Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Lifetime of Influence

I have the pleasure of knowing so many wonderful and inspiring mothers. They come from all walks of life. Each of these woman have left their footprint on my own life. Their influence has affected my personal view of motherhood in some way or another. While each mother has her particular goals and beliefs of parenting, they have shepherd my heart and helped me to grow in different aspects.

There are too many women I have been blessed to know to list, but here is a glimpse of some of those who have been most influential.

My own mother, of course! She is truly an inspiration. Our walk through life together, along with God's graceful guidance, has given us such a rewarding relationship. I do believe that mom's loving hand still instructs me everyday, sometimes in the most subtle of ways, (and sometimes not!). We may not always agree, what mother and daughter does?!
Her love for God and steadfast relationship with Him has helped to show me my own path with God. Mom rises above the occasion and is ALWAYS the life of the party! She has taught me how to treat people and no matter what, to show the kindness. I'd like to think I get my ability to strike up a conversation with anyone, partly from her. She never meets a stranger. I like that about her. She also doesn't care what people think. I think that that is so inspiring, especially in this day and age where the world is so judgmental and critical.
One of the most wonderful things I am able to share with my mother is our understanding of living with an disease. I know it must sound kind of corny, but she has been the one I can talk to about living with Lupus and the daily rigamors it puts me through. She herself was diagnosed with an dibilitating disease. Matter of fact, she has several health problems, but she keeps moving! What an encouragment! We have both come to realize that God is using us in some way, with our diseases. Yet He has not revealed it, I know we serve a purpose. His timing is not our timing. I'm so glad God chose her to be my mother. I can imagine anyone else's hand to hold through my life.
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My grandmother, Nanny,who is in the picture below, is such an inspiration herself. Hardworking, self-driven and a true "Steel Magnolia". Her life has not been a smoothed paved road, yet she has driven down it as if it was. I am mostly compared to her by our family. We share so many of the same qualities and likes and dislikes. Our love for cooking is also part of our ministry. I mean, if you can't make someone happy through their belly, how can you make them happy?! Food is comfort. We get that! When someone passes to the next life, food is always delivered. Whenever there is a celebration, food is served; get togethers for family and friends- FOOD! You see, it's not just a way to a man's heart, but everyone's! Nanny and I are both very independent. Not always a good thing!
Her ability to rely on herself is what has carried her through life and made her such a success. She is loved by everyone she meets, and is called "mother" by those who are not even her own. She strives to God's work for her without complaint, come to think of it, she doesn't ever complain. I could certainly acquire that from her! In short, her influence is continuing and growing with me. Should I outlive her, I know that her legacy will carry on in me. What an inspiration!

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My step-mom, Lainey, came into my life when I was just a little girl. Of course I attempted to rid my dad of her and sabatoge their relationship from the beginning. Fortunatly, Lainey had my number! She knew the way to an only spoiled child's heart- "the Cabbage Patch Kid"! One of the first one hundred, she selflessly gave "Thurman" to me and forever found her way into my heart and life! She was a mother figure of sorts, but more of a friend. Lainey has always had my best in mind , and I am so thankful that her and my mom have managed to be friends. I believe they learned a valuable lesson that many of split families could learn, that life itself is too short to hold animosity against one another. We are all here to serve God's purpose, not our own. Yet how easily we forget! In short, I believe God not only put Lainey in my father's life for happiness, but in mine also. She helped to fill a hole in my heart at a time in life where it was so wide.

me, nik and lainey

There is another lady who I am so blessed to have had in my life for almost 30 years, my Mama Riley. Tears form in my eyes as I write this, for she is no longer here, but happily in heaven. I could probably write a book on her life and everything she endured. Mama Riley was one of sixteen kids, yes that is correct, sixteen. She was the last to die. Before you think she must have been the youngest, no she wasn't. She ws strong in so many ways. I can only imagine life through her eyes. Mama Riley and I had a very special bond that I will NEVER loose. She took me under her wings the day I was born. She also had the "greenest thumb" I have ever known and passed it to me, thankfully! I can remember from childhood walking with her into the stores and down the plant aisle. She would never buy a plant, just pinch off a leaf and take it home to root. This was not stealing in her eyes! Cracks me up! No, I don't do this! Mama Riley loved to cook, also; must have been the generation. I can still smell the Lowry's Pork Chops baking in the oven! She was such a special lady and I have such special memories that I will cherish til the day I die!

The newest "mother-like" influence in my ife has to be my mother-in-law. Ironically, she has the same love for cooking! Go figure! Yes, it is a southern thing that we belles down here are born and bred with!
Meme, as we call her, has such a giving heart. She loves to help others and does so with a joyful heart. She endures life's tribulations with grace and dignity. How many of us go through complaining and whining?! Not Meme, she may get knocked down, but she picks herself back up! She raised two wonderful and God fearing men, one whom I am so thankful for each and everyday! Her tender heart she instilled in my husband and I have come to cherish this part of him so much! Our relationship has grown in the past eight years and I know it continues to grow everyday. My sister-in-law and I, I hope, are the daughters she never had!

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I truly hope that this Mother's Day you will stop and take a momnet to reflect of the "mothers" in your life and their influence. I can assure you as the sun will rise in the morning, that these women have helped to shape and form you in to the woman you are today! If you and you own mother are having trouble relating or or just not seeing eye to eye, now is the time to "Let Go and Let God". Life is too short to hold a grudge and you certainly don't want to pass along such an ill trait to your own children! God bless all of you mothers and Happy Mother's Day!


Busy Mom said...

Sweet post... Happy Mother's Day to you my sweet friend!

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