Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.  Proverbs 23:25

Most of us are considering our mothers this week. Some of us are considering the children that made us mothers. Mother’s Day can be a day of sorrow and remorse. A day of remembering loss, a day of thinking we could have done better. 

Let us make Mother’s Day as we should keep everyday, a day of thankfulness. I remember my mother that I adored.  No mother is perfect but I never doubted that my best interest was always the most important driving factor in decisions she made for my life. 

During my teen years, I remember a movement that exists today. That parents are to be friends to their children became common thinking and today, well, just look where our families are. They do not get along and have little respect for each other. My mother was my mother until she died, but sometime after I married, she became a trusted friend. Our close friendship was possible because she was my mother first. 

Things I learned from my mother:

  1. A home is a haven, a refuge and a safe place to land. 
  2. Always find something good about everyone.
  3. Every word of the Bible is true. If I learned something in school that the Bible did not teach, the school was wrong. 
  4. Look presentable.
  5. Don’t use slang words. 
  6. Cooking. Good food is a blessing.
  7. Love your relatives. Extended family. I do not remember one time a relative was discussed in a negative way, including discussions of idiosyncrasies. Let children be children.
  8. Write notes – especially thank you notes.
  9. Dress simply, fashionably in classics. Accessorize for fun and on-trend, if it works.
  10. Lois and India are perfect. Yes. I learned that from my mother. Interestingly enough, they often commented that she was the perfect grandmother. To have an ally, be an ally.
  11. It is a good challenge to win people that are generally cranky, to make them like you.
  12. We can trust God with the details.

There were other things I am still learning from her. She sat and visited with her grandchildren and listened to them. I will always remember how my mother, as a friend, told me special and unique things about each of her grandchildren. I see those traits in them now that they are adults. I want to be like her in that way too. 

Things I tried to teach my daughters:

  1. To eat, with thankfulness, asking God to bless.
  2. Enjoy being a woman.
  3. The Bible is precious and church is important. What is teaches should align to Scripture.
  4. Being modest does not mean you cannot be fashionable or look pretty.
  5. Home was their protection, their father – their umbrella.
  6. It was good to meet Daddy at the door, to be excited when he came home.
  7. Know how to behave in different circumstances.
  8. If you are going to eat chocolate – it should be good chocolate.
  9. Enjoy hospitality, and practice it. Perfection not required.
  10. To be able to think of a kind word or something nice about everyone, especially when challenging.
  11. Communicate gratitude and encouragements to others.
  12. Life can be hard; God is always kind. 

Mirror, mirror on the wall: I am my mother after-all.  

It is interesting; our children do not always understand what we tried to do for them. They watched us though and have taken away both positive and negative attributes. We can only hope to continue planting good seed into their lives and trust God to bring forth a good harvest. Grace allows us to love each other because of the imperfections mixed into what we are.

No. My mother was not perfect, but she was the perfect mother for me.

Having been a daughter for about 60 years, and a mother for half of those, I made a list of some of the most important things to teach children. I would ask that you consider them, but they are this woman’s opinion and this list is obviously not exhaustive. 

  1. To understand the simplicity of the Gospel and to love God because He provided everything to us. Children need to know that being good is not going to get them into Heaven.
  2. To follow God’s plan for men and women because God makes no mistakes. This will help them many times in their lives as roles are being blurred more with every generation. 
  3. That “fitting in” is highly over-rated. Be who God created you to be! It is easier to be yourself than be someone else. 
  4. To know that the sun/the Son is behind every cloud. It’ll be okay. 
  5. The body is remarkable. They should take care of it, be thankful for it and in awe of its ability to heal, by the grace of God.
  6. What we put in our minds is like seed. It will yield according to the laws of the harvest. Everything counts.
  7. Make an effort to make good memories.
  8. Encourage one person everyday.
  9. Look nice. A man should look like a man and a woman should look like a woman. Please don’t read more into this than I wrote. 
  10. Work is a blessing. Know how to do the work that is yours to do. When we work skillfully, labor can be pleasurable because results will be better.
  11. Be happy! The God of the universe thinks good toward you!
  12. Self-control. This will be a necessary skill that will be used so long as we have breath in us.  That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 1 Thessalonians 4:4

I encourage you to send a note to someone that has mothered you, someone that you have had the pleasure to mother or a friend that has been a friend to children.  They will surely have it by Sunday if you hurry! Any day is a good day to encourage someone!

Kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.  Barbara Kingsolver