The Best Lesson, I Hated Most

lessons-i-learned-buttonAs my fingers start to move across the keyboard, my eyes are filled with tears but there’s still a smile on my face. That’s what happens when I think about my mom.

It’s been five years since I’ve been able to celebrate Mother’s Day with her, and I still miss her like crazy.

My mom, like so many moms, was chauffeur, cook, housekeeper, laundress, counselor, painter (walls as well as canvas), gardener, nurse, teacher, party planner, nutritionist, beautician, and decorator. She was also a fabulous hostess, a voracious reader, and a talented seamstress. She could even shoot straight and scare away those critters brave enough to invade her garden and munch on her labors.

She was a Proverbs 31 woman.

1-mom and meI want to tell you about the best lesson my mother ever taught me, and the one I hated most.

It wasn’t a one time . . . teach, learn, move on kind of lesson.

Each time I told her about a disagreement I’d had with someone she would ask, “Why do you think they said or did that? What could you have said or done differently?”

Ooh, how I hated those question.

Why couldn’t she just agree with me?
Why couldn’t she just take my side?
Why couldn’t she just support me?


Because she loved me enough to invest in my future.

Being a mom is hard work.

I’m sure there were times when my mom agreed with me. I promise you, it would have been easier to simply support me, agree with my frustration, and stand with me in battle.

But she was teaching. She knew it was more important to teach me about relationships than to make me happy.

Even when it’s hard, moms are called to teach, influence, and invest in their children’s futures.

My mom knew it was more important for me to know how to really listen to people, to understand other points of view, and to be kind. She wanted me to care more about relationships than about being right.

As much as I hated it, she was right. Every time I stop during a disagreement, take a deep breath and listen, really listen; or make the effort to understand a point of view other than my own . . . I hear my mother’s voice, “Why do you think? and What could you have said or done?

Keep doing the hard work mom.

For those of you in the thick of parenting, you know who you are . . . the ones with non-sleeping newborns, busy toddlers, threenagers, tweens, teens or somewhere in between. Hang in there.

It’s hard, but it’s important. You’re investing.


When it would be easier to just be your child’s friend . . . do the hard work.
When it would be easier to give up or give in . . . do the hard work.
When your child declares you the meanest mom on the planet . . . do the hard work.

Even if they never appreciate it . . . do the hard work.

It’s our calling. I’m so glad I was blessed with a godly mom who honored her calling.

My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life. Proverbs 6:20-23


8 Responses to The Best Lesson, I Hated Most
  1. Mandy
    May 5, 2013 | 10:57 am

    Those are 2 great questions, Deb. I’m going to use them. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Deb
    May 5, 2013 | 1:06 pm

    You’re welcome Mandy. My mom was a very wise woman and a great mom. Blessings to you!

  3. Vicki
    May 6, 2013 | 11:15 am

    Thanks for sharing this. A very good reminder to stick with it when the going gets tough. I’m in the thick of it right now and it can be so hard. I’m going to start asking my son these questions and “do the hard work!”

    So blessed to see it from the other side!

  4. Deb
    May 6, 2013 | 11:20 pm

    Oh Vicki, I’ve been there raising our kids, and I can’t imagine how often my mom wanted to agree with me just to put an end to my constant debates. She was great though, at patiently teaching me to see things from varying perspectives . . . yet always weighed against the Word. Great preparation for life. Blessings!!

  5. Charis
    May 8, 2013 | 2:17 am

    I love what you shared about your mom. My mom always sent me to my room to “pray about my attitude” and as much as I hated it, it stuck with me. You are right- being a mom is hard and actually training and teaching our kids is hard work! It is hard to do or say what needs to be said instead of the easy thing that they want to hear.

  6. Missy
    May 8, 2013 | 7:34 am

    Those questions were very wise ones to ask you. I’ve never looked at the conversations about relationships that my own mom and I had as being fruitful – but your perspective gives me pause. I so appreciated reading this – especially as we close in on mother’s day and reflect on our upbringings. God’s lens is so much more gracious, isn’t it?

  7. Deb
    May 8, 2013 | 4:19 pm

    Thanks for your comments, Charis and Missy. I really appreciate your encouragement. I wish I’d realized the importance of those questions at a much younger age. Glad my mom was willing to do the hard work. Blessings to you both!

  8. Shaun Hoobler
    May 17, 2013 | 8:15 am

    Hi Deb – as a new reader to your blog I though I’d just leave a quick comment here to say I’ve been enjoying it a whole lot. Cheers! Shaun