1. What you criticize in others, you likely do yourself. Momma took the lesson a step farther. What you criticize in others you probably are aware of because it’s something you already do in your heart.
It was Momma’s form of “get that log out of your eye before you go picking around in someone else’s.” (Momma’s translation)
“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5 (ESV)
“get that log out of your eye before you go picking around in someone else’s.” (Momma’s translation)
It may be I claim a tiny piece of credit in teaching her that one. No one can reveal a person’s inner being like a child who brings out the beautiful and the ugly in bright neon lights for all to see and hear. Undoubtedly I did the same favor for her as my children have for me, and theirs for them and I’m pretty sure the unveiling will continue.
Momma’s words whisper in my ear “what’s in your heart,” when I tend to jump to criticism about others, which is far too often.
2. If Daddy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
Dad loved a really hot foot bath with minerals and salts rising in a cloud of steam from a green plastic tub. Mom prepared the hot water concoction. Dad would lift a white foot with its ugly toenails and gingerly dip a toe. Then he hefted both feet over the edge and into the water.
“Ahhhhhh,” he’d sigh, lay his head back and close his eyes.
Mom left him to his foot soaking bliss and busied herself somewhere else until the water got cold.
At his call, she’d hurry back, lay a towel and wrap his feet. After that he was on his own. Once he asked me to wrap his feet. I was in junior high.
“Eeyuu,” I scrunched my nose and backed away.
Jesus in the hours before He was crucified washed his disciples feet.
“Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
“After all, what part of loving one another doesn’t apply to a wife serving her husband?” I hear Momma say in spite of Dad’s toenails.
Peter, whose first reaction was more like mine changed his response, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head.” John 13:9 (ESV)
Dad was treated like a king, and although in today’s world their rigid traditionalism might be criticized, I loved it because it stemmed from a heart deeply rooted in putting others first. Scripture, including those “one another’s” for Momma applied to marriage too.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13: 34 (ESV)
The lesson of serving one another is good for marriage and powerful transferred to service of the King.
3. Put on your Sunday best. This lesson went along with scissors are evil on Sunday. Back in the day, dressing for church was a big deal.
I know Jesus looks at the heart. I understand outward appearance tripped up the Pharisees, Sadducees and all manner of religious folks.
But for Momma, Sunday attire was for Royalty. We dressed for the occasion. Entering those doors with a certain pomp, ceremony and ruffles as a kid felt like walking into a sacred palace, and I looked forward to it all week. Today I blend in with other worshippers in jeans, ah but then a line separated denim on the farm and a special appearance before the King of Kings.
When Momma made sure we knew Sunday was a day set apart from all the others, it helped us to participate in greater truths. When she looked us up and down in our Sunday best, it was with an eye of Who we were honoring.
“Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy,” (Exodus 20:8) wasn’t meant to confuse us with rules about a day, but to train our hearts to be still and give Him the honor and space in our lives we need to reflect on the Lord of the Sabbath.
And when scissors were banned on Sunday…Ok, so I really have no idea what that had to do with it. It was just part of Momma’s lesson that Jesus was worthy of our Sunday best.
4. Soft answer. Still working on that one.
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (ESV)
Momma had mastered the soft answer.
I took after Dad.
5. Turn your heart to Jesus before falling asleep. Every night Mom sat on the edge of my bed before I drifted off to sleep and read a Bible story. We talked a little and prayed a little.
“…I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night…” Psalm 63:6 (ESV)
Momma’s love for Jesus wrapped me like a warm blanket before I drifted off. Turning my heart to Jesus before I fall asleep is still a good way to end the day. Momma in the light of the lamp, sitting on the edge of my bed is one of my favorite memories in a repertoire of lessons from Momma.
What are your lessons from Momma?
Past Blogs about Mom and Mom’s
Mom and the Week of the Goat
When Mom Called me Sis
That’s what Mom’s do
Where do the prayers of a Mom go?
My Mom, a Bar of Soap and Clean Talk
Sylvia, this is a beautifully written tribute to you mom and shows us the way God’s Word applies to daily living. Thank you.
Thank you Jeannie. You are such an encourager and I do appreciate your comment so much.
Sweet post, Sylvia – and Happy Mother’s Day to you!
Happy Mother’s Day Rebecca. I hope it is filled with the blessing of being a mom and memories of the love of your own. I appreciate you reading and commenting.
You must be a certified deep-sea diver, bringing to the surface not only your own treasured memories of your mother, but mine as well!
Mary, I am so glad you have wonderful memories as well. So grateful for the godly wisdom and teaching of moms. And, I don’t even really know how to swim, but I love the compliment! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
I love how beautifully your write, Sylvia. When I saw your mother’s photo I saw you. May your children feel similar things about you (except for that scissors thing that I don’t get either). Janet and I miss you an Phil.
John, when you comment I am honored. I love your podcasts. We tend to binge on them while traveling. Like everyone we look forward to being back on the road again! We miss you and Janet as well. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!
This really touched me Sylvia. I really try to be the example of Jesus in our home. I wonder if my children will remember that when I am gone.😌I especially enjoyed your story of your mom preparing the foot bath. She was a great example to her family and of servant heart.
That she was! Thanks Joyce. I think at this time in life and history we do ponder about the someday. I know I do. May Jesus be the legacy we leave, and may it continue on through generations. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
OHHHH!!!! How precious!!! God is SO good to have given us godly moms!! The sad part of my history I didn’t recognize the treasure my mom was until I was older, much older. 🙁 Praise the LORD for His mercy and forgiveness!!:) Syl, thanks AGAIN for your beautiful sharing of motherhood!!! Precious memories! The Happiest of Mother’s Day to you!!
Thank you so much Marilyn. Being a mother certainly opens your eyes to our own, doesn’t it. Maybe being a grandmother even more. I’m so glad you commented. Thanks!
I so loved this post Ms. Sylvia. I think back and there’s a lifetime of lessons mama taught us kids. Three that always stand out for me are; “1) Greet the world with a kind word and a smile, you never know when you’re entertaining angels. 2) Remember to pray with J-O-Y (Jesus, Others, then You). 3) Always keep God’s word handy; you never know when you’re going to need it.” My adopted mom gets all the credit for any goodness in me. My dad gets all the credit for honesty, integrity, and a strong work ethic; oh and goodness and charity too of course.
Such great lessons. I am so glad you shared them J.D. We have so much to be grateful for, don’t we? Thanks for reading and I just love the comments.
Eva F. Olfert
Sylvia, that was your best post yet! I guess it just resonated with me. However, I hasten to say that it was my Dad who mentored and nurtured me. Without him I’m not sure how I would have survived. I moved to Turlock,CA, to Covenant Living first of Nov, a most wonderful residence for us ” old folks” and I’m less than a mile from Carl, Jennifer and the family. I’m overwhelmed by God’s goodness to me. What a Mother’s Day gift. Eva
Thank you for the kind compliment. I am honored you read it and took the time to comment. I’m glad it reminded you of the nurturing and mentoring of your Dad. It is the thankful spirit you possess that blesses me each time you respond. Thank you Aunt Eva.
great reflection from a great Mom, thanks Silvia.
Thanks Andy. I appreciate that! Thanks for the read and comment.