Like Mother, Like Daughter, Like Granddaughter

The Question: Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us today?

I became a mother on Mother’s Day—14 years ago today. No, today is not Mother’s Day, but it was then, and today we celebrate eh‘s 14th birthday. As the oldest, every new step she takes is a new step in motherhood. Her changes draw me forward to learn; I look back to my mother’s teaching.

To recognize mothers for Mother’s Day, BlogHer is sponsoring a “Mother’s Know Best” series about the things our mothers taught us. I honor my mother and my daughter with some of the things my mom has taught me and the evidence of those in my daughter.

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. My mother repeated this often to her seven children. While it didn’t prevent or end all arguments in our family, I still remember the need to keep negativity out of my conversations and work toward keeping it out of my heart. My daughter holds her tongue more often than she doesn’t. But more importantly, she praises and gives thanks, replacing the bad with the good.

Do your best by setting goals and striving to achieve them. My mother models goal-setting in her life. She is diligent and dedicated in all aspects. Similarly, a woman in our church congregation recognized my daughter’s talents when eh played the prelude music on the organ. While eh was born with many gifts, one of her most important is her dedication to develop those gifts.

Learn to take care of ourselves and become self-reliant. Our household was a busy place but not chaotic. When my younger siblings were born, my mom expected us to work alongside her. With a job chart of responsibilities and an expectation to report on them, we developed life skills that form the foundation of my routines with my own children. The payback comes for me this Mother’s Day when eh promised to make a favorite chicken salad for me.

Live frugally and save for desired purchases. My mom did wonders stretching one income to cover the expenses of a household of nine. We received a small monthly allowance before we had jobs of our own. She showed us how to budget our money, giving 10% in tithing, saving some for our wants, and making a plan for the rest. I repeat this pattern in our home. Eh is saving for a keyboard; she is developing discipline to cover her expenses and save for this item.

Devote yourself to God and serving others. Watching my mother deal with problems, I know she turns to prayer first and frequently. I witnessed many moments of her quiet contemplation and equal time in service to family, friends and strangers. My joy comes, too, from my own active faith and seeing my daughter desire her own.

The evidence of these characteristics in my children is profound and humbling. I do not feel that I can take any credit except just passing it along to the next generation. I did not become a mother on the day of my daughter’s birth. In reality, my mother’s knowledge and experience developed my capacity to be a good mother long before then and continues today.

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3 Comments

  1. Rebecca
    May 8, 2008

    My mother taught me a lot of these same principles. They are such important things to learn and know. I have been a mother for only 5 months now and I hope these traits will pass on to my daughter, as they have in your family!

  2. eh
    May 8, 2008

    Thanks Mom!

    And the keyboard…I got it today for my birthday…now what am I supposed to save up for?

  3. Rachel Corbett
    May 11, 2008

    Our mom rocks!

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