Meet Tamara: Special Mama of Seven

This marks week two of Divine In The Daily’s 5-week guest post series titled Special Mamas! Every Wednesday in May, we’re honoring real-life mamas who have big hearts and stand bold and courageous in their unique mothering roles.

Last week, Jennifer Camp, blogger at You Are My Girls and mother of three from Northern California, kicked off our series with a guest post titled When Mothers Cry Rescue.

This week, the series continues with a post honoring a very special MAMA OF SEVEN, Tamara! I met Tamara and her lovely family three or four years ago. From the second I met Tamara, I recognized she was a treasure. It’s a rare occasion when a woman enters my life and I know without a doubt she could become a great friend if the circumstances were ripe – Tamara is that woman for me. Although circumstances haven’t been as ripe as I’d like, I’m not letting Tamara out of my sight. Tamara is a delight. She’s sweet, kind, gracious, loving, authentic, beautiful, relaxed, and so relatable.

Tamara is one busy mama with seven children in her care, so a standard guest post was NOT in order for this special mama! I teamed with my favorite photographer Jessica (previously featured in this post) who generously offered the family a complimentary family photo session, and asked Tamara’s husband to guide their older children in a writing exercise on “Why My Mom is Special.” So today, we present Tamara with this special Mother’s Day gift!

 

Elijah, age 13

I love my mom because she is thoughtful, caring, helpful and understanding. She is basically everything that is synonymous with the word “loving.” Sure she cooks our meals, helps us with our 123s, our ABCs and tucks us into bed at night, but it’s something else about her that makes her stand our from the rest; her complete selflessness. I cannot remember a time when my mom has done anything, said anything or worried about anything that had to do remotely with herself. Some days we ask her, “are you even going to eat?” because she typically forgets to make herself a plate of food in the hustle and bustle of preparing for all 8 of us. She also usually prepares so much food for us that her forgetting to take a plate is even more amplified because there is plenty left over to prevent us from saying things like, “I’m still hungry” any time soon. Another example of her selflessness is that she will clean up our pet’s excrement even though (myself included) we all vowed that if she would allow us to have a pet we would clean up after it. Yes, my mom is truly special and for that I am truly thankful, though some days I don’t appropriately show it.

 

Joshua, age 11
I love mama because she would take us to the apple orchard during the daytime to play on the hay bales and even when the corn maze was not open she would work to make it fun for us. She would always make us feel better when we didn’t make the baseball team. She would say “don’t worry, it will be fine; besides you will be able to better hone your skills on the not-as-good team.” On Christmas Day, she hid presents for me and surprised me with a bow-and-arrow set that I wanted, but didn’t think we had the money to get. She tells me the story of when I was born and had jaundice real bad and how she sat up with me all night while I wore the “light-blanket” until my kidneys began functioning normally. She lets me run outside in the woods and pretend that I’m hunting big animals and let’s me chase the wild turkey even though she knows I can’t catch them. She has always made sure I didn’t feel bad when my older brother got to go to a birthday party and I didn’t. She would say, “someday you’ll have just a good of friends your own age” and she was right.

 

 

Jeremiah, age 9
I like mama because she gives me a good book to read. I also like mama because when I say, “I’m bored” she gives me stuff to do. I also like that she gave a big effort to help me learn to read. When I started to learn cursive she bought me a cursive alphabet book that helped me get my letters facing the right way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isabella, age 8
I like mama because she let me help her bake a cake. I like mama because she let Micah, Savannah, Joshua, Jeremiah, Elijah and Daddy have a fire outside last Mother’s Day and last night. I like mama because she reads to me especially before bedtime. I like mama because she helped me not to be afraid of the dark when the train used to whistle by at night. I like mama because when it was my birthday she gave me a robe. I like mama because she gave me a calendar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dominica “Mina,” age 6
I like mama because she understands when I get in a bad mood. She helps me think about something else and do something else to “break out of my mood.” I also like that mama tells me to play whatever sport I want; even baseball with my brothers. She says that I can put my strong mind to whatever I want and I can do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Micah, age 4

I like mama because when I was in the hospital after having 4 seizures in one day she stayed with and never left me for 3 days and nights. She also allowed me to watch a lot of cartoon videos while I was in the hospital bed so I wouldn’t feel sad. She reads me bedtime stories before I go to bed even when it’s already later than my bedtime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savannah, age 2

I love mama because she lets me sleep in the same bed with her when daddy is working late at night or when I wake up and can’t sleep. Even though I kick her all night she still lets me sleep next to her. She never gets too mad when I scream even though my voice is louder than all of my brothers and sisters put together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maurice, age 51
Now almost 18 years ago, I saw this woman walk into our church and knew “she was the one,” and she has continued to be the one ever since. We are now almost 17 years down the road and I am still captivated and aggravated by her as ever (maybe that’s what it takes to make 17 years fly by like 4 or 5). Maybe it’s also the 7 live births we have had that make up our biggest blessing: our 7 children. It’s quite possible that they’ve had much to do with making this journey seem like it’s only getting started. I would “stalk” Tamara in the same way I did when we first met and hopefully she would still say “yes.” I want to be clear I am probably one of the more subtly difficult people to live with as the complexities of being married to me only surface once the “stage lights” dim. However, although I may still be a question mark in some minds, Tamara has still seemed to find a reason to allow me to remain and enjoy the best deal God ever offered me. I have seen her walk through highs and dramatic lows and yet she has worked to maintain both her faith and composure in a way that her closest friends marvel. I’m sure she could have done better than a guy like me, but it’s clear that I couldn’t have done better than a girl like her.

 

All photography in this post compliments of Jessica. If you are interested in hiring Jessica to photograph your family, please email me at amybpederson@hotmail.com and I will share Jessica’s contact information with you! Thank you Jessica for sharing your time and talents to photograph this beautiful family. I am so grateful.

  1. Juamil Lezer says:

    She is such and amazing woman! I am so glad that you were able to honor her in this way.

  2. Jane Ccoksey says:

    An accurate and well-deserved celebration of a very unique, beautiful woman! I am truly blessed to be one of Tamara’s friends. She inspires me and provokes me to Godliness every time I am with her. Such loveliness!!!

  3. Marty Campolo says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. I was just talking about my lively niece to a friend the other day, saying I don’t think I’ve ever met a more lighthearted mom in my life. What a gift to your kids you are!

  4. Edna Thorpe says:

    I am so proud and grateful for this presentation of my grandaughter, her husband and wonderful children. I receive real letters in cursive written by my great-grandchildren and this is something I brag about to my frends. Tamare is their teacher as well as their mother.

  5. Carol Femling says:

    Wow! As I read about each child, I was mesmerized by their beauty inside and outside—BEAUTIFUL children in every way! What a beautiful and awesome mama too! You’ve done a wonderful job raising your children. And….. Maurice…don’t sell yourself short. You are part of this beautiful family too and because you are an awesome papa you too are a special blessing! I will never forget how loving and caring your family was to one of my daughters and baby a few years back. You generously offered your help, even though you had several children of your own to take care of. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! You are a gift from God! Happy Mother’s Day, Tamara! We need more mamas like you in this world! P.S> Love the photos, Jessica! Beautiful family to photograph! 🙂

  6. Melissa Coleman says:

    It’s true, everyone, it’s really all true, and we could say SO much more about our sweet Tamara. This tribute is absolutely deserved (though she would never say so), and I thank God that the author didn’t wait until her eulogy to say it. Tamara is a gift. She is forever positive and looks on the bright side of even the darkest clouds. She instills hope, goodness, and courage in everyone who gets to meet her. Even amidst her own personal tragedies she has agreed with the Lord to minister to those around her instead of pitying herself. Elijah is right on, completely selfless (again, she would never think so). Tam, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is an unspeakable blessing to walk out life with you! Love you, girl.

  7. Steve Connelly says:

    Very nice!

  8. Carrie Padgett Richardson says:

    Beautiful!

  9. Vicki says:

    What a lovely tribute! Happy Mothers Day!

  10. Mary Davies says:

    Tamara is my niece. I visited her in Kenya in 1995, where she was a student missionary. She was aglow, and not just with her silver and gold coloring! I felt I could see the light of God in her, as did the people around her. I’ve never forgotten it.

    • Amy says:

      Mary, I know exactly what you mean. Tamara has a glow about her that is very unique. Like our pastor said a couple weeks ago, one of the best compliments you can offer a Christian is that you see God through them. I’ve only met a few women in my lifetime that have exhibited that sure presence, Tamara is one.

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