Friday, April 11, 2014

4 Truths My Mother Taught Me

This past week Selah and I were having a tea party when she informed me that Gigi had taught her to
always hold out her pinky finger when drinking tea.  And I realized that I was certain this was true…after all, her Gigi (my mother) has taught me so much that has to do with graceful living.

As I reflect this morning on lessons that my mother taught me, these four stand out most in my mind:

1.  Give the gift of your presence and time.  
My mother makes time for people in her life – it is how she shows her love for them.  Love looks like drinking tea and listening or going to Sesame Street Live and dancing. 

My mother is good at listening & I've learned from her that although your body may be in a location, if you are not leaning in and listening to the person you are with, you might as well not even be there.  The gift of your presence means that you are fully engaged in that moment.  You listen to subtle statements, notice expressions, and honor those you love by hearing their heart.  I don't always excel in this area, but I'm trying to grow each day in this arena - it really does exemplify a woman of grace.

2.  Use your gifts to bless others.  
My mother has the gifts of hospitality and making things beautiful (what is the proper name for this gift?), and has never hoarded these abilities.  A few weeks ago she went and decorated the home of a sweet young mother who is pregnant with twins (# 3 & 4)!  This momma has a new home and obviously is TIRED!  My mom felt like God told her to go decorate her house (if she wanted that)…so she took a friend, and when that momma came home from work, her house was transformed.  

This past week, she made a beautiful quilt for our new cousin that will be coming home soon from Uganda.  Most people would never know about these two acts of love in the last few weeks (except her daughter has a big mouth), but she does not love for recognition…she loves because she is loved.  May we all take this lesson to heart and do the same.

3.  Forgive.  
As a pastor’s wife, as a sister, as a friend, as a daughter, and as a mother my mom has had many opportunities to practice forgiveness.  Too many times I’ve taken up her cause and wanted to be offended at people who hurl insults and pain her way, but she has taught me and lived the example that forgiveness is worth it.  She has also taught me that forgiveness means keeping your mouth shut when you really want to let everyone know how noble you are for forgiving J.

Within this same lesson of life, my mother has demonstrated that a true woman of grace also asks for forgiveness.  A turning moment in my life was a phone call in college when my mother called and asked me for forgiveness.  Her humility and willingness to say that she was wrong, set me free to see the situation from a new vantage point.  And her actions taught me that true strength is able to ask for forgiveness.

4.  Laugh until your shoulders shake.  
One of my all time most favorite things is to see my mother TRULY laugh.  Her shoulders shake, her eyes become slits and she cannot make a sound, but it always makes me laugh in copycat fashion.  When I see the two of us laughing so hard we might wet our pants, I always think two things:  We need more of this kind of deep-belly laughter in our world and I'm so thankful that I inherited this trait from her.

My mother has taught me much and her mother (my Mema) taught her much as well.  The older I become the more lessons I am trying to learn from those who have gone before me.  Some lessons seem to be implanted in my heart and life as if they were genetically wired while others definitely take more care and intention to live out.

What life lessons did your mother teach you?  It may be as simple as how to play tea party or as profound as how to walk out in forgiveness, but very likely there are deep lessons etched in your heart from the life of your mother.


Unknown said...

I. Love. This. Post. It's totally true, and I can say your mom has taught me a lot too just by watching her. This makes me want to write a post about my mom...I think I'll work on that. :)

Reflections of a Wanderer said...

So Beautiful!

Sarah said...

I love your mom! She has invested so much in so many. I have benefited from her listening ear and grace she gives.

RETA said...

Oh my goodness . . . your words stirred tears - as my own mother passed away years ago. She left me with so many riches though - and your post has reminded me of that. I am very grateful for the wonderful things she deposited in my life before her departure. Thank you for your wonderful words.


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