My mom is wonderfully amazing! She really is! I know that today, many of us will be celebrating our moms, and I know that many of us will be using phrases like “the best” and that’s fine. We can all think that our mom is the best if we want to. So I’m going to use that phrase right now:  My mom is THE BEST!!!

Many of you know Debbie-Jo and you know that she is in a class of her own. Many of you know how funny she is (many of you are just intimidated by her). Many of you know how wise she is and what a phenomenal Bible teacher she is. Many of you know that she is the brains behind the operation, and many of you just know that she is married to Joe. I wish all of you could know her the way I do. I am the luckiest girl alive!

My mom. . . .

Unfortunately, I didn’t really appreciate my mom to the fullest growing up because I was so emotionally obsessed with my Gran’ma. My parents were busy growing the Kamp, and I was busy escaping up the hill to be with Gran’ma and Pappy. I don’t regret that path at all, but I am sad that I didn’t know the deep undying love of my mom until recently. And this was 100% my fault. I just didn’t see it. I didn’t dive in. I didn’t receive it probably. I’m not sure (I haven’t been to enough counseling about this topic to really understand what happened.) But it doesn’t matter because today I know my mom as the woman who would move mountains for me and the woman who would fight for me when all of my energy was drained.  

In the past few years, my mom came swooping in to my rescue as I was drowning in my life.  She stepped up to the challenge, took the bull by the horns and saved me! She really did. In that process, I saw just how strong and faithful and compassionate and empathetic and selfless Debbie-Jo truly is. In my mom, I have a faithful fighter. In my mom, I have a woman who cries with me and for me, a woman who rejoices with me and a woman who prays tirelessly for me.  Her love is extravagant (yet practical, and I wouldn’t expect anything else). Her love is extravagantly practical, and I am so thankful for this balance she pours into me.

I am so thankful for my mom. I’m thankful for her support.  I’m thankful for her wisdom.  I’m thankful for the way she loves my kids.  I’m thankful that she pushes me towards my best me as she loves me when I’m my worst me.  I’m thankful that she loves me unconditionally and that she makes me want to be a better version of myself–a version more like her every day because I admire her and the godly woman she is so much!

I am overwhelmed with love for my mom.  I am so thankful that she is mine.  

(That is a quick little picture into the mom that Debbie-Jo White is to her adult daughter.)

Jamie Jo Braner, Director of Alumni Engagement