Sharp About Your Prayers

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Some Good, Motherly Advice

May 9th, 2013 · 18 Comments · Faith and the City

Mothers DayYesterday morning I was listening to the radio. It was a call-in program. I usually reach for the “off” button when a host starts to take calls from the “listening audience.”

This one, however, held my attention. 

The announcer said, “Ok, Mothers Day is coming up this weekend. So here’s my question for all of you: What’s the best advice your mother ever gave you?”

Right out of the gate, the phone-in responses were interesting. The first caller said that she would be forever grateful to her mother for saying that the key to life was “staying strong in the face of adversity.” Other valued motherly advice included:

  • “Always tell the truth.”
  • “Wear sunscreen!”
  • “Find humor in everything.”
  • “The mess will be there tomorrow, spend time with your kids!”
  • “Only God can judge you.”
  • “Keep studying.”
  • “Plan ahead, and don’t be afraid to take a nap.”

A few callers reported that their mothers were not very good at giving advice, or really at mothering. I felt deep sympathy for these folk. I am one of those people who got lucky in the mother lottery.

300px-Belarus-Minsk-Agriculture_Expo-John_Deere_8430My mom was supportive, strong and smart. She was an amazing gardener and cook. She could drive a John Deere 8430 tractor and was crazy competitive at Trivial Pursuit. She wasn’t big on dispensing proverbial wisdom, but I always knew where I stood with her.

Watching her approach life and faith with gusto and grace was all the counsel I ever needed. I still miss her mightily.

I know Mothers Day brings up all kinds of thoughts and emotions, but maybe a good place to start is where the radio announcer did: What’s the best advice your mother ever gave you?

Please post here, my wise friends. I am eager to hear your thoughts.


P.S.  My favorite Mothers Day hymn is actually one that we usually sing on Thanksgiving: “Now Thank We All Our God” which contains the beautiful line, “Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way. With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.”

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18 Comments so far ↓

  • KimNo Gravatar

    Sleep when the baby sleeps. In other words, make taking care of yourself a priority so you can better take care of others. It sounds easy, but sometimes it’s hard to put into practice.

    • SBJNo Gravatar

      Yes, Kim! Makes total sense. Kind of like the airlines’ advice that you “put on your own oxygen mask before you assist others with theirs.”

  • Abby LaugheryNo Gravatar

    Your attitude is a choice you make each day. (Choose wisely!)

  • CharleneNo Gravatar

    My mother taught me the value of marrying someone I respect. She said that while love is vital to any healthy relationship, respect is what keeps you from saying and doing things that might hurt the person you love.

  • TimNo Gravatar

    “Oh, all pushing!” Translation: Don’t worry about how you look, what you’re wearing, who you are, where you’re going … everyone else is rushing around with their own concerns, “all pushing” to get where they are going, and not paying any attention to you. She got the phrase from her own mother, and it comes to mind a lot in the NYC tunnels — a nice reminder to step aside from the center of the universe and let others pass.

  • LouNo Gravatar

    Best advice from Mom came in her knowing it takes a village to raise children before it was popular ~ she knew the importance of community and connected us with the church where I learned about faithful living from fellow travelers.

  • JaniceNo Gravatar

    If you love to read; you will never be lonely.

  • TiffanyNo Gravatar

    “Don’t compare your insides with other people’s outsides” (i.e. it may feel like everyone else has it together, but they probably don’t)

    “Wiggle the doornob” (i.e. just because an opportunity looks closed to you doesn’t mean it actually is — it’s worth a try)

  • DevinNo Gravatar

    Around 2003, mom told me to go to church. Not the right advice for everyone, but it was right for me.

  • LaurenNo Gravatar

    “Assume good intentions.”
    “We judge others by our own intentions and ourselves by our actions.” So see above.

  • NancyNo Gravatar

    Thank you for mentioning “Now Thank We All Our God”…love the line, and will happily be humming it all day.

  • Nancy MooreNo Gravatar

    Don’t sweat the small stuff..and it’s ALL small stuff.

  • JesNo Gravatar

    Advice my mother passed along from my grandmother: “Children are portable. Bring them with you.”

  • Claire ThomasonNo Gravatar

    “Keep the faith girl!” and grandma’s very southern “Be sweet now…” and “just add butter”.

  • Laura FissingerNo Gravatar

    My mother loved art and the arts, creativity, and nature. In action more than words, she taught me to relish beauty of all kinds. Thanks to her
    lifelong example, I do — and thank God for each
    instance of beauty I encounter.

  • JohnNo Gravatar

    I read this to my mom on mother’s day. We both were weepy:

    20 things I have learned from my mother:
    1. You are important to others
    2. Others are important to you
    3. Always get up even when you feel knocked down
    4. No matter what has happened to you no one can take your dignity
    5. never compromise someones dignity
    6. wear good shoes
    7. brush your teeth so its easy to smile
    8. You are loved even when you are being difficult
    9. be grateful to those around you
    10. be compassionate to those that need help
    11. share
    13. take time to learn a poem
    14. create art
    15. its never too late to learn something
    16. rest
    17. take time to listen to people
    18. old friends never go away.
    19. love someone unconditionally
    20. Never, ever be afraid to wear a hat. People smile when you wear a hat.