Things My Mother Taught Me

Someone sent me a humorous list of reasons we “owe” our mothers.  It made me laugh and cringe because I’ve been guilty of a few sayings that were under fire.  When one of my three children threw a tantrum in a public place (which didn’t happen often), I would lean down and say, “Do you want something to cry about?” 

It got me thinking about things my mother said which have helped me over the years.

One that has popped into my mind numerous times when I’ve been struggling:  “It can’t be sunshine all the time or the flowers wouldn’t grow for lack of rain.”  Or, to simplify:  “This too shall pass.”  Sometimes I can’t wait for that to happen! 

“Clean as you go” was another mantra.  I think this applies to keeping a house clean and neat as well as doing a personal moral inventory on a regular basis.  What attitudes do I need to sweep out? 

“Try to leave a place cleaner than when you arrived.”  While on the book tour this past March, one of the Tyndaleans and I laughed when we both grabbed paper towels and started wiping a public restroom counter and picking up some crumpled paper towels that had spilled out of a garbage receptacle.   When I go out for a walk in the neighborhood, I often carry a plastic bag so I can pick up any discarded soda cans or flyers.  (And, yes, I carry those little blue baggies when I take Sarge for a walk.  Thankfully, I haven’t had to use one yet.)

“Wake up and look out the window.  You might never be this way again.”   In other words, enjoy whatever you see wherever you are.  She also said, “Every place has its unique beauty.”   That’s true of people, too.