by Tiffany Griffin

There’s just something fitting about Mother’s Day falling in the month of May.

May, in Texas, can be the loveliest time of year. May can also turn on a dime and sling an F5 tornado at you before you know what happened.  That’s basically how motherhood goes down on a daily basis. Am I right, ladies? As a mom, we do try to do our best but it’s, no doubt, a constant struggle. It requires balance. Balancing between just being a good old-fashioned parent one minute, to confidant or friend the next is a challenge we all strive to excel at. No small task, I assure you. My mother was my biggest cheerleader. She was a true fan through and through and I could simply do no wrong in her eyes. While it was great growing up with that support, I’m not sure that was always necessarily the best thing for me. But, she tried. We may not always get it right. The point is that we make strides daily to do that which we think is best for our children. And, oh how she succeeded in so many ways. She taught me compassion and respect for others. She taught me the value in doing nice things for other people and how that, in turn, made me feel better about myself. I watched her constantly. She was teaching when she didn’t even know it. I watched her work hard and do for herself. The spirit of independence exuded from her actions and I learned how to rely on myself, not others. I learned to not have an expectation of happiness stemming from other people, or worse, money. She was a good teacher.

Recently, I asked a few of my friends, both male and female, “What were some of the most important lessons you learned from your mother?” This proved to be a tough question because moms teach us so much – both through words and action. I hope you enjoy the responses I got and can apply them to your life as these wonderful mothers so gracefully did in theirs. Here are their nuggets of wisdom:

Love without expecting anything in return – live your life this way.

Sacrifice. God first and then family. Always place a priority on family.

Have fun in all that you do. A little crazy is ok, too.

If you love someone, tell them. There may not be another chance.

NEVER throw the first punch. Make sure you throw the last.

Be thankful for ALL things big and small. Appreciation fills your heart.

Find happiness in all that you do. Laughter is by far the best medicine.

Friends, teachers, coaches, siblings, and even stupid high school kids – let no one define who you are. Be you and be the best version of it. God made you that way on purpose and for that you should be proud.

Dance. A lot. Always dance.

Leave a thing a little better than you found it. This applies to people, projects, and certainly dirty dishes. (or your room, the laundry, etc.)

A heart is delicate. Treat every heart you encounter as such.

No matter what happens, know that you are always loved. Always.

Pretty solid advice from some pretty wise women, if you ask me. I could read a list like that even if it were a mile long. We are truly fortunate in this community to be surrounded by some pretty mighty women. Moms, aunts, and grandma’s around here are such a guiding influence on my children and me. If I had to guess, I’m betting you’re thinking of a mom right now that’s made a tremendous impact in your life – whether your own mom or a mom not related by blood. That’s the great thing about the good ones. It’s not just their own kid’s lives they’re shaping, but lives of the kids around them, too. One that comes to my mind, locally, is Jennifer Huffman.  Besides the full-time job of mothering 4 kiddos, she is also a financial advisor by day. One of her sons is adopted from Haiti, but no less a part of her wonderful team. She Chairs a local women’s organization called Power of Heels and sits as President for her kid’s PTO. The kids are highly involved in sports and church and, yet, she still somehow manages to run it all and maintain the sanity of the group while doing it. I can think of others that have learned to live life with a disabled child or been dealt a hand that they hadn’t necessarily planned for. I know moms who don’t ever get to stop being moms because their kids require attention beyond the age of 18. I’m so proud of each one and I learn constantly from them.

Jennifer Huffman and family

Jennifer Huffman and family

Wow! That’s all I can say. If you asked any of them, they wouldn’t think anything of it. That’s just what a mom does. Extraordinary tasks accomplished everyday without expectation, because that’s what moms do. We love our kids. We want the best for them. We really do. I say, you find that mom that you’re thinking about now, and about 10 others, and take a minute to tell them how special they are. Tell her she is mighty even if she doesn’t realize it. A kind word or compliment is the very least we can do for the special ladies in our lives. It does make a difference. It’ll make you feel better, too. I know this because that’s what my mom taught me!