I’ve always wondered how I could be so blessed to have not one, but two women in my life who nurtured me, encouraged me, and inspired me to be all I can be.
Each of them represents differences, but they also share similarities. One I’ve had for 56 years. The other for 37 years. My mom and my mother-in-law are the best of both worlds.
Both women endured challenges and hardships in their lives.
One was born during the Great Depression. The other experienced the Great Depression. Each lost an adult child, suffered the loss of a spouse, and were blessed to remarry and enjoy happy lives.
One was an educator. The other, a businesswoman. And they shared similar skill sets that include detailed, organized, well-informed, astute, and savvy. They enjoyed their careers and performed to the highest level.
I have learned so much from them over the years. They taught me that loving God was first, and that family was the heartbeat of your existence. While each differed in their talents and abilities, they both loved people, and treasured their children and grandchildren.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
Their teachings equipped me with confidence, passion, godly thinking, and spiritual awareness, so I can face the circumstances and challenges of this life. As I reflect on, and treasure what I’ve learned from these two beautiful women over the years, it comes down to a simple, but powerful list.
- Seek God First
- Encourage and love one another
- Never lower your standards or expectations
- Be a role model, for you never know who is watching, and
- Share a mixture of grace, love, and laughter everywhere you go.
I am who I am today because of my two mothers. They loved me, instructed me, counseled me, advised me, and modeled for me. I am forever grateful for their selflessness, their joy filled hearts, and for wanting me to be all that God intended.
Blessings & Hugs!
*I recently lost my mother-in-law, Lalon Neely Pirkey (pictured left), in December, 2016, at the age of 97. She was the true matriarch and I am thankful for our time together. And while my mother (pictured with me) has experienced recent health issues that come with her being in her 80s, I am making the most of every moment we have together.