Friday, May 8, 2009

I was blessed with an incredible mother! She taught me so many things, but especially the ethic of work. "If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well." I learned how to clean house, care for children, cook, plan menus and shop because she became a working mother soon after WWII and I needed to do those things before she came home from work. (It was the least I could do - she spent some of her precious earnings on clothes for me while I was in high school so I'd have something to wear besides "home-mades and hand-me-downs.)

I didn't know we were poor when I was growing up because basically most everyone else in our little Mormon community in Idaho was in the same situation, and because we had enough to eat and other necessities. But it was Mom's management skills that made the difference between poverty and getting by with grace. I'll be eternally grateful for learning those skills from her.

She taught me to pray. I found her on her knees many times pleading with the Lord for whatever blessing or skill she needed. I watched her accept callings that absolutely terrified her because she didn't feel she was capable of fulfilling them. But she accepted them, and did her best, and the Lord made up the difference. That taught me faith. I learned that with the Lord's help, we can do the impossible. I'm so grateful for that knowledge!

Mom didn't do anything halfway - she became an accomplished seamstress, having learned the art from her mother and grandmother. She made all of our clothes (I have three sisters) and all of our doll clothes from Santa. She then graduated to making exquisite lingerie and heirloom quilts. She passed to me that love of creating with fabric and I even dared to make two of my daughters' wedding dresses, figuring if Mom could do it, I could too. She taught me self-confidence in that way.

I'm grateful for my mom andblessed by all I learned from her, but Glenn's mom taught me many important life lessons, as well. She was in every way my other mother. She taught me unconditional love and forgiveness. Of course, that is a lesson I'm constantly working on to perfect, but she showed me how it was done and what incredible results it could bring.

Glenn's mom had an inquisitive nature and wanted to know the name of every flower and tree she found. When they traveled across the US to visit us wherever we were stationed, she stopped and picked a leaf or blossom and researched it, then put it in a scrapbook with all the photos of that trip. She loved learning new things. Though she has been gone for ten years now, I still find myself wanting to call her and say, "Guess what I found today!"

Both of our moms were excellent cooks and set a beautiful table. They both loved entertaining, whether their circle of friends or gathering family around. Holidays just aren't holidays if we aren't surrounded by family - patterns and habits learned from our mothers.

I hope I've been the kind of example to my children that our mothers have been to me. I was heartened when my daughter-in-law related a little episode between her and my son. She was struggling with some decision in a calling and asked for Greg's advice. He asked, "What would Jesus do?" She said she couldn't visualize the Savior being in this situation so she was still at a loss as to how to handle it. Then Greg said, "What would my mom do?" Shannyn said, "Then I knew what to do because I knew how you would react." That was the ultimate compliment. Just maybe I'm on the right road and setting the proper example, as did our wonderful mothers!

Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful, special mothers!!


Valerie said...

Lynn, of course you had a great mom. You're an amazing person and it makes sense that you had a great example and got an excellent start in life. And I have NO doubt whatsoever that your children are getting the best example possible. Lucky them to have you, lucky me to know you :-)

Hugs, Valerie

Cheri J. Crane said...

Your mother sounds a lot like mine, Lynn. =) They are great examples to follow.