To my Mom: On my First Mother’s Day as a Mommy

There are not enough words to tell you just how thankful I am for you. I am so blessed to be your daughter. You’re a wonderful mom & one of my closest friends.
Now that I’m a mom myself, I hope and pray that my daughter and I can be as close as you and I are when she grows up. Becoming a mom has made me realize how much I look up to you. Now that you’re a grandma, I can also see that motherly love completely overflowing into an amazing grandmotherly love. It’s a really incredible thing to be a part of.
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It might sound weird, but several of the lessons I learned from you came from me simply sitting back and watching how you handled various situations in your life. It reminds me that my daughter will look to me to see how I respond to situations in my own life, and I pray that she will also be able to one day say that I taught her well.

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There are so many things I admire about you. You are the kind of person that doesn’t even realize how amazing they are. You’re beautiful and humble. (You also have flaws – several of which I have inherited, too – but you’re human, so that’s expected). As I am going through this new journey of motherhood myself, I feel like I am constantly reflecting on and clinging to so many of the life lessons you have taught me throughout the years. I also find myself bringing to mind traits I admire about you, which I desire to implement myself as I continue to grow as a mom. If I took the time to write out everything, I would never finish – but here are a few of the things that I want to say “Thank You” for:

You have shown me what it means to be a strong woman, even when being strong is the hardest thing to do. You have been through some of the most difficult things I could imagine and you have shown amazing strength and stability through them all. I admire you for going back to college and graduating with honors all while caring for two kids and your dad after grandma passed away. That must have been beyond difficult to do. I remember your college graduation and how excited you were to finally be finished. You were a huge inspiration for me to continue in school.
I will never forget how strong you were when your dad was very sick in Hope Hospice and getting ready to leave this earth and be with the Lord. Somehow, you knew exactly what to do and say to make those scary moments almost peaceful. Your strength in those moments, and many more, were (and are) so inspirational to me.
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You have taught me what it means to love unconditionally.
I have seen you forgive others and restore friendships time and time again. I have watched as you offered forgiveness to those who have wronged you without holding a grudge or keeping score of wrongdoings. I have experienced first-hand your unconditional love during my teenage years when I thought I knew what I was doing in this life. (We both know now, I didn’t have a clue). You never gave up on me. Thank you. I remember when I went on a trip away from home you wrote notes for me to read every single day that I was gone. Those notes spelled out your desire for me to have a true heart for the Lord and to live my life for Him. Your unconditional love as a mom is something that I especially want my children to see in me one day.

You have shown me what it means to truly be selfless. You will do anything for anyone. You’re always willing to help other people, even if it means staying up till 4 in the morning to finish your own work. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched you put your own work aside in order to help someone else with something. You have been there for several of your friends as they’ve gone through difficult times, even if you weren’t necessarily having it easy yourself. You can have the busiest schedule, yet you somehow manage to take time to help meet the needs of other people.

You have taught me what it means to always be there for others. Whether it’s for advice, Godly wisdom, a good laugh, or just someone to talk to – you’re always there to listen and offer help. When I’ve had a bad day, you’re almost always first person I call. From finding out I was pregnant to calling you about the death of my teacher and everything in between – you have been there for me and somehow you always know exactly the right words to say. You didn’t think twice when I asked you if you could come to South Carolina when I was 38 weeks pregnant because Gus worked nights and I was scared I would go into labor while he was gone. (Even though little miss decided to wait until several weeks later to actually have a birthday!) You have been by my side encouraging me and cheering me on through so many important life events and I am very grateful!!

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You have taught me what it means to be silly. Actually, a complete goofball. We have plenty of home videos and pictures to prove that. You really just taught me to not care about what other people think about me. I love that you’re not afraid to be crazy and sometimes downright embarrassing (or trying to be, anyway). Between your vines, silly “Grandma Sparkles” posts, and hilarious texts – you are one of the funniest people I know. You’re so much fun to be around and I you have a special way of making people smile.

You have taught me that I can’t make everyone happy. I remember learning this lesson very distinctly when I was about 11 years old and you put me back into ballet classes (after I had already been out of them for a while). After three or four classes, I left the dance lesson with tears in my eyes. When we got to the car, you asked me what was wrong. I was afraid to tell you because I didn’t want you to be disappointed that I didn’t want to be a dancer like you were. You explained to me lovingly that I can’t make everyone happy and that if I didn’t enjoy it, I didn’t have to do it. I never went back to a dance class. I have learned this lesson so many times since that point – including when we were working on the seating chart for my wedding. It is a lesson I’m thankful to learn because this people pleaser has to remind herself of it often.

You have taught me how important it is to let your kids chase their dreams. I’m pretty sure that growing up, you let me chase every dream I ever even thought of. Whether it was modeling, gymnastics, dance, horseback riding, acting, or swimming – you have always made it possible for us to try new things and encouraged us along the way. (Even if I was terrible and I never could even do a cartwheel properly). I can’t tell you how many equestrian shows, swim meets, gymnastics lessons, or audition tapes you probably had to deal with over the years. Thank you for all of that. No, I never became an olympic athlete or some famous actress – but I made wonderful memories with you I’ll never forget. I guess you got that from your mom! I know she was that kind of mom for you (taking you out of school to go to New York for modeling/acting gigs, etc. I love that about you and I hope that I can also be that kind of mom to my daughter.

You have shown me what it looks like to be a Godly woman. You don’t walk around with your chin in the air looking down on other people. There’s isn’t a “holier than thou” atmosphere about you at all. You have a special love for people that I know is rooted in your love for God. When I was younger, I stumbled upon some of your journals where you poured out your heart and your requests to God. I’ve also read several of grandma’s journals that were given to me. You are a lot like your mom when it comes to trusting fully in God. That’s something that’s difficult for a worrier like me and it’s convicting to see a faith as strong as yours. I know you have seen Him answer specific prayers many times. You know you’re not perfect, yet you love God with your whole heart. I admire this about you and I hope that I can be an example like that to my children.

58808_424047094564_7155479_nI could go on and on. My point is that I love you and I am very thankful for you. You have taught me so much and even though I still feel completely unprepared for this whole “motherhood” thing, I am confident that God blessed me with an amazing example of a mom I can to look to. Your mom & dad did a phenomenal job raising you, you did a phenomenal job raising me, and I only hope that I can be half the mom to my children that you are to me. I know your mom & dad would be so proud of the woman you are today. You’re amazing.
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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you.

Love always,
Your little girl

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