Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother Knows Best

(Harlem's Heav Hat Boutique)

Happy Mother's Day!

The Pearls of Wisdom I've Learned 
from the Mothers in My life 

Miracles and Blessings, Kiki here at iCafe Woman Moderne, a virtual cafe for inter-generational women who want a place where they can just be.  Whether you're a mother, aunt, Godmother, spiritual mother, other mother or motherly ... you're a gift from God.  Walk in that gift.  Here are five things Mom taught me
I've never forgotten.

1.  Always say your prayers.  
God will give you your answers.

 I remember my sister and I kneeling in front of our bunk beds, our hands clasped, our heads bowed saying our prayers with Mom between us.

There's never been a day that prayers have not
passed through my spirit. 

Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older he will remain upon it.  Proverbs 22:6.

2. Sticks and Stones will Break Your Bones.

When Nasty Pamela Harper yanked the ribbon out of my pigtail on "kindergarten picture day" and called me big head, Mom soothed my tears by teaching me that famous retaliation rhyme I still keep in my head.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me."  My adult translation was that personal verbal attacks and negative perceptions can't break you, unless you give them permission.  Don't give them permission.

An angry man is silenced by giving him a gift!
Proverbs 21:14 

3.  Forgive and forget.  Never hold grudges. 

My sister and I were the other's shadow growing up.  Our personalities often mixed like oil and water.  Sometimes this mixing would lead to one of our bedroom hanger fights.  Mom would take my arm in one hand and my sister's in the other and make us apologize, and then she'd say, "now forgive and forget.  You're sisters ... you don't hold grudges."  

It didn't matter what the fight was about, we never held a grudge with each other.  I've carried that lesson throughout my life.

Be gentle and ready to forgive, never hold grudges.  Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.   Collossians 3:13

4. Let yourself grieve, even if you have to do it alone. 
There were times during personal losses that I couldn't share my grief.  I had to feel it, breathe it and live it for a time, before I could move on.  Often, I had to do it alone.  

But then strength from the struggle arrived one day with two friends I thought I would never meet again:  joy and peace.

... His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

5.  Always wear a slip under your dress.
No explanation needed.
A wise woman builds her house, while a foolish woman tears hers down by her own efforts.
Proverbs 14:1

6. You can do anything you put 
your mind to do.  

I had a second grade teacher who told my mom I would never attend college.  I graduated with a degree in journalism.  

I had a college professor who told me I couldn't work as a reporter.  One of my first jobs out of college was working as a reporter at a financial newspaper.  In high school, I tried out for every musical and play but was never picked for a part.  My senior year I toured Ireland with my high school choir.  Who wants to act in Bye Bye Birdie when you can meet the Lord Mayor of Dublin and perform in Carlow, Ireland. 

 You see where this is going.  Each time I was told I couldn't, Mom's mantra always came to mind.  Over the years this mantra became:  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Another pearl Mom led me to that came from the bible.

 (Pink Cake Box)

Mother of Wisdom Pearls I've Worn 
from the Mothers in My life

(Bamboo Centerpiece)

1. Grace's Mom 
Let Yourself Heal

I moved to New York City three weeks after my father died.  After a tumultuous year that landed me in the hospital with a 104 fever, Grace's Mom told me I needed to return home to heal and regain my strength.  So I returned home.  

As I healed, God guided me on the right path I was supposed to take.   He led me back to New York City, a year later, stronger and wiser.  Let Go and Let God!

SoHo, New York

2. Denise's Mom 
Always Have Courage and 
Be Joyful Even in the Struggle

As Denise's Mom fought breast cancer, her light never dimmed.  Her zest for life brought smiles on the faces of loved ones, often vanishing their fears.  I only met her once, but I'll never forget her light that will shine forever in the hearts she touched.  I should know because she touched mine and I'll never forget her.

(Sticky Buns)

3. Jocelyn's Mom 
Cherish Your Family.  
Love their weaknesses as well as their strengths.

I'll never forget our sticky buns and tea moments.  Since I worked as a freelance writer, I was able to take Jocelyn's mom to some of her dialysis appointments.  Later, we'd stop for sandwiches to take back to her house, or I'd bring sticky buns and we'd share a cup of tea in her sunny kitchen.  She shared wonderful stories about her six children.  

She shared a special connection with each one.  Each child had a memory that the other children did not share.  They were all her favorites.

4. Gervaise 
Stay True to Yourself.  
Don't Follow the Crowd.
When we were starting out on our own, Gervaise and I took different paths.  She chose marriage and a beautiful baby girl.  

I chose a career in a new city and a cheap leather briefcase.   My choice was more acceptable during this time period.  

Women were singing that popular jingle, "I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in pan" ... at water coolers and humming it in the boardrooms.   Stay-at-home moms became unpopular.  In some cases, they were treated with contempt.                (above -  (five generations))       

Now, the playing field is more balanced.  More women are finding economic ways to return home and raise their families, which is the most important job in the world.

5. Ella - My Mother-in-Law 
It's Not How You Start, but that You Finish Strong.
After twenty years of taking a college class here and there, raising three kids and working a full-time job, my mother-in-law received her master's degree with honors in her early sixties.
She never let anything keep her from reaching her goal.  She definitely finished strong and is still going strong today.  I am so proud of her.

What Mother of Pearls Wisdom  
Are You Wearing in Your Spirit? 

Do Share.

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