Growing up, I never understood why there were so many rules and found it hard to not want to be a rule breaker. I am rather a free spirit and take after my dad in the headstrong department, so it made perfect sense (to me at least!) to make up my own rules, and most of the time I did just that. How did that work out for me you ask? Most of the time, not so good, because we all know rules are in place and enforced to guide us, keep us safe and direct us down the “right” path. The path that God intended us to walk; the straight path.
I knew what I was putting my mom through was daunting on the nights when I would sneak out of the house to go to Waffle House at 2am or when I blatantly disregarded curfew or those times of pure disrespect when I sassed her. I wanted to test the boundaries, push the envelope and live to my own decree, but I wasn’t an adult yet and children don’t get to make those choices.
My parents were strict when they needed to be and I was punished for making choices that defied their rules and now, as a mother, I understand why. Looking back on it, we as mother’s only want the best for our children. Growing up in this world is tough, so to have a mother who uses her intuition to help guide us with making good choices is paramount in the lady that you become. And my mom has been there guiding me through it year after year after year with the most open heart.
I am so blessed that because of my mother’s guidance on days when she was dog tired and probably wanted to get rid of me, she hung in there, even if only by a thread: supporting , guiding, encouraging and constantly teaching me. She has been the only constant in my life; always there and always ready to put me and my needs first. From the middle of the night phone calls from college, because I was so homesick, the heartaches of young love, disappointments in friendships, the ups and downs of life, helping me find my identity in this overwhelming world, to being a mom myself, she has shared wisdom, hope, and always knew exactly what I needed at each stage of my life. She has helped shape me to become who God created me to be.
I was asked by my dear friend and mentor Cheryl Scruggs, what I thought it was to be a good mom to a daughter. She was writing a post on what makes a strong Christian bond between a mother and a daughter and my thoughts were reflected immediately towards my own mother:
1) Transparency and open communication. A child cannot be their true authentic self unless she can fully disclose her heart, emotions and faults with their mother.
2) To see your child succeed is what every mother wants; in order for that to happen you must be supportive of the choices and path that it takes to get them there. Your child will make choices that may not be the ones you would like her to choose or choose yourself, but it is imperative to be supportive of what they want. At the end of the day, it is their life and you need to prepare them the best you can, and that includes giving them the wings to fly (and sometimes fall).
3) Love her unconditionally and tell her so. Growing up especially during teen years is extremely difficult for girls. They need to know they have one person on Earth that will be there for them no matter what sin overcomes them.
4) This is the most valuable lesson you can teach your daughter. That she is the daughter of the King and that makes her a princess. That she is more than clothes, jewelry and makeup and is here on this Earth to turn hearts and not heads. That the attributes of kindness, tenderness, purity and virtue, coupled with faith, is what creates the most beautiful heart.
Thank you mom for teaching me how to love the Lord, for guiding me when I didn’t know where to go, for loving me even when I was unlovable, for encouraging me when I was weak, for supporting me even though you knew it wasn’t what you would choose, ministering to my heart and for being a mom that is the best friend I have ever and will ever have. You have been the rock that I so desperately needed.
Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all of you beautiful, strong and remarkable women and Empresses! Let’s keep supporting, encouraging and leaning on one another for strength, advice and leadership, because we all know this is the hardest job we will ever have. I hope each and every one of you are spoiled this weekend, even if you spoil yourselves, because you more than deserve it.