Berta Mom

chelle nicole photography

Have you ever met someone who exemplifies beauty? More so, that the beauty on the outside is just the tip of the iceberg? Then you’ve probably met my mom, Roberta, or Berta mom, as most everyone knows her. She is a beautiful woman inside and out.

Her and my dad met in high-school, and they have been in love ever since. Sometimes, it’s sickening in a “Go get a room! No one, especially your kids want to see you kiss”sort of way. But realistically, we’ve always watched knowing that someday we would want a marriage like that. My mom and dad are still madly deeply and completely in love and it’s beautiful.

When all my friends parents were splitting and divorcing, mine were still looking at each other with googly eyes. And, trust me it’s not because they didn’t go through hard things or struggle with life–they both could write a book. It’s because they’ve chosen to remain teammates through it. They’ve chosen love when the easiest thing would’ve been to walk away. They have the sort of love that fairy tales dream of.

If you’ve ever wondered how I know how to find a good deal, furnish my house with less than $500, or feed a family of 6 with healthy foods on a budget that looks more like were eating Top Ramen everyday, you don’t have to look much farther. My mom is the reason. She is an inspirationally frugal woman. There has never been a budget crisis or a vacation not taken because of money. When she hears no funds, she says there is always 100 other ways to make it work. She’ll peruse priceline, craigslist, sell about fifty items, purchase garage sale clothes and resale to a consignment store, use coupons to save grocery money all just to make it work.

If I could describe my mom’s life in one word it would be: GENEROUS. Her good deals are never just for her family. She will clothe and feed neighbors and their children. She’ll be the first to volunteer to help serve meals, help plan a funeral, a wedding, a birthday party. She’ll go help cook 10,000 meals in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. She’ll go help a single mom pick through her kids hair for lice or wade knee deep in filth and dirty diapers to help a hoarder sort through and clean her house. She’ll open up her house to a recovering drug addict or to a family of six until they find a place within their budget.

What’s crazy to me, is she thinks in ways to serve. At thrift stores, she thinks of who she knows in her community that is struggling and how to meet their needs. She invites women to her closet to shop for job interviews and gives them what they choose. I wish that I thought first of others in the same way.

Not only is my mom generous with her resources, but her and my dad are foster parents and have been for the last 4 years or so. They have provided for and loved children like they were there own, and then they’ve been brave enough to let those same kids move on and into new homes. And have been even braver to do it again with new kids.

You won’t have to know her, but five minutes to learn that she is passionate about her family. She is always available to us whenever we need ANYTHING and even when we just need a shoulder to cry on.  She helps us and prays for us. She encourages us and pushes us to seek Christ first.

Weaved throughout my mom’s life and all she does is an undeniable faith. Christ is her first love. And although she will talk about it frequently, she takes serving and loving him seriously because her life and her actions demonstrate it.

While I could keep talking about my mom and sharing about her beauty I’ll let David’s words to his son Solomon do the talking:

A good woman is hard to find,

 and worth far more than diamonds.

Her husband trusts her without reserve, 
   and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously 
   all her life long. 

She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, 

   and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places 
   and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast 
   for her family and organizing her day.

She looks over a field and buys it, 
   then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, 
   rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.

She senses the worth of her work, 
   is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, 
   diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need, 
   reaches out to help the poor.

She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; 
   their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing, 
   and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected 
   when he deliberates with the city fathers.

She designs gowns and sells them, 
   brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant, 
   and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, 
   and she always says it kindly.

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, 
   and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her; 
   her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things, 
   but you’ve outclassed them all!”

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. 
   The woman to be admired and praised 
   is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves! 
   Festoon her life with praises!

Psalms 31

I LOVE YOU MOM, I hope and pray that one day my kids will say the same about me.

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4 thoughts on “Berta Mom

  1. Ha! Where are the kleenex? Your words are priceless Ashley. It is an honor to be your mom…. we were just sharing at the jbf sale that you girls probably thought your names were sale, clearance, and what a great deal! Your words have blessed me, more than you can know. You don’t even know….we jsut studied Proverbs 31 yesterday at womens bible study. I far from measure up to the ideal woman described there, but we can always strive for it, right? As far as your dad and I and our love for one another, we are still madly and passionately in love with each other. Get a room? Can’t afford it…. but, hmmmm….not a bad idea, I’ll have to find a way…. a good deal, a coupon, sell more stuff. LOL…. I love you. It’s been a pleasure, a delight, an amazing and unforgettable, most memorable time being your mom. My prayer is answered daily in watching and hearing you mother your children…..Lord, let them be EVEN better parents than their parents. You had a GREAT start in that you had the fear of the Lord early in your life and made your pursuit of Him a priority. I praise Him for what He has taken from the muck and mire and has put on a firm rock, and has put a new song in our mouths, a song of praise for all that He has done. Thank you Lord for my family, ALL of them….. my beautiful girls and the spouses that He has brought to them (and for the other 2 spouses yet to come), the amazing and sometimes scary foster babies, and my sweet and snuggly grandbabies…ALL 5 of them: Oren, Cadie, Addilynn, Judah, and Evelyn. What else could I want and need?

  2. Hmmm, I, the ever talkative wont shut up, sanguine, am SPEECHLESS. Yes Brad, I said speechless. I cannot stop the tears. I am both jealous and eager to continue to have with my daughters; what you two have. I have often said I want to be “berta” when I grow up, although recently I have begun to same the same thing of you Ash. So in my speechlessness, I turn to prayer, and ask God that he will continue to use you mightlily and pray a special protection over you always.
    You are both and inspiration to me. At 47 I cannot imgaine having the chance to have my kids speak of me so sweetly, but I will prevail. I’ve had a great teacher the past 12 years, Roberta Nelson; truly a Proverbs 31 woman of God.
    Praise the Lord for all of you Nelsons.
    ( and praise Jesus for chambers chaos )
    Love you all.
    Thank You for being a light in my sometimes dark world.

  3. She really is amazing. You already know how lucky u are so i wont tell u 🙂 i dont know how i would have gotten thru losing my own mother, without the help and comfort of yours (and your dad too of course). Im proud to say u are all my family. Love u cousin.

  4. Pingback: Maybe, this is normal? | the chambers chaos

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