Life Lessons From Mom
Life lessons from Mom can be invaluable. Carol shares some of the most important life lessons she learned and how they influenced her.
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Reflectng on Life Lessons From Mom
As Mother’s day approaches I took some time to reflect on the lessons I learned from my mother. Oh I discovered some of the obvious ones that she worked hard to impart to me. She believed I needed to learn the skills of cooking, baking, cleaning and doing the laundry before I left home. These lessons began at a young age with small chores based on my age and ability. I had to help dry the dishes, not my favourite chore – likely most children would agree and many mothers as well. Yet it needed to be done each day, multiple times per day. I was only required to help after the evening meal by the time I turned eight. Yet I also remember my mother spending that time talking to me about school projects or our Pioneer Girls group at church. She helped me memorize poems for school and Bible verses as we worked together on the mountain of dishes.
Saturday was the day set aside to clean the house from top to bottom. We lived in a three story house and mom kept boarders. The work never ran out but we also had some time for fun once the cleaning was complete. My first jobs were using the dust rag to wipe down each wooden stair. I bumped my way down from the third to second story, swiping the rag as I went. Then we moved to the main floor. I am sure my earliest attempts landed as much dust on my rear end as on the cloth but I learned to do it in a more grown up, orderly fashion as the years progressed.
Another cleaning chore involved dusting the furniture on each level as I got a couple years older. Mom always had to remind me to finish my chore by the time I reached the dining room I would crawl under the table cloth to dust the intricate legs of the big table. My imagination allowed it to become a secret hideaway and I longed to put away the dust cloth and grab a book instead.
Because we had a house full of boarders and my mother thought it her job to feed them well, I never had to do much cooking until my teens. I would help with little chores while supper cooked but mom considered this her domain and she did it well. Although my mom did not have much money to work with, she made sure no one went hungry in our home, whether family, boarders or guests. I marveled at how much produce she could coax from a small city plot of land. Later I learned how wise a shopper she was in order to provide what was needed to feed up to a dozen at a time when company showed up.
My mother made the budget stretch by sewing all my clothes, often from second hand dresses her sisters gave her. She used the scraps to outfit my dolls with the most wonderful outfits and used others to make quilts to keep us warm. I must admit, by the time I became a teenager, I wanted a store bought outfit like my friends would all get. Looking back on that incident my mother taught me a lesson in an unexpected manner. Her and my dad took me shopping to look at the sales rack of a large department store. I found a two piece suit that fit me, was on sale and I felt made me look very grown up. Instead of arguing that she should sew me the new dress, they bought this one for me. I wore it to church on Easter Sunday and felt amazing. A few weeks later I approached mom with these words, “I suppose you could have made me three dresses for the price of this one?”
She simply nodded. I learned a valuable lesson on finances, a new respect for what my mother could sew for me and one on how to teach a stubborn teenager something without pushing them away.
Life Lessons from Mom
Mom also taught me other life lessons simply by what I observed in her life. She learned to drive a car when she was in her thirties. She overcame her fear of water by taking swimming lessons in her forties. When she started to help with Pioneer Girls camp after that, she learned how to teach archery. She never gave up on learning new skills.
I also watched her interact with others. She would take a jar of homemade soup to an older person in the community or church. She helped take care of her parents and in laws when they needed it and most importantly she made sure to keep in touch with family and friends.
My mother had a heart for children and taught two and three year old Sunday school for over thirty-five years which meant she had the privilege of teaching all of her grandchildren. She believed the little ones needed to know that Jesus loved them. What a wonderful lesson for me to learn through watching her.
My mother was not perfect and there were times we did not see eye to eye on many things. I often wished she would be easier to talk to, less protective and strict when I was growing up but as I remember the lessons I learned from her, I realize how fortunate I was for I knew I was loved.
Later Lessons from Mom
In the last eight months of my mother’s life, she shared many stories from her life. Some I had heard bits and pieces but now she gave more of the facts. She had had a tough life but her faith had grown because of the tough stuff. Her over protectiveness came out of her love for me and her desire for the best for my life. She was not perfect but she cared deeply for her family and friends.
Mom has been gone for over sixteen years and I still miss her. I wish I could ask her one more question or share something special with her. The good memories and lessons learned are part of the puzzle pieces of my life that I truly now appreciate.
As mother’s day approaches, we each have our own stories. Some are good while others are full of hurt or grief. If your mother is still alive, let her know you care. Maybe it is time to make a connection that has been broken or forgive hurts of the past so you can move beyond them. Maybe you are like me and have had to say good bye to your mother. Take some time to share your memories, focus on the positive and what you learned.
I want to wish every mother and grandmother who might tune in to this broadcast a happy mother’s day.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential. She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren. Visit her website carolscorner.ca
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