My mom taught me most things by simply doing them herself.
For instance, my mom didn't tell me to exercise because it was good for me. But she took me along with her while she did it. I remember many evenings of watching the sun go down while we ran the stairs at the high school football stadium during my sister's cheer practices, or how she was adamant about going for a brisk walk after dinner, or how she always invited me to join her for her morning 6am swim she did 3 seasons a year.. She showed me that good health was important, that it was worth her time and energy and focus. Yes - she was truly that disciplined. Still is, actually. I chalk it up to her catholic school girl roots.
Now that I'm getting older, I find myself in awe of my mother more and more. She lives with such intention and grace, in some ways I feel like I fall so short of the example she's set. But I guess that's why it's called a journey, right?
She's the mom that prayed for me every morning in the car ride on the way to school, the woman who invited strangers over for Thanksgiving dinner because "everyone needs to be loved during the holidays", the woman who folded six stacks of laundry before dawn and gave me and my sisters her hard-earned Christmas bonuses so we could shop for presents for our friends. She's bossy, she's opinionated, incredibly witty, and she says words like "sex" that always make me and my sisters giggle because it sounds like "sax" with her little Michigan accent. She's a magnet, my mother. Everyone is drawn to her light, even I am still stunned by her, after all these years of knowing her, flaws and all. She's not perfect, she doesn't pretend to be perfect, but we do sort of tease that she's like Mary Poppins, "practically perfect in every way."
I wish everyone felt this way about their mother. I know that's not the case. I don't mean to make her sound like a cartoon-y, idealist kind of woman, but ask anyone - she's the real deal. And also, I just really get a kick out of her. Because aside from all the wisdom she dispenses at a moment's notice, she also wears teenager-y rompers from Target and for mother's day this year she invited me to go get an organic spray on tan with her. I was like, "Wait, what? You do that??" She's ironic in the funniest, coolest kind of way.
She lost her own mother at age 19, and my mind is blown over how (seriously - howww?) she did adulthood without her mom guiding her. Because I would be lost - lost, you guys - without her.
And even though she's led mostly be example and less so by words, I wanted to share a few lessons I've learned from her little sayings throughout the years. In light of Mother's Day :)
- Prayer is more powerful than you can imagine. Pray, pray and then pray some more. For anything and everything - pray.
- Lipstick brightens your face, so if you're only going to wear one item of makeup, make it lipstick.
- Always take a walk after dinner. It's the best thing for your digestion and metabolism.
- Clean up after yourself before you leave a room. That way you won't have a trashed house at the end of the day.
- Think before you speak.
- Use borax when you do a laundry load of whites.
- When people ask you for help, help them. Even when it's for help in Target and you don't work there but for some reason they think you do ;)
- When you see an ambulance pass by with sirens, pray for life for that situation.
- Just stop eating GMO food already.
- While we're on the topic of GMO food, when you do find non-GMO popcorn, purchase a bulk order of it. (It's her favorite all-time snack).
- When hosting a party, serve less appetizers than you think you need and more drinks than you think you need. And always, always have a catered Publix dessert on hand. People like petit fors.
- The ocean can solve a myriad of problems tangled up in your head. When in doubt, drive to the beach and let it calm your mind.
- Forgive everyone and don't hold grudges. Unforgiveness will damage your heart for the long run.
- Vacuum underneath your baby's crib once they're asleep. It will help them learn to adapt to noise, and also, your floors could always use a good vacuum (her sentiments, perhaps not mine...)
- Never mop before a party. People won't notice your floors. Mop immediately after the party so that your floors are cleaned up from all the people.
- Read ingredient labels.
- Deer don't eat geraniums. So plant lots and lots of geraniums.
- Never stop doing your research.
- Visit Michigan in the summer because there is nothing like a summertime bonfire along the Great Lakes.
- Being married and having children is the hardest and best thing you will ever do.
- Live close to where you and your husband work. Commuting sucks and ultimately it keeps you from having quality family time.
- Don't forget this one - It's all about Jesus.
Happy Mothers Day to all of you amazing moms who lead largely by example and a little by words. I hope your day is sweet and I hope you are celebrated in the way that makes you feel like the most loved, appreciated, treasured women you are. :)
P.S. - My first mothers day and revelries of my mother.
P.P.S. - The top photo is an old one of my mom and Everett at Serenbe Farms from when he was just over a year old. I love their relationship, it makes my heart melt a little bit :)