I Got It From My Mama Part 1

 
 Meshali Mitchell Photography

Meshali Mitchell Photography

In case you don't know, I am the youngest of five kids...and if you're wondering...I am the favorite!(Ha!) It's my blog and I can say what I want! My mom, Dodie Osteen, is one of the greatest lovers of people that I have ever seen and has touched the lives of so many people around the world. 

She is teensy-I call her the original Polly Pocket, but man is she a power house. You need encouragement? Mama will lift your spirits. If you want prayer, go to mama, she will pray the house down. You need something fixed or put together, mama can do it. You need someone to come over and kill a ginormous roach that has wings and is straight out of the pit of hades, call mama...she ain't skeeeered. 

That's my mama.

I decided this week to post an interview my mom and I did for Mother's Day last year. I love it because we were both asked questions (by email), not knowing what either of us would answer. This week I am posting the questions that were sent to me. My next post will be mama's interview. 

To all you mamas out there--Happy Mother's Day! And if you're not a mom, make sure you give your mama a great big hug and tell her how much she means to you. And then take her out, shower her with gifts and cupcakes and new shoes...(I'm hoping my kids will read this!) 

I hope you have your best day ever!

April xoxo

 

Interview with Dodie Osteen and April Simons

Q. If you could steal one item from your mom’s closet, what would it be?

A. I would take a pair of her shoes! All of her life she has walked with one leg and foot that is much smaller than the other due to polio. Mama has never liked the shoes she has to wear because they are two different sizes (she has to buy them in the children’s department) and one is slightly built up so she has less of a limp. Even though her shoes are way too small for me, they represent such strength and determination because mama never let her “limp” get the best of her. I love this about her. And you better believe if I had a pair of her shoes, I’d display them in my office to remind me to never allow a setback to hold me back!

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How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. Romans 10:15

 

Q. What’s one trait you wish you shared with your mom?

A. Mama has one incredible memory! She can remember the names of everyone from 1920 – (Ok just kidding, she’s not that old) – but seriously, she will remember details about people; their address, the names of their kids and grandkids, their second cousin’s best friend’s uncle’s dog’s name, etc. She is something else. I, on the other hand, get my own kid’s names mixed up! I need her memory. I pray for her memory. I want her memory! What was the question again? HaHa!

 

Q. Describe your mom in 5 words or less.

A. She is loving, thoughtful, strong, fun and compassionate.

 

Q. Do you have a funny story from ministering together?

A. When I was younger, at Lakewood, right before mama went on the platform, often I would lean over to her and tell her that her dress, in the back, was tucked up into her slip. (I know, I know, we were so spiritual). It never failed…mama was horrified. It worked every time! (OK, I admit, I just liked seeing her reaction!) Well, fast-forward many years to the dedication service of our new church in Arlington. Mama was there and I was about to go on stage. I was excited, nervous and extremely focused on what I was going to say to our new congregation. Right as I was getting up, mama grabbed my arm to tell me something. I assumed it was a prayer or awesome word from the Lord. She quietly whispered in my ear, “Your dress, in the back, is tucked up in your slip.” I was mortified and I forgot the fact that I was wearing pants! Touché. Well done, Mama. Well done.

 

Q. What is something you enjoy doing together when you aren’t ministering?

A. We love to shop, we love to laugh and we love just being together.

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Q. What is the best advice your mom ever gave you?

A. Oh my goodness, mama has taught me so much. She is one of the most compassionate, loving people that I know. In saying that, she always taught me that it is better to give compassion than condemnation, to build people with my words and not tear them down and to always give people the benefit of the doubt.

I have thought about this so many times over the years. You know it’s so easy to be quick to speak words that are judgmental or harsh. The truth is we don’t know what someone’s story really is. We don’t know what others are experiencing in their lives and in their homes. We just don’t know. People need love, hope and mercy…we all do. Mama taught me to look for the person behind the pain and to always remember that Jesus cares about that person, no matter their past, their failures or their current situation.

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Q. What’s the most embarrassing story your mom has ever told about you?

A. I grew up playing fast pitch softball and my parents were most always at my games. One particular game, as always, I was on the mound pitching. All was fine except one major thing…my stomach kept itching. It was so irritating and I couldn’t keep my focus on the game. I couldn’t figure out what was causing it. Finally, in between pitches, I turned around and reached into my uniform to see what was going on. I felt something strange that wasn’t supposed to be in my shirt. It was connected by static to my shirt so I slowly pulled it out. Embarrassingly enough, I pulled out my dad’s dress sock! It was the reason I was itching. What’s even more embarrassing is that I forgot I was on the mound, in front of all those people. Needless to say, everyone witnessed me pulling out my dad’s dress sock from underneath my uniform in the middle of a game.

I had forgotten about this story, until one day, in a church filled with thousands of people, my dear, sweet mother decided to share the sock story with everyone. Thanks mama. Maybe this explains why I can’t live without bounce sheets.

 

Q. What have you learned from your mom that you hope to pass on to your kids?

A. Mama taught me the power of prayer. She talks to God all of the time like He is right there with her. She prays for everything. Growing up, I saw her pray for people, pray for her family and pray for refrigerators, ice makers…anything! She went to God for everything. I can’t tell you how many times I saw her pray over an appliance in our house and suddenly it started working! She made God so real. I knew He loved my mom. I knew He listened to her. I knew she and God were tight. I grew up knowing that God was real and that He cared about the smallest details of our lives.

This is what I want to pass on to my kids. I want them to know God is just a prayer away. God is not only in the big stuff, but He’s in the small stuff. He wants to be involved in every area of our lives. I want them to know He is a loving, caring, miracle-working God. I want them to see that He is not a formula, but He is our very own Father. He’s kind and filled with compassion. I want them to see He is easy to talk to and that He is always available. I know first-hand that it’s hard to turn away from a God like this.

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Q. What are you most proud of your mom for?

A. I’m so proud of mama for not giving up when life sent her a major curve ball. She was given a few weeks to live by doctors because of a fast spreading cancer. I saw mama act out her faith. I saw her believe God for healing when she looked like death. I watched her pray for people when she was so weak.  I witnessed her determination to live and not die. She knew her family needed her. She knew I needed her. She knew she had more life to live. God came through. He healed her totally…and I saw it. I’m grateful mama didn’t stop believing. I’m so glad she didn’t give up. 

Someone defined hero as an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. 

To me, that defines my mama. 

She's my hero and I couldn't be more proud to be her daughter.

Thanks, Mama, for being YOU!

 She's 84 years old and still holds my hand

She's 84 years old and still holds my hand