My parents, both of whom are deceased, instilled in me scriptural values and core principles for daily living since I was a little girl.
I was not the perfect daughter, but I tried to do what I knew I should do as best as I could. So why is it, at this time in my life, as a mother of three grown daughters and Nana to three little ones, I keep hearing my mother’s words so clearly?
My mother had a quote for every situation and I never gave the sources much thought while growing up.
At times, they were more a cause of irritation to me as I thought, “Here comes another quote. Why does Mama have to have a quote for everything?” Over the years, and especially since she passed away 15 years ago, I often wonder how she was able to remember so many of them.
Examples of Mother’s Favorite Secular Quotes
“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.” ~ St. Jerome. This is the quote that led me to believe, my entire life, that my mother expected perfection from me and I could never measure up. What if I were wrong?
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This was often quoted when I complained of too much homework and not understanding a math problem.
“Tell me who are your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.” ~ An old Spanish Proverb. This was a warning about being selective in choosing my associates.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” ~ Thomas H. Palmer. Mother’s reminder not to give up when adversity shows up.
Examples of Mother’s Favorite Bible Quotes
1Corinthians 15:33 ~ “Bad associations spoil useful habits.” A reminder of the negative influence that the wrong type of friends can have.
Proverbs 3:5 ~ “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he will make your path straight.” A reminder that trusting in myself to make wise decisions is futile. My understanding is limited and I need to trust in God in everything I do.
My mother has left a legacy through her quotations, which, like a playlist, goes on playing in my mind.
It makes me sad that even as an adult I never told her how much I valued them. On the other hand, I’m not sure I focused on them in adulthood. I find as I get older I spend a lot more time in reflection, and for these quotations, I’m grateful.