With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend I thought it would be fitting to dedicate a post to the most important woman in my life: my mom. Not only is she the source of my physical life, but she has shaped virtually every other aspect of my life as well. I would not be the woman, or the mom, that I am today if it was not for her love and support and guidance over the years. I could never put into words all that she has taught me, but here are just a few life lessons I’ve learned from my mom:
Show your love
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Mom is love. She loves God, she loves my dad, she loves me and my sisters, she loves my husband and my kids, she loves her friends–and she always makes sure that we know it. Day in and day out, she demonstrates her love through her words, her actions and her motives. Her whole life is driven by love, and you can not help but reflect that love to others when you are in her presence.
The second, and equally important, lesson I’ve learned from Mom is to enjoy life. Mom is always laughing or making other people smile. She also looks for ways to make life exciting. Whether it’s going on a new adventure (like backpacking through the Grand Canyon) or learning something new (like taking up paddle boarding), she always has something new to keep things interesting–and she always invites us along to take part in the fun.
Put Jesus First
Mom loves Jesus and she has always led me to Him. She prays for me, with me, and over me. She reads her Bible with me and I grew up watching her read the Bible herself. She encourages me in my faith, and she is always growing in hers. She is cultivating a legacy of faith for me, and my kids, and future generations. It’s beautiful.
Follow your passion
Mom has always encouraged me to do what I love, even if that means making some sacrifices along the way to make my dreams a reality. For me, this came into play when choosing my career, knowing who to marry, juggling my priorities in life, and being willing to step out courageously when it was time to make difficult decisions. I have seen time and time again in her life that following your heart can be the quickest way to happiness.
Cultivate friendships and community
Mom is the best example of a good friend that I can think of. She never thinks twice about opening her heart, her hands, or her home to a friend in need. She invites neighbors over for dinner, she drives friends to appointments, she volunteers at her church. She is invested in the lives of the people around her, and everyone benefits.
Don’t be afraid to get dirty
This one is a bit less conventional, but it’s a necessary part of life: Get dirty! From digging in the actual dirt of her garden to walking with me through the messy issues that come up in life, she’s never afraid to get her hands dirty.
My parents are seriously some of the most active people I know. They run marathons, they surf, they hike, they cycle, they swim, they paddle board, they ski, they snowshoe, they skim board–you name it, they do it. Whenever I go to see my parents I actually have to train for a few weeks beforehand so I can keep up with them. Mom has been hiking with me since I was a baby in her backpack, and she’s never stopped setting the example for what a healthy, active life looks like. Some day, maybe when I’m a grandma, I’ll be as active as she is!
I can not think of a single dance recital, sporting event, singing competition, science fair, or debate tournament from my years growing up that my Mom did not come to and cheer me on. When I move (which has been an average of once per year for the last 9 years) she always helps me pack up house and then visits me at my new place–even if it’s halfway around the world. She has always been there, physically and emotionally, to support me. It means a lot to know that she is there for me, always encouraging me no matter where life takes me.
I could go on and on and on and on about all that I have learned from my mom over the years. She is an inspiration to me and I look forward to many more years of lessons that I will glean. I love you, Mom! And to all of you amazing mamas out there, keep up the great work–your kids are watching you and learning every day. For better or worse 🙂