Finding Your Way

Life Lessons from My Mom

Mothers are simply the best and my mom tops my list as my first teacher, a loyal friend and a constant supporter. She mothered and cared for five children born over an eight year period. My siblings and I, and our own children, feel that her nurturing spirit revolves around each one of us individually. She’s just that way.

It was not until I had children of my own that I grew to understand her heart. I never knew I could love someone so much. In the early days of Catherine’s medical challenges, I grew further to understand my mother’s nurturing spirit. It is her relentless essence that hopes despite life’s contests and her phenomenal belief that that we have the courage to face what comes our way. Here are a few treasures from my mother that I always keep with me to help manage the challenges I face.

Establish a space of comfort in the home for your loved ones.

My mom always created comfort at home. I grew up on Hilton Head Island, a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina. Our home was surrounded by shallow water, marsh and beautiful palm and pine trees. One of my fondest memories was walking in our home through the car porch door to my room, which I shared with my sisters. During sunny spring days, my mom would often open windows so the fresh Carolina breeze could blow through the curtains. On these days we knew she took a little extra care cleaning and preparing a meal for us. I try to replicate those Carolina days with a bit of Texas flare. This is done with mindfulness so my children know that the comforts of home “can” create solace that can last a lifetime – just like my mom did for me.

It is always mind over matter.

My mom has a saying, “don’t hypnotize your mind!” This was her way of saying get over yourself. Okay you have a trial and yes it “seems” insurmountable, but sitting in fear never gets you to the other side. It did not matter what we faced – whether we were learning how to ride a bike or drive a car, or if we experienced the loss of job or a life threatening illness, my mother’s mantra was the same. She taught us how to pivot (quickly if needed) and not ponder about what could have been, but accept what comes our way. Oh yes, I did fret after learning that my youngest daughter may be born with a diagnosis of Down syndrome. But, I reflected on my mother’s words deeply embedded in my mind. They helped me to face the challenge head on, rather than allowing it to enthrall me.

Find your creative passions.

Let’s face it. Life is busy. There is always an errand, meeting, appointment or commitment we have to fulfill. We are always looking after our loved ones with little to no time for ourselves. My mom worked in the family business while rearing us, took care of our home, supported my father and cared for our elderly grandmother. She had a tremendous amount of responsibility on her shoulders. Nevertheless, she always seemed to carve out time to be creative. She did needle point and sewed outfits for her girls. These days she escapes into quilting. She has a room where she spends countless hours making treasures for her children and grandchildren. It’s her escape or a time to recharge. I’ve found this in knitting, something she introduced to me as a little girl. I would also love to take art classes someday. She’s taught me it’s never too late to learn something new.

My mom will turn 80 this year. We are so blessed to have her and I love her so much! I treasure these lessons from her as they demonstrate the importance of intentional love, a practical mindset and personal growth.  I encourage you to celebrate your mom and the life treasures she has given you.

  1. Savannah Jones says:

    Lillian, these thoughts about your mom brought back phenomenal memories of my own mother who went to be with the Lord in 2003. My best advice came about my children
    My mother told me that I should not be too hard on my children when they came home from school because we don’t know what they had gone through during their day. I pass this advice on to those I love because it is worth its weight in gold.

  2. Denise Wenner says:

    What a wonderful, loving tribute to your mother!
    Have a happy Mother’s Day,

  3. Andrea Cruz says:

    Reading about your mother brought so many great memories of my own infancy! Thank you for sharing her wisdom with us!

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