We all have "mom sayings" that pop into our head at certain times like, "Eat your vegetables" and "Did you remember to wash behind your ears?" and "If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you too?" Sometimes we would heed her advice, and other times we would pretend we didn't hear her. But there are few lessons that actually stuck with us through the years and were even taught to our own children.
"Show respect to your elders regardless if they are right or wrong, and anything can be paid off with food!"
"Let go and trust God!" I called her wondering how I was to protect my son from his own crazy antics. My mother laughed saying I taught her very early on that God was going to have to watch over and protect us. It was humanly impossible for her to even try to keep my siblings and I safe (we were an adventures group of kids). I learned to let go and give my son the opportunity to stretch his wing (after explaining he can’t really fly).
"Always be kind to others, especially those that feel left out."
"How to garden (Connect with nature), How to clean a house spotlessly (Have high standards), and The homemade version of most things is always better (You have the talent and power to do many things yourself)."
"How to serve sacrificially and always be there for people in need."
"Mind over matter." She always told me that I could do anything I put my mind to and not to let circumstances or the task/matter at hand overwhelm me.
"Selflessness, long suffering, unrelenting faith, confidence in the Lord and self confidence."
"Showing kindness and compassion to others." She has always lived this out in her daily life—acting and speaking in kindness to friends, family, strangers no matter the situation.
"Be patient with women. Some women more than others need time to process. Guys need to be patient, let it breathe, and never leave a fight even it’s really uncomfortable."
"Unconditional love, how to receive it and how to give it."
"People Matter Most." I’m not sure if this is something my mother ever said aloud, but it’s something she’s taught me every day simply by the way she lives her life. I’ve spent most of my life watching her serve other people – our family, her friends, the church, and random people she meets on the street (or in elevators or the grocery store or anywhere else!). She is committed to being fully present in the little things – interrupting what she’s doing for a phone call from a friend, making a homemade dinner every night, or sending cards to celebrate everyone’s everything. She’s equally committed to big things. One of my favorite mom-isms is “You have to show up for the big things” meaning weddings, funerals, celebrations or really anything that matters to the person in question. I’ve seen her cook thousands of meals for people who are hurting and rearrange her schedule a million times just so she can be there in the audience cheering someone on. She brightens everyone’s day and so intentionally makes the people she meets feel valued. To her, everyone matters, and everyone is important. By watching her I’ve learned the most important question you can ask yourself at the end of your day is, “did I love people well today?” because really, in the end, that’s the only thing that matters.
"If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all."
"Be responsible with your money and take care of your belongings."
"Always be grateful and thankful. Show gratitude. Say please and thank you. Always write thank-you cards!"