Friday, May 8, 2015

A Life Led by Example: Thank You Mom

In honor of Mother's day, I decided to write a post dedicated to the most amazing woman on the planet, my mom. She's pretty much the best mom ever. Here's why:

Her Spunk
My sisters and I definitely get our sass from our mother. She can be kind and gentle when she needs to be, but she doesn't take crap from anyone. She knows how to stand up for herself and she knows how to say "no" when necessary. She's taught us that the greatest quality a person can have is compassion, but that having compassion doesn't mean you have to let people walk all over you. She stands up for what she believes in and she isn't easily swayed by others. 
Also, she's got that "Oh no she didn't!" Z snap thing down pat.

Her Fashion Sense
My mom and I have a running joke that she dressed me until I was 18 years old. The sad thing is, that joke is partially true. The Mean Girls dress code was very similar to the one my mother gave me. You know, "On Wednesdays, we wear pink," and "Only wear jeans or sweatpants on Fridays." The difference was, I would never have been able to walk out of the house with sweatpants on, regardless of what day of the week it was. If I came downstairs ready to go to school in a t-shirt and jeans, mom would send me back up to change. She's not vain, and she didn't do this because she wanted to teach us that appearances are all that matters. She emphasized that it was important to always do your best. That applied to appearance the same way it did to academics, sports, jobs, etc. All it takes is a little effort to look nice. Why not put forth the extra effort instead of throwing on a t-shirt because you're too lazy to do anything else? Also, she spend a lot of money on clothes for us, so she expected us to wear them; which leads me to the next point. . .

Her Practicality
My mom had and still has high expectations for her kids, but she never pushed us to do anything that she knew we didn't want to do. She never asked anything of us that was outside our realm of abilities. She knew that I was never going to be a star athlete in anything, so she never pushed me to play a sport she knew I wouldn't enjoy. Even though she had always been an athlete and I was her first child, she didn't expect me to do everything exactly the way she did it. She also taught us to carefully manage our finances. We never hurt for money growing up. We weren't rich, we simply always had what we needed. Even though my parents could afford things, mom never wanted us to expect that this would always be the case. When I moved out of the house into my first apartment, my mom told me that her and dad wouldn't be able to help me pay for anything. She made sure I knew that if I moved out of the house, I was on my own. It was one of the best things she ever did for me because it taught me how to be independent and I had to learn how to budget. Nothing teaches financial responsibility better than budgeting your expenses on a part time $7.50 an hour income

Her Selflessness
My mom has always put my dad, my siblings, and I above herself. She has always freely given of her time and resources in order to be there for us when we need her. She's stayed up all night making Pink Panther costumes for Halloween, spent hours shopping for back to school clothes without buying anything for herself, helped 2 (soon to be 3 and eventually 4) kids move multiple times, thrown crazy intricate birthday parties (and one super awesome wedding), babysat dogs, sat through choir concerts and honor ceremonies, the list goes on and on and could take up an entire blog post on its own. She gives all of herself and expects nothing back. She has shown her children how much it really takes to be a mother.

Her Faith
My mom raised my siblings and I with a strong faith in Christ that has rubbed off in all the best ways. She is a true Proverbs 31 woman. She taught us to love God first, our family second, and ourselves last. There is so much integrity in acting out your faith, and to be raised by a person with such integrity is a blessing. My siblings and I were introduced to Jesus from the time we were in the womb, and that is the most incredible thing a parent can do for their child. My mother loves her Savior with an all-encompassing love and devotion that I hope I can match one day. She has prayed for us since before we were even born and she continues to do so every day. There are so many things she told me growing up that were repeated so often that I couldn't forget them even if I wanted to. One of those things was "Ephesians 4:29!" to remind me to watch what I say and to make sure that what comes out of my mouth should only be helpful for building others up (which is something I often need to be reminded of since sarcasm is my first language). Another thing I always remember her telling me is that she hoped that I would strive to be Holy before I strove to be Happy, because happiness is fleeting but holiness is eternal. There are still situations where I use this to question my motives.

I am incredibly blessed to have been raised by Eddie and Rachel Chancellor. I hope to be the wife and mother that my mother has always been. She has led by example. It's easy to tell your children what to do, but she has lived her life in exactly the way she has always taught us to. 

Thank you mom, I love you.