I'm a little tardy on my mother's day tribute. I didn't get to talk to my mom on Mother's Day- seems we just talk voice mail to voice mail these days (anyone else have this issue?!). Reflecting on the numerous life lessons I've learned from my mom and hoping that I've gleamed the best parts of my parent’s personalities, I pray that my kids take my most desirable aspects.
A sincere compliment can impact someone's day
Mom can find something on anyone to compliment in a genuine way. Eye color, a smile, their children, their accent.... you name it. What day isn't better when someone notices something about you and actually tells you unexpectedly that you are lovely?
Dreams are possible
Growing up, mom always said I could be Ms. America, if wanted to. I've never aspired for anything like that as a grown up. (I will confess to being 'Ms. Owl' in the 9th grade beauty pageant! big hair, green gown, and a ballet routine to a Gloria Estefan song...) Rolling my eyes whenever I heard her say this as a kid (who likes to be embarrassed in front of their teenage friends?), I was secretly thrilled that my mom would beam with joy and confidence over me. Bottom line: ‘if you can believe it, you can achieve it’. Straight from Zig Zigglar himself.
Life is magnificent
Mom does not take things for granted. Always looking to the bright side, she makes the worst situations seem like a visit to Disneyland. Even a simple meal, prepared by someone else is magnificent! If you really look, really look, there is something wonderful- however small about each & every circumstance.
Always wear sunscreen
Mom, always the Mary Kay Saleswoman (all of my 38 years), has worn sunscreen religiously for all those years and nary a wrinkle can be found on her skin. Make it a routine: sunscreen goes on just like deodorant, brushing your teeth, or eating breakfast.
When you need help, just ask
Mom can delegate tasks to complete strangers! It's unreal! I think this is in the genes. One Christmas, my grandma Walker (mom's mom) gave my husband (fiance at the time) a pair of work gloves for Christmas. Then, sent him out to repair something. Welcome to the family; now get to work! The secret to delegating? Tell them why (people don't want to help when they feel taken advantage of but do want to help when they realize they are needed in some way) and then thank them generously (with praise or reward). (And skip the work gloves as a gift.)
Give generously and without expectation
Mom would give her home (she did this), her car (she did this many times), her last dime (she's done this, too-- only I wish I had been old & wise enough at the time to caution her not to in many cases), or whatever is needed to family, friends, or even complete strangers. We've had a parade of characters live with us growing up, people who were just down and out in their luck which shaped my view on giving. You can talk a good game, but can you really live a generous life? A gift bestowed without motive is the sweetest thing you can give yourself.
When you can't do anything else, pray
Mom readily admits she cannot make choices for her grown children, but she can pray for them and trust that we will eventually make those wise choices.
Thanks mom for trusting me, believing in me, and praying for me.