Growing up in a household with eight children wasn’t the easiest way to live. Since I was the youngest boy, I ended up wearing four older brothers’ "hand me downs" and often times being out muscled by my older brothers at dinner time. I guess you can say my life had its own unique set of challenges. However, I was too much of a big boy to cry about stuff like that. Well, at least not in front of the guys, and I was too small to overtake them in the time of need, but somehow my Mom always knew how to handle these types of crisis without me having to tattle or say anything at all. She was either extremely prophetic or had a pair of eyes in the back of her head. Hmmm, or maybe a little bit of both. Quite honestly, I sincerely believe that's what forged my close relationship with my mom growing up. The impact she made on my life was immeasurable. There are a few invaluable essentials that my mother instilled into my life that still reign supreme today.
1. Cleaning was always important, but how can it not be with 11 people living under the same roof?
2. Staying out of trouble. This one didn't work to well until I had a maturity moment later in life that straightened me out.
3. Maintain a close relationship with God no matter what. And to this date, I've found this one to be the most important part of me. And even though I'm imperfect like every other person on this planet, my spirituality is by far the greatest value my mother could have given me.
Even now, these values are very much present in my daily life and I'm grateful that God has blessed me with a wife who shares these same values. Heidi and my mother are both alike in quite a few areas. Cleanliness and spirituality being two of those values I looked for when we were dating. Even though they share some similar values, they differ in other ways. For example, Heidi is a very laid back person. She hates confrontation, but my mom will check you in public. Heidi dislikes shopping, but my mom absolutely loves it. Heidi is a behind the scenes type of person, but my mom will grab a microphone at any time, in any setting and go for it. I admire Heidi's passion for progress and growth. She hates feeling like things are not producing results. She is a strong business woman, but she knows how to balance out her life with her children. As a mother, Heidi is phenomenal. Black Girls Rock should really take a good look at her. She's off the chain. She usually leaves the disciplinary actions for me to do. However, when she's the disciplinarian the entire household knows that it's time to snap back in order, quickly. My wife is an amazing cook. In my opinion, the world should experience her potato salad and authentic Louisiana seafood gumbo. Trust me, it will change the course of your life.
For all the women out there that are single moms, and even those who are married and you're functioning as though you are a single mother; I know it's tough trying to do this alone. Sometimes there's nothing else you can do but make the best decision you possibly can for your child and pray it's the right one. My sister is a single mother and I've stepped in to be a father figure to her oldest teenaged son. It's especially tough because we live in different states, but I encourage her to focus on discipline, a structured life, a solid relationship with God and a strong hand when necessary. These values are working quite well for her and her children and I'm very proud to see her growth. So hold on ladies! Don't give up! You'll make it to the end. This Mother's Day, I pray God's strength for all the mothers out there. You're doing an incredible job and my fellow brothers and I salute you all. Stay strong. Stay sweet. And keep God at the Center of your life always!
Micah Stampley is a Stellar Award-nominated artist and international worship leader. His forthcoming album, To the King…Vertical Worship will be released on May 20th.