The Joys and Lessons of Motherhood: an Interview with Faye Burton

May 03, 2024 · by Ashton Dorow

It's an honor to bring you a special treat on the blog today--an interview with one of my heroes... My Mawmaw, Faye Burton. She's one of the most precious ladies you could ever know, a faithful servant of God, an amazing organ player and singer, one of the best cooks in the world, and an incredible wife, mother, and grandmother. She and my Pawpaw were married for over 56 years before his passing in 2021, and together they raised two children and served the Kingdom of God in various areas of ministry, including Young Married's ministry, for many years--so she has a plethora of knowledge and experience to share! I'm so glad she agreed to do this interview with me for Mother's Day, and I hope you can glean a bit of her wisdom from what she has to share with us today.

So, without further ado, let's get to the interview!


AD: Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview, Mawmaw. All my life, you have been--and continue to be--a source of inspiration and wisdom for me, and I know many others feel the same way.

To start off the interview, I wanted to take a moment to talk about Memaw (AKA your mother). I know you have many special memories of her, but can you share a favorite one with us?

FB: There are many cherished memories of my dear mother. The first one that comes to my mind is Sunday dinners at her house after church. She was a wonderful cook and made sure to prepare our favorite foods. My mother worked a full time job but still found the time to plan and cook delightful meals for us.

Even after my siblings and I were married, the tradition continued. The seats around the dinner table grew in number but there was always room for one more and plenty of food to go around. No one left hungry!

After dinner, we would go to the park across the street and have a fun game of Croquet.

This tradition of Family Dinners, sadly, has become a thing of the past, but it doesn’t have to be. I encourage you to put forth the effort and enjoy family time as often as you can.

AD: What is something (or a couple things) your mother taught you that greatly impacted your life?

FB: As President Abraham Lincoln famously said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” My mother’s life was not an easy one, in that she had to overcome many obstacles and hardships that life dealt her. By her example, she taught me the value of a good work ethic, how to make the most out of what you have, how to love your family unconditionally and most of all, how to love the Lord.

AD: I already know your biological mother wasn’t the only mother-figure you had growing up--namely, your Aunt Gertrude helped raise you for a period of your childhood. Can you share a little bit about how she impacted your life? Were there any other ladies that have inspired and influenced you through the years?

FB: My Aunt Gertrude, my Mother’s sister, was a “second mother” to me and my sisters during a difficult time in our family. She and my Uncle Johnny stepped up and helped my mother in raising us for a period of five years.

During the time with my aunt and uncle, our life was simple, structured, and secure. My aunt took us to church every time the doors were opened or saw that we had a ride if she couldn’t go for some reason. The thing that impacted me the most about my aunt was that she was selfless, loving, steadfast, and accepting of three little girls who needed a “second mother”.

Ever since I was a young girl and all through my almost 77 years, I’ve had the privilege of gleaning inspiration and encouragement from many women who made an impact on my life. I thank God for those who saw something in me worth cultivating and helping me grow. Beginning with my Elementary Sunday School teacher, who sat each of us students on her lap, one at a time, and prayed over us every Sunday. I know without a doubt that her prayers carried me and set me on my path to living for the Lord.

AD: What was the most important lesson you learned once you became a mother yourself?

FB: I first became a mother at 19 years old with the birth of our son and then again when I was 28 at the birth of our daughter. I would have to say that the most important thing I learned was that my life was not my own anymore! I learned the meaning of loving someone more than your own life. My husband and I now had this incredible responsibility and opportunity to shape and mold our beautiful son and daughter into a man and woman of God. Every decision, action, and plan now had to include our children and what was best for them from the time they were babies until they were grown and now have families of their own.

This quote sums it up so well:

"A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take."

AD: Motherhood comes with its challenges, but also so many joys. What are some of the sweetest or funniest memories you cherish of the years spent raising your kids?

FB: I can honestly say that the joys of raising our two children outweighed the challenges by far. I have so many sweet memories of the early years of our little family of four and secretly wish, at times, that I could turn the clock back and revisit those times.

Our son and daughter are nine years apart in age but it never was an issue with either of them. He was her big brother in every sense of the word and she fondly called him “brother”. It was many years before she called him by his given name.

For nine years, our son was without a sibling, and he often would remark that he wished we were a “real family”, meaning he wished for a brother or sister. Needless to say, he was so happy and excited when we became a “real family” with the birth of a little sister. To this day, they remain very close and love each other dearly.

I recall a sweet memory of our son when he was very young. One day he came walking through the house and I saw him looking over his shoulder and saying, “Come on, let’s go to my room”. Who was he talking to? I didn’t say anything at first but just observed him for a few days. Finally, I asked him who he was talking to and playing with. His reply was “Oh, it’s my friend Jim… he lives on the telephone pole out front”. I said okay, trying not to laugh. Some days later, we sat him down and talked to him about Jim and wanted to be sure he realized that telephone pole Jim was not a real person. His quick response was, “I know… He’s my invisible friend”. At some point, all of a sudden Jim moved away and we never “saw” him again.

The childhood years of our daughter were filled with sweet memories as well. She had her “own” language, as her brother would say. We had so many chuckles at the way she pronounced some words. Her brother would prompt her just to hear her talk. He also could hum this particular little tune that sounded like circus music and she would just dance around with one hand raised in the air, giggling and spinning at the same time.

She loved playing with her Barbie dolls either by herself or with her friends and cousins when she could. They would spend hours setting everything up just right. Designing the “rooms” for the dolls and using all kinds of paraphernalia in doing so. She was so creative. It was no surprise that when she was a teenager she was in charge of all the displays in the ladies consignment shop where she worked. 

AD: What advice would you give to other mothers, especially those who are young and just starting to figure out how to be a parent and raise their children to love God?

FB: An important bit of advice I could offer new mothers is to not follow all the popular trends in today’s society that do not always have your or your child’s best interest at heart. Your natural instincts as a mother will guide you if you listen to your own heart.

Search the scriptures for direction on raising your children in a life dedicated to God and teach those principles by example.

The advice from your own mother or another mother you admire can be of great benefit.

As a wife and mother, you set the atmosphere in your home, either for good or not so good.

The “fruits of the spirit” are best displayed at home first before shared with others. How you display those fruit will create an appetite in your children to taste and see that the Lord is good.

Another valuable piece of advice I can offer is to keep the romance alive and well between you and your husband. Having children doesn’t mitigate the fact that it all started with just the two of you and in the end, when the nest is empty, it will be the two of you again if the Lord sees fit.

If you’re a single mom and doing your best to raise your children without a helpmate, don’t forget to take time for yourself. You can only do so much without taking a step back, finding time to refresh and treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be extreme, it just needs to be effective. You can do this; you’re not alone… God is with you!

Thank you so much so much for taking the time to answer these questions, Mawmaw! And thank you to those of you reading this today! I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my grandmother's life and that something she shared today was an encouragement to you or brought a smile to your face! It's always a blessing to hear from those who have already walked the road we are on now in life or the road we hope to walk some day in the future. 

God bless each of you, and Happy Mother's Day to every lady, because whether you have children of your own or not, you still have a great influence on the younger generation coming up under you! Little eyes are always watching us, and who knows whether one day YOU are the one they look back and remember having a powerful impact on their life. 

**Photo by of Infallible Proofs Photography**

Ashton Dorow

About Ashton Dorow

Ashton Dorow has loved reading for as long as she can remember, and she began writing her first book at age fourteen. Since then, she has written more books, launched her blog, Life & Lit, and is in the process of publishing her first novel. She currently resides in Conroe, TX, with her hubby and their two spoiled-rotten furbabies. They attend the church Ashton grew up in, Abundant Life Church in Willis, TX, where they are both involved in music, youth, and children’s ministry.

Connect with Ashton on Instagram at @life.and.lit