I am sharing some of the best advice my mother ever gave me. I am blessed she is still with me. I know she will continue to share her wisdom for years to come. I vow to absorb all I can while she is here.
Look into a baby’s eyes when you talk to them. My most valuable lessons on mothering came from my own mother. She explained to me that I needed to slow down, take the time to look at my children, and look into their eyes in order to understand their hearts. She was right. I continue this practice with my grandchildren and any baby I am blessed to hold. It works!
Never be anywhere you don’t want Jesus to find you. This advice stemmed from my disco days. Yes, disco. Ok, now….I hear laughing out there. I loved disco music and I loved to disco dance. In my day (OMGosh that sounds OLD!), dancing was just about the most “sinful” issue we tackled. While many believe the Southern Baptist doctrine teaches “no dancing,” it didn’t and doesn’t. My mother taught me to dance but warned me about where I danced, who I danced with and not to make excessive drinking part of my dance pattern. She was right. I dance often and drink very little.
Hold your stomach in, your shoulders back, and your head high. I still have people comment on my tight tummy muscles. Despite three children, I actually do have a pretty tight tummy. Of course, everything started sagging at forty, but I know I have an advantage because my mother taught me that holding my stomach in made my shoulders go back automatically. By holding my shoulders back and my head high, my self-confidence would bloom. She was right. I never walk into a room where I feel intimidated.
Never say anything about somebody behind their back that you wouldn’t say to their face. My mother does not and did not gossip. I was not brought up in a home with gossipy women. I don’t think I realized how blessed I was until I reached my 20’s – 30’s. OMGosh women can gossip! My mother taught me to be above gossip by being candid in conversations. She was right. Anyone who knows me knows they can expect the truth from me and I will never say something different behind their back. When I do, I apologize; I don’t rationalize.
Let your children go and trust God to go with them. My parents faced some extreme heart breaks as parents. Extreme. Did I say “extreme?” They learned to let go, pray often, and trust God with the results. They were right. I did the best job I knew how to do with my children. God stood in the gap for the areas in which I lacked. I remind myself daily, “I let go of my sons. They are in God’s hands even if they don’t realize or acknowledge it. I trust God.” My mom was right. You’d be surprised how well you sleep at night when you know God’s got ‘em covered.
There is much more to share, but these are the words of wisdom God led me to share with you today. Do me a favor: start writing down some of the lessons your mother taught you. Decide which ones you want to pass on to your children and grandchildren. For those lessons that were hurtful, not helpful, I encourage you to pray and forgive your mother. In fact, if she is still alive, why don’t you call her, tell her you love her, and begin letting go of any bitterness you may harbor.
For those of you who cannot talk with your mom right now, talk to Jesus. Sometimes we have to let our mothers go and trust God to be with them. See, the concept works even in reverse.