I am so grateful for my mom. She is one of the most amazing women I know! I am so blessed to not only call her mom, but to call her friend.

I grew up in a single parent household. My mom was quite young when she had me and had to navigate life as a young adult, in addition to raising a baby. Mom went to school, got her degree in education and had a very fruitful 20+ year in education. It’s amazing to see how many of her students are now grown, have families of their own, but still remember my mom as their teacher and the impact she made on their lives.  My mom is a strong woman. Not too long ago, the school that she was working at had to close down due to the economy. So here she was, faced with the decision about what she would do next. She decided to go back to school for nursing and is graduating in a matter of weeks with her RN degree. I am soooo proud of her!!! She has been through a lot but has managed to stand firm, remain faithful to God and continues to be a blessing to others. There are many other young women who look up to my mom and have really learned a lot from her. I’ve had to share her with others, but with a mom as awesome as mine, why keep all the “awesomeness” to myself!! 🙂

Now that I’m a mom myself, I better appreciate all the things she did for me when I was younger. I also appreciate and better understand the sacrifices that she made to help raise me to become the woman I am today. There are so many things that I’ve learned from my mom, and I wanted to share a few with you now.

 

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Mom taught me at an early age that the way to God’s throne was on my knees.

1. The Lord is our source
As many of you know, growing up in a single family home can be a challenge financially. Mom had to support us on a Christian school teacher’s salary. Money was tight, but we always had everything we needed. I don’t remember one day that I had to go to bed hungry or that we didn’t have a place to lay our heads. One thing that I learned from my mom was that God is our source, not our jobs. The fact that we were able to make it on my mom’s salary was huge. I know that her faithful tithing and giving had everything to do with the fact that all of our needs were met. There are blessings that I received that didn’t “make sense” based on my mom’s income. Looking back on everything… I KNOW that the Lord made a way for us every time. He is so faithful!

2. Never give up
My mom is one of the strongest people I know. She has been through so much but continues to be faithful and keep on “keeping on”. When I say she has been through some stuff…. I mean she has been through some STUFF!! A lot of the things she has been through would cause some people to say “this is too hard, I quit!”. But she never did that. She stayed the course and for that I am so grateful. She is a true example to me of a woman who went through fire, but has come out as gold on the other side. Her resilience is such an encouragement to me and I hope that I can be an example of someone who never gives up to my future children. She’s amazing!

3. Be vigilant and watchful
I’ll be honest with you… I used to think my mom was way overprotective and that she wouldn’t let me do anything. (Sorry mom!! LOL) Well looking back at it now, as a mom myself, I TOTALLY understand where she was coming from! I mean I am the same way with Rissy… Actually I’m probably more overprotective than my mom was. As a parent I am raising and taking care of another human being, and that is a HUGE responsibility that I do NOT take lightly. I want to protect her as much as possible and help teach her how to navigate this crazy world as best as possible. Being a parent is more than having a little person looking cute and  running around calling you “mommy”. It’s about raising future generations that will impact the world for Christ.  That is MAJOR and for this reason, I will continue to be vigilant and watchful.

Me...Hawaiian style :)

Me…Hawaiian style 🙂

4. Have fun

One thing I remember growing up was that my mom was so much fun! She always made sure to make time for us to have fun.  I remember one year she took me to Disney World. That was a lot of fun. I also remember times when she would be silly and we would laugh together. She also had a practical joker side and would always keep me on my toes. She always made time for fun, and those memories have stuck with me all the way until now.

5. Give back to others
One very specific memory I have growing up was handing out plates of dinner to the homeless on Thanksgiving Day.  I remember we did this every year for a few years. Mom would take a group of kids from the children’s ministry from our church to hand out food and witness to the homeless. I remember those days so well. We would gather very early in the morning in our very small dining room/kitchen area to put together the plates to hand out. I also remember talking to so many people and witnessing to them the best way I knew how to as a kid! I even remember asking them if I could sing for them. They never said  “no”. I mean would you tell a cute little six-year-old that you didn’t want them to sing for you? Especially if they were giving you a nice hot plate of food??? LOL On a serious note,  I believe that by having me do those things at a young age, a desire to help those in need was born. I truly believe that giving back to others at a young age influenced a lot of what I do today. I may not be handing out food to the homeless, but I always try to find a way to give back to others as much as possible. My desire is that Henry and I can cultivate that same attitude in our children. After all it is better to give than to receive.

6. Stay focused
My mom taught me this principle by example. There were many times when things came her way to discourage her from whatever it was that she was trying to do. But she remained focused and was able to overcome some really tough situations. She is a trooper and I am so proud of her. I mean how many people would go back to school after a very successful 20+ year career in education to study nursing??? That is a huge feat, and she has done it and done it well!! She has excelled in her program and I am so proud of her. She remained focused, didn’t allow circumstances to discourage her and now she will be doing what she’s always wanted to do, which is work in the medical field. She’s pretty amazing!!

Preparing to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day :)

Preparing to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day 🙂

7. Seek to be a blessing to others
Being a blessing to others is something that I saw my mom do throughout my life. She was always willing to give of herself, her money, her time and even her house to be a blessing to others. Whenever there was a need, if she had the money she would give. Even if she didn’t, she would still give and sacrifice her own wants to be a blessing to those who needed it more. She is one of the most generous people I know.  When I was a kid, we hosted a number of people in our home throughout the years who needed a temporary place to stay. My mom showed me what true hospitality was and how to be the best host possible. She always tried to make sure that others felt welcome and like they were a part of the family.

8. Be humble & teachable
This is one thing that my mom taught me by her own example. If my mom was ever wrong she would humble herself and apologize. There were times growing up that she would even apologize to me if she felt that she was too hard on me, or that something she said or did was not the best thing to do. By her doing that, it taught me that it’s okay to own up to your mistakes, but that it is also important to be teachable and to apologize when necessary. As I’ve gotten older, we’ve had some really good conversations about different things that occurred when I was younger, the impact of those things and how moving forward we can heal and rebuild our relationship if needed. My mom has been a true example of being Christlike,  and for that I am so grateful.

Growing up we didn’t have tons of money, but we always had what we needed. The life lessons that my mom taught me are way more valuable than anything money can buy. Those lessons are things that will last as long as I’m alive and hopefully for generations to come as I seek to instill them in my own children. I am truly blessed to have been raised by such a phenomenal woman and to have an example of what a mother should be.  I know that parents are supposed to be proud of their kids, but I am so proud of my mom! I am blessed to not only call her mom, but call her friend. I can’t wait to see her again soon so that we can celebrate her newest achievement of becoming a RN!!! I love you mom!!

Graduating from Grad School :)

Graduating from Grad School 🙂

 

Holding Rissy a few days after she was born 🙂

Side note:  I just want to say to all the single moms… You all are AMAZING!! I can’t imagine having to do this “mommy” thing all by myself. You are much stronger than you know! Stay encouraged and know that you are giving your children an AMAZING example to look up to.

Another side note: I know that sometimes things happen in life that can affect relationships and that some people might not even have a relationship with their mom.  I truly believe that aunties, grandmothers and other women can be a great mother figure in the lives of those who might be in this situation. To those of you who have stepped up in these roles, you are very special, and influential. Thank you for stepping into these roles, your love and support mean more than you know to those who you have mothered.

So dear friends, what are some valuable life lessons that you’ve learned from your moms or other mother figures? Or, what are some life lessons that you want to teach your own children? Please share! I would love to hear your thoughts!

Gr8fully Yours,