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One of the Many Things Mom Taught Me

May 9, 2010

This is my mom:

We got to attend a ladies’ luncheon last weekend. It was the first one we’ve been to together since I was a teenager. A real treat for me!

Since I started this blog only in January, this will be the first opportunity I have to write about Mother’s Day. I thought for a while what to write about. A funny list of things that moms put up with, an analysis of a mother from the Bible, how I feel about my role as a mom…these are all ideas I had. And all ideas I may save for future years. But this year it seems that the right thing to do is pay a tribute to my own mother. There are a multitude of wonderful things I could say about her but since you put up with my ridiculously long birth story, I won’t put you through another post that long for a while!

There is one thing that my mom said on several occasions when I was growing up. It was never something we sat down and had a talk about, but rather something she would just say now and then. I think of this phrase several times a week at least.

“You can’t change other people no matter how hard you try. You can only change yourself.”

It is this phrase that pops into my head when I get frustrated with those around me. I can not change what other people do, but I can change how I respond. Usually I do not respond very sweetly to adverse situations. It is one of the things in my life I’ve been trying to work a great deal on. What if I responded to someone’s mean remark with something sweet instead? What if I tried to help someone who was being completely unhelpful to me? Sure, I can influence and manipulate others, but I will never be able to change the behavior of another person.

From this truth that my mother has taught me, I stemmed my own saying.  The first time I thought of this was in high school. Boy, kids in high school can be just downright mean. When I got teased by someone instead of thinking awful things about them or ways I could ‘get back’ I started to say in my head, “kill them with kindness.” I would get so angry with them and just repeat that phrase over and over in my head. It is probably not the best saying to be dwelling on and I have since replaced “kill them with kindess” with something a bit more Biblical.

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another; even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

Now when I get angry at someone I repeat in my head “Be ye kind. Be ye kind.” Of course, it’s not always the first thought that pops into my head, but I’m working on it.

My favorite part of being a Mom is seeing my own children learn the truths that I teach them. It is especially rewarding when they really grasp a truth from the Bible.

Mom, I know I’m an adult now, but I’m still learning those things that you taught me as a child and as a cantankerous teenager. They really did stick and I’m still growing. Thanks for your patience with me. You’ve been the most influential teacher I’ve ever had. I love you!

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