• W. Austin Gardner

What Is a Mother?


Over the next few days you will get to read some wonderful poems about moms. God blessed me with Betty Ferguson Gardner. She is the mother of our four children and grandmother of our twenty one grandchildren. She is and has been the most wonderful mom and wife any man could ever ask God to give him.


God also gave me a mom, Carolyn Gardner, that taught me more Bible than any school or preacher. God blessed me with my mom who have not appreciated near as much as I should have.


God blessed me with a mother-in-law, Evelyn Mathis Ferguson, mother of Betty, my wife. She taught Betty what it meant to be the sweetest, kindest, gentlest woman I have ever known. I will always be indebted to my mother-in-law for raising such a wonderful woman.


God also allows me to be in a family with a bunch of wonderful moms. I so love every one of them and their wonderful families. So these poems go out in honor of the moms in my life; Evelyn Ferguson, my mother-in-law, Carolyn Gardner, my mother, Betty Gardner my wife of nearly 49 years, Stephanie Young, our daughter and mother of nine, Joy Soncco, our daughter and mother of four. Andria Gardner, our oldest son's wife, and mother of four, and Katie Gardner, married to our youngest son and mother to four. I love you ladies with all my heart.



It takes a mother’s love to make a house a home—

A place to be remembered no matter where we roam.

It takes a mother’s patience to bring a child up right

And her courage and her cheerfulness to make a dark day bright.

It takes a mother’s thoughtfulness to mend the heart’s deep hurts

And her skill and her endurance to mend little socks and shirts.

It takes a mother’s kindness to forgive us when we err,

To sympathize in trouble and to bow her head in prayer.

It takes a mother’s wisdom to recognize our needs

And to give us reassurance by her loving words and deeds.

Helen Steiner Rice, Virginia Ruehlmann, and Patsy Clairmont, The Poems and Prayers of Helen Steiner Rice (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2004).


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