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Ironing Board Ministry

Romans 12:10-13 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice Hospitality.

My mother passed away recently. To tell you the truth she died a little bit every day for over 8 years as Alzheimer’s disease took her away from us, one memory at a time. While I’m sad to lose her, I am happy her suffering is over and she has been restored.

The verses above were read by the pastor at her service. We took great pleasure in hearing many stories from people about how those verses perfectly captured my mother.

In particular, hospitality was one of Mom’s gifts. She was often cooking food, or helping out someone in need. A meal for someone who lost a loved one, house cleaning for someone in the hospital, wash and ironing for the new associate pastor’s wife who was very busy with a young family. At the memorial service we shared many great pictures of Mom’s life. I just wish we had one of her at the ironing board.

My sister spoke at the service and captured many of Mom’s great qualities in her stories. One she shared was about my three sons who all attended college in Sioux Center where mom and dad lived. Each week she insisted my boy’s bring over their wash. She did their laundry and ironing while they studied. She always had a treat for them, and I’m sure she enjoyed capturing time with her grandsons. They in turn were the envy of the dorms. You see my mother was serious about ironing; she even ironed their socks and underwear. One son observed how nice his boxers stacked in the drawer when so neatly and tightly pressed.

My sister asked my Mom once why she did all this work ironing. Her response was, “Well that’s my prayer time. While I’m ironing, I pray for them. Mostly I pray for their future spouses.” Hearing that story for the first time made me realize that’s why in subsequent years she always asked the boys about their girlfriends. Even when we were wondering if she knew who they were, she wanted to talk about their relationships.

Mom (and we) prayed for their spouses long before we or the boys even knew them. I’m pretty sure Mom prayed for me in the same way. The results? God answers prayers. Rhonda has been an awesome wife and mother for 31 years. I’m so happy God chose her for me to share life with. As for our two Daughter-in-laws, Sarah and Haley? God has answered our prayers beyond all imagination and expectation. We are so thankful to be able to adopt them into our family. The Moss men have definitely married up! Way, way up! Our youngest just graduated from college and we know God’s got someone special in mind for him too.

For me this was just a reminder that prayer works, that little quiet, behind the scenes types of service and hospitality can make a huge difference in people’s lives.

Mom wasn’t in the limelight of Christian ministry leading a revival rally. Hers was a ministry of serving in quiet, behind the scenes everyday mundane tasks. Reflecting on mom, I want to find those little quiet ways to serve people. Maybe this gives you some ideas on how you can do the same.

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