchildren. She probably missed praying with my dad.

She loved when I sang to her and never noticed that I couldn’t reach the notes.

She loved listening to the old hymns on my tablet near her ear. On her last day, she commented that the hymns were so powerful!

Just her facial expression alone demonstrated her deep faith and assurance that Jesus was with her.

How My Mother Can Inspire You to Live for Christ

My parents, Anthony & Evelyn Bollback were missionaries to China, Japan, and Hong Kong

It’s never too late to start living for Christ in a way that equips you as you grow older.

My mother laid a foundation that prepared her for each day.

Here are some ways that my mother’s life can inspire you to live for Christ. These are the habits that helped her to be strong in the Lord.

  • She read her Bible daily! (Psalm 119:11)
  • She spent time in prayer daily! (Colossians 4:2)
  • She cultivated a heart of gratitude! (Psalm 34:1)
  • She faced life with a sense of humor and a smile! (Proverbs 17:22)

My mother was far from perfect and desperately needed Jesus just like you and me.

She walked with the Lord each step of the way and blessed those she met with her cheerful spirit.

Would you like to leave an incredible legacy one day? How has the story of my mother inspired you to live for Christ?

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  1. Hope she is having a nice chat with my daughter Susan who was born when we were attending Northpoint Alliance Church. Your Dad dedicated Grace to the Lord.

    1. I’m sure my mom is enjoying her time with Susan. Maybe she is teaching her a heavenly version of Scrabble 🙂 I loved North Point Alliance Church. That is so special that my dad dedicated your daughter Grace!

  2. I wish this post kept going on and on.
    Perhaps as you reflect on your beautiful mother and the legacy she left, you can also share some of your most favorite memories together, or some traditions she passed down to you. I think many of us (your readers) would enjoy to partake in that as she sounded like such an amazing mom!

    Thanks for sharing and may God bless you and strengthen as you endure the adjustment of life without her on this earth.

    Many blessings.

    1. Patty, that is so sweet of you and such a good suggestion. Next week I should be getting back more fully to writing again. I think we all could improve in the kind of mom’s we are because examples are lacking so much today.

  3. I’m sorry for the loss of your mother. Thank you for sharing her with us. Your words help me to remember to not take my own mother for granted in her declining years, and to tell her I appreciate her. Your words also help me to remember that as long as I draw breath, I still have an opportunity to influence my own grandchildren.

    1. It is so comforting to know that my mother is with Jesus in those moments when I miss her. I know you will be an encouragement to your mother and be a wonderful grandmother to your grandchildren. My grandmother told me she prayed for her grandchildren. I know that her prayers reached many years past her last day on earth. One of her grandsons that she faithfully prayed for was saved many years later.

  4. What a beautiful tribute, Judie. I look forward to meeting your precious mother in heaven one day. Blessings and prayers for you as you face a new normal without your precious mother.

    1. Thank you Lori. It is really sweet to think of how you will meet her. A friend passed just a few days before she did and it is sweet thinking how she has already met her!

  5. Dear Judie,
    This post is inspired. What a wonderful way to honor your mother and what an anointed message you have given. May we all heed it.
    Thanks so much for sharing this!!
    Praying for your heart as you miss your mother.

    1. Thank you Gail and I pray that we will each be such an encouragement to those in our lives in the days and years to come.

  6. Hello Gayl,

    What a great post! My mother left this earth three years ago. What I’ve realized since her passing is I am her twin in many ways; her strong sense of faith, joyful laugh, the way she kept our home, the way she cleaned her kitchen, the way she didn’t mince her words, the way she told the truth because she cared, her ability and delight in talking to strangers etc. So much of me is her and I love it! I know that I will always be alright in this world because of what she put in me. She didn’t worry about a thing and neither do I. Her total faith and trust was in God and God alone and so is mine.

    May Gods arms of love comfort you during this time. Blessings to you.

    1. I loved reading your comment and it just really made me smile to think of how you are like your sweet mother!! When girls are younger, we often resist being like our mother. As we get a little older, we become more and more like her with our own personality twist. We just can’t help it! What a blessing that is when our mom was a Believer and wove things into us that are godly. I can see things in me that are like my mother too! You have helped me to see them and I thank you for that!

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