A Mother's Day Message from the President

05/08/2021

Dr. Schwinn holds grandson Luke.Remember what the Gospel of Luke records about the mother of Jesus after she anxiously searched for her 12-year-old son and found him in the temple courts? As Mary and Joseph took Jesus back home, she “treasured all these things in her heart.” Looking forward to Mother’s Day, I recall that each of my two daughters has done special things I’ve treasured.

Of course, my husband, Bob, also holds many rich memories; however, I have some uniquely motherly memories. One of the most precious was when I first felt a kick inside my womb. There was such pre-birth bonding, because that little one was kicking, letting me know she was there. And that felt like such a privilege, to be able to carry a child.

And then there is the magical moment when you first get to hold each child; it’s just so amazing how everything else doesn’t matter anymore. It’s a beautiful experience.

Certainly raising children has challenges aplenty, but all along the times of wonder and worry and longing and laughter, we mothers are shaping and teaching our children, whether we realize it or not. I’m so grateful for the love and wisdom my mother provided me, through her words and her actions.

Mom engrained in me a principle I have never forgotten, that “the ends never justify the means.” Honoring this principle has helped me make wise decisions throughout my life and it is very applicable in today’s world, too.

I also recall our conversations regarding societal barriers she felt as a woman. My mother grew up in an era when women weren’t always allowed to do what they wanted to do. That frustrated her tremendously, and her frustration impacted me with a drive to overcome such barriers. Ultimately this opened doors professionally for me, as I realized I might have to do more, higher quality work than everyone else in the room in order to succeed, as I followed my calling. So, when I became one of the very small minority of female deans of medical schools, I think some of my success came from those early conversations with my mom.

Nobody ever had a perfect mother, but most of us can remember many ways our moms loved, encouraged, and prepared us for life. We all know that Scripture commands us to honor our mothers and fathers. To anyone reading this today whose mother is still alive, I have this suggestion for honoring on Mother’s Day:

  • Have a conversation with your mother, giving a couple discreet examples of times your mother either gave advice, modeled Godly behavior or did something very special. Then tell her how much you appreciate her and what she has done for you.
  • I can guarantee you a conversation like that beats a box of chocolates and a card. Your words offered in love will become something your mother treasures.

And speaking of treasures, Bob and I are now enjoying our first grandchild. Proverbs 17:6 refers to grandchildren as a “crown to the aged.” Well, I don’t think of us as aged; not yet, but we enthusiastically agree that our little Luke is precious like a crown of gold. Watching him, and our oldest daughter in a new role as mother herself, I’ve opened a new compartment in the treasure box of my memory.

Warmly,

Deb

Photo: President Schwinn holds grandson Luke.