It has been a long time since my last blog post. I’ve been busy enjoying life, but I’m certainly ready to return to blogging! A special thanks to all the folks that have encouraged me to get back to my blog (mainly you Brother “A”).
I have had ideas to blog about, but I was never around a computer when those thoughts came to me… and I refuse to type a blog on my small iPhone keyboard. Trust me… you wouldn’t be able to read it! Unfortunately, by the time I got in front of a computer, the thoughts had vanished… blame it on OLD AGE! But this topic has made its way from my brain, to the computer, and now to your device! Here we go…
We all have had at least one event in our lives that caused an awakening of sorts… a point where you begin to see what really matters most in your life. This has happened six times in my life: my father’s suicide, my mother’s death, my husband’s cancer diagnosis and death, my younger sister’s death just two years ago, and my own Triple Negative Breast Cancer diagnosis six years ago last month. Each of these events profoundly changed my life. They forced me to assess my life to see where I succeeded, where I failed, and what opportunities I missed. It forced me to define what I loved and what changes I needed in my life. From this, I would make a new plan for the rest of my life. I believe I am now on “Plan G!”
While driving home from Wilmington last Sunday night, I began thinking about my life and where I thought I was headed. I thought that if I could go back in time, I would pay more attention to some of the real-life advice my mother had given me. My mom did not have the best life, but she made a difference in the lives of many. Growing up, she would repeat things over and over again… but like any other kid, I never took them seriously! But now that I am older, I realize the value in all that advice she gave me. It provided guidance for my ever-changing life. So, as I drove home, I considered three pieces of advice my mother gave to me that had the biggest impact on my life. And now I can share it with my grandchildren… and you!
1. Believe in Yourself – The best advice my mother gave me was to not let other’s opinions about me change who I am… but to believe in myself. Oh my gosh… as I left the house I would hear her say, “Remember who you are and what you stand for!” … then she would always add “a daughter of God!” And now my kids have heard me say that thousands of times too! She stressed that it doesn’t matter what others think of you… it’s what you think of yourself that really matters. People’s opinions should never matter in who you believe you are as long as you carry yourself with high morals, respect, and good character. Everyone encounters highs and lows… but these things do not last forever. I have learned that by believing in myself, I can enjoy the peaks, pull myself out of the low valleys, and keep moving forward. Everyone has regrets. But along with believing in myself, my mom reminded me that “who you are today does not define you forever.” That advice alone has carried me through life and helped me believe in myself. Every day is an opportunity to be better than the day before. Some of the best advice I’ve heard is from a speech by Jeffrey R. Holland. He said: “God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams … just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.”
2. Be Respectful and Loving to Everyone – My mother always preached to look for the good in people… it is easy to find. Then she would say to let that good rub off on me. She always reminded my sisters and me to be kind, be empathetic, be compassionate… and then she would say: “be strong in your conviction—stand up for what is good in the world.” How many times have I heard her say… “Be in the world, but not of the world!” She must have known what the world would be like now that I’m grown. She loved to quote the Bible too. “Do unto others as you would like them to do to you!” Her message was to always show love and respect to everyone who comes into your life no matter their circumstance. We are all human. We all bleed red, and we all come from the same loving Heavenly Father. I believe my mom was the first person to ever tell me that “people will forget how you look but they’ll never forget how you made them feel!”
3. Never Lose Hope! – I can hear her right now preaching: “Life is hard! Never give up or lose hope. And never ever underestimate the power of prayer.” My mom taught me to pray very early in life and to rely on Heavenly Father’s love, guidance, and help! That’s probably the biggest and best advice she ever gave me. My spiritual upbringing has guided me and helped me through life innumerable times. I’m definitely a believer… as I have said many times, Heavenly Father loves you… but I am definitely his favorite! I can prove it by the blessings he gives me every day.
Well, I guess I did listen to the advice given to me so many years ago! To recap: believe in yourself, be loving and respectful to all, and NEVER lose hope! Pretty good advice for any and every one. So glad my younger self listened a wee bit!