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To My Mom + some of the biggest things I've learned from her (birthday post!)


Tomorrow is my mom's birthday (don't worry Mom, I won't tell the internet how old you are) and I'm so excited. Not only do we have big plans, we simply get to celebrate my mom, and honestly, we don't do that enough.


My mom is one of my best friends. We've always been close, but especially as I've gotten older. I'm kind of the same person as her, so we share a lot of the same interests (like Christmas Hallmark movies and organizing the pantry - we're very fun people). We both would rather stay in than go out. We both love big, we both love through our words, and we'd both do anything for the people we care about. I tell her all the secrets I promised to keep, and vice versa. We usually could talk for hours and laugh just as long, but even in the silence, having each other there is more than enough, at least for me.


And one day, in my photography class, I was asked to consider who my hero was, and take a portrait of that person. For me, the answer was easy - it's my mom. She always has been my hero and probably always will be. A lot of other people said their mom too, but in my head I was thinking, "no, you don't understand, my mom really is a hero; she's not like the other moms."


You'd probably only understand if you knew my mom, but if you don't, here's what you need to know:


My mom is one of the most selfless people you'll ever meet. She quit her job to take care of us kids and be able to watch us at all of our activities. She's never, ever, ever missed one of my events or frankly, any of my siblings. One day, she (and the rest of my family) woke up before 5 to drive hours to watch me run. You'll often find her screaming her head off as she cheers for each of us, whether it's on the cross country course, in the stands at a robotics competition, or in the audience after a performance. She's one of our biggest cheerleaders, and she sacrifices so much so that we can do what we love.


Day in and day out, my mom takes care of us. We can always count on a warm meal at dinner and a pantry stocked full of all our requests, because Mom takes care of it. She's there every day after school to pick us up, and she's the one you call if you forgot your computer at home. She's the one you ask when you don't know which kind of ibuprofen to take or how to treat a stain on your shirt. She's the one you text when you finish a math test and are in tears because you're pretty sure you bombed it, and when you're celebrating because something you worked really, really hard on is now succeeding. Mom is always there, and no matter how hard we try to thank her for everything she does, it's never enough. We don't even see half the ways my mom takes care of us, and there's no way we can ever do enough to truly thank her.


Over the past 15 years I've known her, she's taught me so many incredible lessons that have shaped who I am. So, in honor of her birthday being tomorrow, I want to share a few of the biggest things she's taught me.


1. You are allowed to set boundaries. In fact, you should.

My mom has learned the importance of boundaries the hard way, and she's been really reminding me of this lately. My whole life, she's wanted nothing more than to protect my heart, and now that I'm getting older, she's been able to share some of her own experiences with me as I navigate friendships, dating, and other relationships in a new way. My mom has reminded me of the importance of guarding my heart, especially after being hurt before. This doesn't mean holding grudges or harboring bitterness, but it does mean taking inventory of what fills you and what drains you, and setting boundaries accordingly.


She's also been a really big support as I learn to forgive and release some of the hurt I tend to hold onto. My mom has given me practical ways to move on from the relationships that have ended, and she often sends me quotes, Bible verses, or posts to encourage me when she knows I'm having a hard time. Not to mention how much she prays for my siblings and I!


2. Spend your energy wisely - you don't have to fill your schedule to the brim!

My mom and I are both homebodies to the core. Of course, I love going out with my friends, but more often than not, a cozy night at home is what I crave after a long day or a hard week. And ever since I started participating in various activities, she never once pressured me into doing anything. It's always been her priority to allow me to be apart of activities I'm interested in, but never anything past what I could physically/emotionally handle.


As I've gotten older and the pressure to fill my schedule soars, my mom has always been a steady constant. I'm not good at saying no, but my mom always asks me, "Do you want to do this?" . If it's not something I'm excited about doing, or actually want to be involved in, then she reminds me that it's okay to say no, and better to spend my energy on something that I genuinely am interested in. Too often, having an overflowing schedule drains me, and my mom knows that, so while I'm still under her wing, she's teaching me how to manage my time and my activities so that I'm not overdoing it.


3. Prioritize your people + serve them well.

While my mom is quite an introvert, my whole life she's always worked hard to prioritize her people. It's not easy, because we all have crazy schedules, but she's intentional about meeting for coffee with her best friend or spending the day with her mom.


My mom would do anything for her people, and she loves big. When any of us kids need anything, she's there. She's purposeful about spending family time together. When Angie or another one of her friends are going through a hard time, she's quick to drop off a loaf of bread or send a check-in text. It's hard for me to remember a time that my mom did something solely for herself, by herself, because she's always doing something for someone else. As I've watched her do all these things, it challenges me to prioritize those I love and go out of my way to serve them.

 

So, there it is - happy birthday Mom! I love you oh-so much, and I'm so thankful for you. It probably sounds corny, but you really are one of my best friends, and I don't know what I'd do without you. Thank you for always being there to encourage and challenge me, and for being my biggest cheerleader. You're the worlds best Mom, and I thank God for you often. <3


What are some of the biggest lessons your mom has taught you, whether it be things she deliberately talked to you about or things you learned simply by observing? I'd love to hear in the comments down below!

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You’re mom is a caring and giving person! Especially to her family and friends. She does everything she can to make things happen!

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