My mother’s favorite color is red. Since my earliest memories if I imagine her, that’s almost always what she is wearing. We laugh at her expense about how she will pick out a new outfit and it’s almost always red. “Oh, yeah because you need another red shirt,” my sister and I joke and roll our eyes. My mother is a quiet person, an introverted person. She shares her thoughts only when she thinks they will add something to the conversation. I know she has more to say than is usually spoken aloud. I don’t hesitate to say that her strong opinions are both borderline legendary and at least partly genetic.

For someone who was willing to sacrifice her own ambitions to raise my sister and I, to be the busy wife of a hardworking engineer and now an overworked pastor, to be a church elder’s wife with all of the responsibilities and expectations that go with it. Maybe red really is her color after all. It identifies her as the go to person, pick her out in a crowd, if you don’t know who to go to, she’s it.

From caring for her aging mother, to mentoring young women through MOPS and being the on call babysitter for two daughters with soon to be four children between them, she doesn’t have much time for herself. So I’ll try to stop hassling her and just let her wear red. It’s her signature. Her way of saying, “I take care of those I love, but I am not subsumed. I know who I am and serve willingly. It augments my identity, it doesn’t define it nor suppress it.” Red is her color of sacrifice.