Mother’s Wisdom – A Playlist That Keeps on Playing in My Mind

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.


Yvonne A. Jones
Yvonne A. Jones
YVONNE is a Personal Business Coach | Relationship Marketing Strategist| Amazon Best-Selling Author| International Speaker. She is the Founder of the 50 and Wiser Community on Facebook – a Group of women who want to DO more, GIVE more, and BE more. As a certified Strategy and Accountability Coach, she helps Entrepreneurs, Coaches, Consultants, and Small Business Owners eliminate limiting beliefs, create a business they love, and have fun doing so. Her favorite client is a highly-motivated woman 50 and Wiser who has been in business for approximately one year and is ready to empower herself and move to the next level. Yvonne’s background is in banking, Human Resources, administration, and Customer Service. At 52 years she handed in her resignation and walked away from Corporate America to start her own business full-time. She has experienced the joys and challenges of owning multiple businesses. She was listed on as one of the “Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter” and on “One of the Top 15 Most Influential Customer Service Experts to Follow on Twitter.” Despite the recognition and promotions received while in corporate life in Jamaica and America, she now considers herself “unemployable” due to her love of being her own boss and inspiring others to pursue their passion and dreams. Yvonne’s mantra: “Focus on relationships; the money will follow.”

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  1. It’s looking back and remembering times when I did not say what I should have (or said things I should not have) that causes me to live in the present with more of an awareness of choosing my words well, taking that extra moment before saying them, expressing feelings in a good and precise way (in person whenever possible or at least verbally, but NOT via text or email unless absolutely necessary)……to be in the moment and not let it pass by only to regret later. What great words from your mother; they obviously had great impact. Thank you for sharing.

    • Mike,

      This is a profound expression of how the past influences your actions in the present. Like you, I’m grateful for the lessons learned. Thank you for sharing why it’s vital to be in the moment and stay fully present.

      I’m usually good at responding to comments immediately and somehow missed responding to yours before now. Please accept my apologies for the omission.

    • No worries Yvonne! Life has us all going in different directions, clearing the clutter, keeping up with priorities……and then there’s a leak in the kitchen!

  2. Yvonne, so much of what we can learn from our parents as children into adulthood go un-noticed, but something seeps down into our heart and soul that will manifest itself at the right time as we grow older. Then with that comes love and appreciation.

    • Lynn, You’re so correct in your summation. There is no judgement. It’s just the way things are, which is why I think as we get older we become more like our parents even though we may not want to admit it. 🙂 Thank you for your warm comment.

  3. This article touched home, Yvonne. My mother (of blessed memory) had her ways but she only wanted the best for all three of us. She insisted we all go to college. Mom made sure we stuck to our Jewish values. She wanted me to be a journalist. Mothers can give such wonderful advice that we may not realize the value of until they are no longer alive.

    • Yes, they have their own short-comings but mothers who care can and for centuries have been the nourishers who instilled values which contribute to who we are today.

      Thank you, Joel. Your mother wanted only what would benefit her children.