5 Simple Truths I Have Learned from my Mom

Moms are amazing. They have the hardest job in the world, and they don’t even get a manual or training on how to be a mom. They learn as they go. And one thing I have learned from watching my mom is that they don’t stop. Their job doesn’t go from 9-5 and then they get to go home. They don’t even get weekends off. You could say the same about dads, but the moms are usually the ones who are at home cleaning up messy faces and dirty hands (not to mention the piles of laundry that go along with the messy faces and dirty hands).

What’s my reason for saying all of this? I suppose it’s because I have learned so much from my mom, whether it’s from the things she does or what she says. I thought I might share 5 simple truths that I have learned from my mom:

1. You should care about what other people think of you – even if you only care a little bit. People watch you every day. And for me, I have two younger siblings who watched me while we were growing up. I consider myself the guinea pig of the family because I’m the oldest and my siblings watch what I do (sometimes I also call myself the lab rat, but my mom doesn’t like that one too much). Not caring about what other people think of you might be ok for a while, but if you plan on getting a job, you should probably care about what your future boss thinks of you.

2. Fake it till you make it – I know this is cliché, but my mom has said this to me so many times. “But Mom, I don’t feel like being nice.” “Fake it till you make it.” Just because I don’t feel like being nice doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be nice. And this one simple truth helped me get through high school and now college.

3. It’s ok to not be ok – Fake it till you make it is applicable to a lot of situations, but when you’re really not feeling it… it’s ok to not be ok. My mom has shown me that not being ok is actually perfectly fine. In fact, it’s probably better to not be ok all the time because it eventually makes you stronger.

4. Be nice to mean people – This one is tough. My mom likes to use Proverbs 25:21-22 which says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you” (ESV). I think my favourite part of this verse is the very last part “and the Lord will reward you.” It’s true. My mom has had to tell me, my sister, and my brother that being nice to mean people will bless you and you will feel better for doing it.

5. Look presentable – This one might just be my mom’s British side coming out. She puts make up on to go to the grocery store or Wal Mart, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I do it, too. Looking presentable just makes you feel so much better, too.

And there you have it. Some simple, but valuable, truths.

The War on Beauty

Beauty: a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight. A combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense.

Let’s get right to the point. Beauty has been defined, redefined, and redefined some more since the beginning of time. One thing has stayed constant: the definition of beauty is an opinion. The reason the definition of beauty has changed over the years is because people can’t seem to make up their minds. In the 1940’s and 50’s, a full figure meant you were healthy. Women in advertisements had curves. Only recently has society decided that being tall and ultra skinny is beautiful. And you want to know what? Not one time in history was society wrong in their definition.

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I have heard so many people complaining about the definition of beauty. The problem is that people have taken it to another level. It is no longer the fact that if you don’t fit the stereotype then you are not beautiful. It has become that if you do fit the stereotype, you are also no longer considered beautiful. I would like to point out something. Dove and Victoria’s Secret both have campaigns that claim you should love your body. However, there is one difference. Dove does not have any slender girls in their campaign photo. Victoria’s Secret is only slender girls. All I’m saying is that at least Victoria’s Secret is consistent in their message.

And I know some of you might be thinking “You’re only saying this because you yourself are thin.” Ok, let’s go to the flip side. Dove doesn’t have any girls who are on the more curvy side in their campaign ad either. They have typical looking girls, which is fine, but it’s still not consistent. So what I would like to know is why are we, as women, having such a war with each other? We have brought this on ourselves. You can blame men as long as you want. You can complain that every guy you know only likes thin girls (I for one, have guy friends who like girls with curves). The issue still remains with us. If we are rooting our confidence in the ever-changing definition of beauty, then our confidence will always be changing.

Why can’t we just root our confidence in what God defines as beautiful? If you don’t know what God defines as beautiful, I suggest picking up a Bible and looking up Psalm 139. Maybe if we did that, we would stop putting each other down. Maybe if we did that, we could learn to define beauty as something more than just weight and a pretty face. Maybe if we did that, we would learn to love not only ourselves, but each other.

Confidence Beyond Comparison

The other day I was doing some deep thinking (in the shower, naturally), when I had a realization. Everyone has at least one thing that prevents them from doing something in life. This one thing could be a fear, a physical problem, an emotional problem, or a spiritual issue they haven’t dealt with. And then I realized that almost everyone compares themselves to other people. We envy people who don’t have the same “one thing” as we do.

So for example, let’s say someone has a fear of heights and they talk to someone who is pretty fearless and jumps off cliffs (this may or may not have happened to me lately…). The fearful person might walk away thinking, “Wow, I wish I was that brave. I would love to jump off cliffs if I didn’t think something terrible would happen.”

If that example wasn’t good enough, imagine a young girl who doesn’t like a part of her body. It could be her nose, her eyes, or her weight. And then she sees other girls who have pretty noses, eyes, and who look pretty fit. This young girl with this insecurity (planted there by the Enemy through other people or magazines), if she is not careful, will become jealous of these other girls. But the truth is, these other girls who seem to have it all together, have their own “one thing” that they are dealing with.

Theodore Roosevelt said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I definitely agree. It’s hard to be joyful when all you’re doing is looking at yourself negatively. Comparison only brings you to the realization that no one is perfect. Comparison won’t get you a new body, different coloured eyes, a fearless spirit, or a growing faith. The one thing that will get me to love my body, my eyes, and help me to conquer my fears and grow my faith is a deep relationship with Jesus Christ. The only Person we should compare ourselves to is Christ, because He is the standard, and He is perfect. Jesus doesn’t have that “one thing,” but He can help us to look past our “one thing” and we can overcome our insecurities with His strength.

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