She's jolly and loud.
You hear her before you see her. From her portable "amen corner" in church (any denomination, every church) to intercessory prayer, to her...
(Wait for it...)
She whistles in church like other people whistle at ball games. And she's reproduced a whole congregation who at least try to muster a whistle periodically in a red-hot Pentecostal service. It took me YEARS to find my whistle. But I've totally got it now, and you'd better believe I use it! #LikeMotherLikeDaughter
She's tough as nails.
Because this is not always a compliment, I hesitate to use the phrase. It's so often a description used of drill-Sargeant types, which she is not. (Refer to the jolly version above.) She's HILARIOUS! She's fun! She's spontaneous! She's generous! But once she's discovered a truth that should be lived by, she's going to ensure the salvation of all in her boat by insisting these safety precautions are maintained.
She was raised in a Christian home that had various leanings of the definition of "modesty." She saw the harm that unfolded in those who moved further and further away from conservative lifestyles. Therefore, she's tough as nails when it comes to standards. She's not "judgmental," in that she gives off a condemning vibe. Exemplified by the fact that she has friends who haven't dressed like her in decades. She has lifetime friends whose lifestyle would make your toes curl if you're a staunch Christian. She's incredibly compassionate. But if those friends are going to ask her advice about what lifestyle best preserves sanity & sanctity in the long haul, she's tough as nails in her advisement. And if you've ever been one of her's, you're going to hear "it" if she sees you straying. She simply has been privy to the dangers of another way. She's loves to the point of saying the uncomfortable.
She's been in leadership in churches for long enough that she KNOWS what makes a congregation strong, or lethargic. She KNOWS what brings fervency into prayer meetings. She KNOWS what brings the raw power of God into a service. And she will let anybody attempt this in any fashion they want. But when it comes to how it's done in her ship, she's tough as nails.
When I had a life-upset a few years ago I was not all that thrilled with her being tough as nails. I thought she was willing to sacrifice my happiness for "her way." I was so wrong.
In reality, I was in a storm that was battering our ship. ("Our" ship. I'm her daughter, not an island!) We were in danger of losing my children, our salvation, my sanity, and my future. Every time a piece came loose, she'd resecure it. When a strap sprung free from the tumult, she knew if she didn't secure it back yet more parts would break apart. She had to resecure the mast time and again, just so that one fine day, when the storm was past and a propelling wind had come, I'd be able to catch that breeze yet again.
My mom is mother to many. I do not envy those others. I understand the importance of her presence to their well-being. that she makes life possible for them.
She's tough as nails.
And it's a good thing too, because she holds me together.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!