what my mother and grandmother gave to me.

today was my mother's side family reunion. they all gathered in a small town in a large backyard and spent time together. i missed out, as i live miles away and tickets aren't cheap. my grandmother was not in attendance as she is busy laughing and talking with Jesus. that's the reunion of all reunions, if you ask me.

my mother is her mother's daughter. their hands are the same, and they both laugh at the face of lightning storms and extravagant things. each have shelves of worn bibles and journals filled with prayers. my mother is her mother's daughter.

i am thankful for this. i am thankful for them. i am thankful for the values that have been passed down, especially as a woman - that I can give to my own daughter. .

- don't buy what you don't have the money for. thank you, because i've never had to face credit card debt in my 27 years of life. 

- "cleaning up takes 10 minutes." if you take a couple "10 minute" segments out of your day to do tasks, straighten up, etc. you will essentially rarely ever have to clean more than that. it's constant small care that will keep your home from becoming overwhelming.

- don't pick up after yourself and you'll have to pick up 100 hair pins, one by one. my mother tells me how my grandma kept a pretty tight ship. having so many kids in a small home meant everyone had to pick up after themselves. one time, in a rush, my mother took out her curlers and pins and left them all over the bathroom counter to make it to cheerleading practice on time. my grandma found the curlers and pins, walked all the way to her school and made her leave, walk home, and pick up each curler and pin one by one until she was done. after that she was free to go. :)

- love the outcast. my mom has always been the one to befriend the "odd duck" as she would call them. the lowly position at work that no one has the time to talk to. the socially awkward person in the neighborhood. you know, the unlovely, the unloveable. my mother has taught me to see the beauty and the gift within each person. not to love them for the sake of becoming a saint, but to find what is in them that can be loved. what story do they have. what has made them the way they are. what makes them come alive. she has never thrown aside the outcast, ever.

- simple things can make you happy. in all my years growing up, i rarely remember my mom purchasing anything for herself - and even if she did, it was commonly second-hand. she taught me the art of yardsaling (found here), and that labels don't mean a thing. her home is filled with items she found on sale, and it is one of the coziest places on earth. my childhood was rich. not because of "stuff," but because of family. i honestly believe my ability to stay content in our income level has allowed me to stay at home. i know if i worked, we would double our income and be able to have a larger home in a nicer area - but i have the grace, passed down from my mom, to find joy in the simpler life. 

- our lives are sustained by the Word of God. they truly have declared this prayer with their lives, "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me. My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times."  Psalm 119

- at the end of the day, our only hope is Jesus. it has been the sustaining hope I have seen within my mother's heart through 27 years of my watching her triumphs and trials. as it was my grandmother's, whose face was smiling throughout cancer and her final moments of life. she was created to be with the Lord, as was my mother, and as was i. this is our hope.

thank you Grandma Doris, thank you my sweet mother for teaching me lessons in my youth that take others years and years of heartache and mistake.


  1. Everything about this is so encouraging and a sweet reminder. Thank you for posting this.

  2. What a great tribute. Beautiful, Tiff.


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