Mother’s day is coming up and I know for many of you it is a painful or bitter-sweet day.
My heart goes out to all of you who no longer have a mother, have strained relations with your mother, never knew your mother, or never really felt the love of a mother.
What I want to do this Mother’s day is give you the gift of my mother, Annie.
If we were in a room together, in person, she would wrap you up in a hug and make you some of the best scalloped potatoes and enchiladas you have ever had. She would sooth your stomach and your heart. She would embrace you for who you are, no matter where you have been.
But because that is not an option right now, let me share with you some of what the most beautiful woman in my life has sewn and nurtured into my soul.
She is who I pray and hope to grow into one day.
There is no such thing as a perfect person or a perfect mother, but if there ever was a woman and mother to aspire to be, it is Grannie Annie.
There are so many words I could pile together to try and describe her; but I found these to be the most succinct.
She is the perfect combination of grit and class, femininity and strength.
Her lessons have saved me from heartache, grief, and lost opportunities. And for the times she could not protect me from life, she was there to champion me through adversity no matter how long it took me to overcome.
To honor her, I made a quick list of a few of her life lessons. Some profound, some practical.
From Grannie Annie:
- Nothing is more powerful than a praying woman. Especially one who has the guts to pray big, bold, and audacious prayers on behalf of her family. Want to change the world? Pray boldly.
- Pettiness is nothing to aspire to, regardless of how trendy it is.
- Be quick to make amends, even if you are not in the wrong. It takes immense maturity and humility to to set aside pride to make room for peace. Not just once, but as a lifestyle.
- Men need compliments too.
- Do not make a decision in anger. Even more, do not make a big decision until you have resounding peace. If this takes a few weeks, so be it.
- Be a cheerleader. Cheer loudest for those struggling the most.
- Femininity does not mean weakness. Femininity and strength are not mutually exclusive.
- How hard you work says more about you than anything you can buy.
- If you do not absolutely love it and can not imagine yourself walking out of the store without, do not get it. Quality over quantity.
- If you have to beg or work for a mans attention, honey he ain’t it.
- Drama queens gain attention, but peacemakers gain respect. You do not have to take offense at everything.
- Take care of the words you speak so when you speak, people listen. People who talk to hear their own voice are heard but not listened to.
- Do not be the woman who seeks out a wealthy man, be the woman who builds up a hard-working man. Wealth may come and go, but character lasts forever.
- A woman who can control her emotions is a force to be reckoned with.
- When you are upset, take a long shower and wash your sheets, I’m not sure why, but you just feel better.
- Your innocence is stunning, beautiful, and powerful. Guard it with all your heart.
- Some days will hurt, and some seasons will be filled with deep heart-ache, but don’t you dare give up.
- Get rid of clutter and turn off the TV. Quiet is good for the soul. So is being bored.
- The only road you should be taking is the high road, and forgive as many times as it takes. And if forgiveness feels impossible, pray for the strength to forgive and keep praying until you get it.
- Take care of your skin. And not just your face, your neck and chest too.
- There is nothing wrong, sexist, or backwards with wanting to be a traditional wife and mother. In fact, there is great honor in choosing this path.
- Before you go off on someone, have you eaten? Eat, take a nap, and then re-evaluate your anger.
- Lastly, if you want to live a life of legacy, of all things be profound in your kindness, forgiveness, generosity, selflessness, and resiliency.
So to my mom, happy mothers day.
For all the lessons here, spoken and unspoken, that you’ve passed on to me I will forever be grateful. Even more powerful than the lessons you have given to me, is the life you have lived out.
To you, mom.