Just Tell Me

A greeting card company, known for its touching TV commercials (rhymes with ballpark), has run a real sweet spot for Mother’s Day in which a variety of moms are speaking (supposedly) to their child. It goes something like this:

“Just tell me.”

“Tell me I’m a good mom.”

“Tell me I’ve made a difference.”

“Tell me you love spending time with me.”

“Tell me what you love about me.”

“Just tell me.”

As a mom myself, I thought: Yeah, that’s so true. A mom wants to know what she’s done right; that she’s made a real and lasting difference in her children’s lives. Knowing how much this would mean to me, I wanted to tell my own mom what specific things I admire about her. Here’s a portion of my list, in no particular order, that nearly wrote itself:

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My mom, Carolyn, and I

 14 Things I Love About My Mom

• The way you taught me to mother. “I don’t know nothin‘ ‘bout birthinbabies!” So if I have done a good job at all, it’s only because I started with a wonderful pattern. And then through the years you gently nudged me in the right direction, always being a willing resource, but never criticizing or pushing anything down my throat.

• The way you love my boys. Sharing them with you and seeing the way you love each other has been one of life’s great pleasures.

• Your appreciation and enjoyment of life’s simple things. I’m convinced you taught me to live this way, too. Doing so has given me great peace and contentment. That’s a priceless gift.

• The way you’re so easy to be with. Anything goes with you. You find the good in a situation. Every. Single. Time. Life hasn’t always been comfortable or convenient, but you’ve never once complained. You just roll with it, baby! I think this is one of the greatest qualities anyone can have and you have it in abundance. I would love to think I could master this one day, but so far, not so much.

• The way you give yourself, and your things, to others. You’ve never been tied to things of this world, but rather have long been storing up treasures in heaven. Your theme has always been, “I’d rather have Jesus,” so I can’t imagine what your “prepared place” will look like. Can I come for a visit?

• When life gave you lemons, you made lemonade. When you lost daddy at a relatively young age, you mourned greatly, but you didn’t wallow in self-pity. You nearly recreated yourself, exploring myriad new hobbies and interests. And together, all these experiences have enriched your life beyond measure. You are such an inspiration to your family.

• Your appetite to learn new things. You continue to push yourself to learn—first e-mail, then Skype, now Facebook. I’m really proud of you.

• Your great sense of humor. In a self-deprecating way, you’re always teasing: “I don’t know what it is about me that people seem to like so much.” (I do.)

• You let me know I’m good enough. Some people feel they can never live up to their mother’s expectations. And in a nice way, your expectations weren’t so high that I couldn’t reach them, so I’m pretty comfortable with myself. If a person’s mother believes in them, they think they can do anything. And if a person’s mother doesn’t? Well . . . can you imagine?

• I love that you taught me hymns at your knee. Hymns were always a part of our lives—at church, and at home. Those words were so deeply ingrained in me from the beginning that, like Scripture, they surface all the time, just when I need to be reminded and encouraged most.

• You collect friends. You’re loyal—to new friends and to long, lonnnnnng-time friends.

• I love that you’re a sweet person. That sounds trite, but it’s really admirable. You’ve never been sarcastic or moody. You’ve always been even-tempered and approachable. I always knew I was coming home to a mom who would be solid, steady, and welcoming. You may not think much of it, but I feel sure, as mothers go, you are one rare little bird.

• I love that you gave me a carefree childhood. When a person has the type home life and childhood that we had, it anchors them for the rest of their life. And it frees them from entering adulthood, marriage, and parenthood with a lot of baggage. Do you know what an advantage that is?

• I like that you accept people as they are. You see beyond exteriors to a person’s heart. And Who does that remind me of? God.

 I love you for all these things and for many more!

About my mom: My amazing mom, Carolyn Caldwell, now nearly 92, is a delight, not only to me, but also to everybody who knows her. She plays piano and harmonica; is a stand-up comedienne; and is proficient on the Internet, including Skype and Facebook. She loves laughter, babies, hymns, mysteries, hamburgers, candy, and ice cream. She is happy, healthy, and funny. And I am thrilled to have this opportunity to introduce her to you and tell her how much I love her. It may be hard for you to believe that all these qualities reside in one person, but they do. They really do. She is simply the best.

Debbie Whisenant is a Marketing Specialist for LifeWay Marriage & Family. She writes copy and manages projects for anything related to marketing and the LifeWay Marriage & Family brand

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