“Don’t worry about being right, Christy. Just worry about being kind.” My mom’s voice still echoes in my mind when I want to get the last word in a disagreement. Those aren’t just her words, however. They were my grandmother’s words before that. My grandmother, Tilly Irene, instilled kindness in my mom, who instilled it in me.
Mothers have a way of doing that, don’t they? They don’t just raise you; they shape you. They help develop you into the best version of yourself you can become. So in celebration of Mother’s Day this Sunday, I want to share with you five of the most important qualities that my mom instilled in me. She didn’t just teach me these things; she lives them. And as a result, I live them as well.
- Perseverance. It doesn’t matter what life throws at her. There is nothing that can stop my mom when she sets her mind to something. (Sound familiar? Being hard-headed runs in my family!) It’s not that she doesn’t get knocked down, but she never stays down. She picks herself back up, dusts herself off, and just keeps going. I love the quote by William Feather: “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” That’s mom, alright! She’s a fighter and a survivor, a mover and a shaker and I love how she never, ever, ever gives up.
- Kindness. My mom has such a big heart and she is so kind to others. Whether it’s a customer in her cake shop or a neighbor in need or a complete stranger on the street, she’s got an incredible gift of empathizing and putting herself in their shoes. She imagines how they would feel and as a result, she is always kind. And like I said, she also learned that quality from my grandmother. “Don’t worry about being right,” she says. “Just worry about being kind.”
- Confidence. People often confuse confidence and arrogance, but they aren’t the same thing at all. Arrogance is thinking you’re better than others, but confidence is different. Confidence is just believing in yourself—believing in your ability to try, believing in your worth and value and effort. Mom is confident enough to speak up for herself and stand for what is right. Her confidence fuels her to envision big dreams and go for big goals. She believes she can do whatever she sets her mind to. Where there’s a will, there’s a way—and with mom, there is always both.
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- Gratitude. I believe that this quality is a gateway to every other positive thing we get in this life! When we’re grateful, we are content. We have humility. We’re happier. We’re kinder. We’re more attractive. We’re more giving. We have better relationships. We make others feel better. When we’re grateful, I believe we can even see God more! This quality is so important in life and I am thankful mom modeled it for me. Mom is grateful for the smallest, simplest things. Even things that you wouldn’t even think to be grateful for because they are just a given, she appreciates!
- Generosity. Generosity is a natural result of gratitude. As my friend Chris Brown says, “Generosity is gratitude in action.” There is nothing in the world that my mom wouldn’t do for me. She has come over in the middle of the night to help me when my boys are screaming and crying and I’m at the end of my rope. She has helped clean my house when I’m hosting a baby shower and running behind. She’s picked me up when I blew out a tire and my husband was out of town. She’s brought me groceries as a surprise just to help out. But it’s not just me, either. She is that person that really would give a homeless person a shirt, or a meal, or a job, or a place to sleep—and I’ve seen her do every one of those! Being generous is not only a choice; it’s a part of who you are. I am thankful it’s a quality that my mom showed me.
Mom has modeled so many amazing qualities for me, but these are my five favorite. These are the ones that have impacted my life the most, and they are the five most important qualities that I want to model and pass on to my own children, Carter and Conely. I pray that my boys grow up to be men that persevere when times are hard and are kind even when someone doesn’t deserve it. I pray that they have the confidence they need to speak their mind, stand their ground, and go for whatever they set their mind to. And I pray that they become men that are grateful for anything and generous with everything.
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Mom, thank you for these gifts that you’ve given me that I hope to give to my boys. Thank you for the gift that you are to me and so many others. Happy Mother’s Day!