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Friday, May 7, 2010

Things I Learned From My Mom

Mother and Baby
Originally uploaded by Rennett Stowe
With Mother's Day rapidly approaching, many are putting much thought in to ways to honor their mother. With that, it seems that the nature of the holiday forces people to put a little more thought toward why they are honoring their mother's as well.

Like many, my own mom is worthy of her fair share of praise. She has made many sacrifices and put much energy into mothering me. Thus, in honor of her, I thought I would take some time to share some of the most awesome things I have learned from my mother.

Things I Learned from My Mom:

How to Enjoy People- If you know my mom, you know she takes the phrase "people person" to another level. For as far back as I can remember, she has never met a stranger. She has taught me, by example, how to be friendly and genuinely interested in people. She makes even new friends feel like "family."

How to Learn From Mistakes- Even as a child, my mom didn't try to shelter me from harsh realities. If we were broke, she said, "We're broke." If someone was sick, she would say, "So-and-so is very sick." Some may criticize this, saying that children should not have to know the harsh realities of family problems, bills, sickness, etc. However, my mom used tragedy and hard times as "teachable moments" for my brother and I.

She might point out a bad decision that landed us or someone else in a mess and say, "See, this is why you don't want to ____." This taught me how to learn from the mistakes of others before I even crossed that road in my own life.

How to See The Light At The End of The Tunnel- My mom used to always say, "Everything will work out. It always does." Now she wasn't quoting any bible versus behind this statement; however, she did genuinely believe this (or at least she put up a very convincing front for my benefit). Either way, her positive attitude in times of despair worked wonders.

Somehow, her reasoning that things will work out this time, merely because they always seem to work out, made sense to me. If things always work out anyway, why should we worry, right? Now, I know things will work out because of the faithfulness of God. I even have the scriptures to back that up. Still, I know it was my mother who first deposited that seed of faith in me and showed me how to approach life with that kind of attitude.

How to be a Leader- Ah, Junior High, the most dreadful time of a young girl's life. I can't even begin to tell you all the horror stories of pain and rejection I experienced during this time. Nevertheless, it was during this awkward time that my mom gave me this talk almost everyday after school:

"Be a leader, not a follower. So what if the "cool" girls don't want you to sit with them at lunch. They aren't the only people alive. If you stop trying to fit in with them and just do your own thing, you will be better off. Sit by yourself!"

Of course, I didn't think she knew what she was talking about at the time. "Sit by myself?! Are you mad?" Nevertheless, I did eventually take her advice and realized that, in fact, the "cool" girls were not the only people alive.

How to be a Crazed, Floor-Crawling, Picture-Taking, Proud Mama- No matter whether it was a cheerleading competition, a drama club performance, an awards ceremony, a choir concert, etc, there was my mom, front and center, with her camera, embarrassing me to no end.

I'll never forget the very formal choir concert that I sang in, in downtown, Chicago. Frustrated that she couldn't get a shot of the entire choir at the angle she was at, she got down on all fours and crawled around the front row, taking pictures at various angles. I think someone actually turned to me and asked, "Is that your mom down there on the floor?" Oh, the shame!

I don't think I began appreciate her "support" until a friend of mine cried her eyes out at a school event. She had stared at the door waiting for her mother, who never showed. My friend explained to me that her mother stood her up often and was always "too busy" to come to her school events. It was then, that I got a real sense of how fortunate I really was and how my mom's supportive presence was a blessing.

Lord willing, my children will have my mom to thank for all the years of embarrassment they will endure, as I too am now determined to become a crazed, floor-crawling, picture-taking, proud mama!


  1. Aw, that was beautiful. As I get older I'm really learning to appreciate my mother as person, rather than simply the woman who always takes care of me. I don't know why it took so long to realize how much love mothers give and how little they receive in return. But I'm very grateful for my mother, too. Thanks for sharing :)

    Btw I have some exciting news, L.H.! Check out my latest blogpost :)

  2. Kiara-

    SO happy for you guys! Congrats again!


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