Words of Wisdom from My Mom and Mom-in-Law

The best conversations with mothers always take place in silence, when only the heart speaks. ~ Carrie Latet

For those of you blessed to still have your mother or someone who fills that role in your life, be grateful. Many of us are mom-less, having lost our moms to disease, divorce or some other consequence.

Thankfully, her words of wisdom play inside your head (have you noticed?). I’d like to share a few from my mom and mom-in-law.

If it’s not good, it’s not God. This was one of my mom’s favorite expressions. It helped her cope with the negatives of her life. You see, she knew that there is an unseen enemy in this world who is trying to stop the blessing and harmony God intended. Instead of blaming God, she clung to the knowledge that “Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly” and that He is “the same, yesterday, today and forever.”

Life is great if you don’t weaken. This one plays in my head the most.  Mom pulled this one out when something didn’t fit her plan … or mine. She would sit at her desk, working on bills or some other problem, and I’d hear her say it to herself. Whenever I would complain about some ‘catastrophe’ in my life, she reminded me that life is not always easy. That it takes guts and grit to deal with the STUFF. She would tell me, “You are stronger than you think you are – deal with it. Life is great if you don’t weaken.”  Then she reminded me to look for the ‘great’ part … to count my blessings even in the middle of the mess.

Did you clean the bathtub? This one I never really understood. Every time I was going to have company, Mom asked me, “Did you clean the bathtub?” I always told her, “Mom, they’re not coming to take a bath, they’re coming for dinner.” I would clean the living room and kitchen, but mom knew they would also be in the bathroom.

I think it was her way of saying, “Don’t neglect the small stuff”. Making a good impression requires attending to ALL the details, not just the big ones, or the ones you like best. For her, the bathtub was always the hardest to clean, on her knees, scrubbing away with Comet and a sponge. But she wanted people to know she took pride in her whole house, so the beds were made, the bathroom cleaned, and the floors scrubbed – even if no one ever saw them.

Have some more! My mother-in-law (and her mother before her) has the gift of hospitality. When family or friends drop by, there is always more than enough to eat. “Have some more!” Mom always says. It is a ‘loaves and fishes’ mentality that there is always enough to share. No matter what is going on in your life, you have opportunities to tell yourself and others, “Have some more!” Help yourself to more peace, beauty, joy, love, and friends. Smile more. Share more. Give more.

Sing when you iron (or scrub the floor, etc).  Mom hated ironing. Period.And Dad only wore white starched shirts, even when he was mowing or working outside! Often he would change at noon, so he looked ‘crisp’ for the rest of the day. That meant a lot of shirts in the laundry.

I never knew until I asked her one day, why mom always sang when she ironed. I thought it was because she was happy. She told me, “No, it’s my least favorite job. I can’t make it go away. All I can do is find a way to make it easier. Singing helps.”

You’ve heard, I know, that attitude is everything. Mom put that to practical use by singing hymns whenever she had to do something she didn’t want to. What can you do to make the tough jobs easier? (By the way, my mom couldn’t carry a tune in a basket, but the Bible says  “make a joyful noise”, not a beautiful one.)

What’s your favorite memory of your mom? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your story.



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