10 Things My Mom Taught Me

5:57:00 AM

Kathy McCann...... A daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife, a dentist, a teacher, a friend, a counselor, a woman of God, and so much more.   My mom has experienced many blessings and many tragedies, and I've been in her shadow to witness her handle a lot of it.  Here are a few things that she has taught me that I will carry with me forever...

1. Girls can do anything. 
My mom definitely showed me how to be self-sufficient and resourceful.  She somehow figures out how to use tractors, chainsaws, wood splitters, etc.  She heats the house with wood.  She takes care of horses, kittens, and a dog. She's not afraid to get her hands dirty.  I mean look at her gloves.  Her example has given me the confidence and resourcefulness to figure things out when the going gets tough.... or when my car won't start.

2. Through instability, hold onto your traditions. 
When life is busy, your daughter is in the hospital, your husband is gone, and you're running two businesses, you'd think that putting up the Christmas lights might go on the back burner... not for my mom.  She taught me to find stability through holding onto your little traditions.  Whether it's hanging the Christmas lights, having Sunday dinners, trick-or-treating on Halloween, or taking the dog for morning walks, don't let go of those little things that can create a sense of normalcy when everything else is rocky.

3.  Financially plan way ahead & live BELOW your means. 
Start saving for your retirement as soon as you have an income.  Start saving for your children's education before they are born.   Never carry a credit card balance.  Use coupons. Shop at thrift stores. Pretend like you're preparing for the next Great Depression.  Not really.  But really.  It pays off.

4.  Encourage your children to chase their dreams. 
I wanted to go college out of state.  My mom was the most supportive person when it came to my college search.  She took me to tour 13 different universities all over the US.  She even wrote me notes so I could leave school early to go to library and work on applications.  She shared in the excitement. And she never said "no" to schools or doubted my abilities.  Someday, when I have kids, I can't wait to be their biggest cheerleader and see what happens.

5. Pay extra for things that will give you peace of mind.
  My mom is super frugal, yet she understands the value of peace of mind.  Whether it's having a AAA membership or having a weekly cleaning lady, peace of mind is oftentimes worth the price. 

6.  Trust God with the people in your livesI oftentimes think about how my mom felt in 2003 when my 15 year old sister's cardiac arrest left her in a coma.  I knew how scary and helpless I felt as her sister, watching Collen slip away from us, but I can't even fathom how it would feel to watch your child in that situation.  My mom lost her 15 year old daughter and gained a child with a brain injury.  She never stopped being strong for Colleen and me. My mom's prayers could not change Colleen or the circumstances, but they changed her, they strengthened her, and God gave her exactly what she needed to hold us together.  Her example has shown me that we have no control over other people-- family members, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, coworkers, etc.

7.  Don't hold onto your gifts-- give them away.  What are you blessed with?  Time? Resources? Wisdom? Discernment? Hospitality?  Faith?  Leadership?  Whatever it is, share it.  My mom has taught me that rather than using our strengths for simply advancing ourselves, we should focus our strengths on helping others.  She does this with her dental practice, but also volunteering at a women's prison, with a divorce care group, and with Al-Anon.  Giving eventually comes full circle.

8.  There's always a solution. My mom is quite the resourceful lady.  She always manages to figure things out.  My favorite is when her cell phone wasn't getting good reception, she rubber-banded a metal fork to it to attract the waves.  She talked on the phone with this contraption and it actually worked.  My point is, she never gives up when she doesn't know how to solve a problem, and she's taught me that you can't rely on others to solve your problems for you.  She is the ultimate Miss Independent, and I really look up to her for that.

9.  The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  So often we think that people change.  People might even tell us that they have changed.  However, until there is a proven track record of the change, it's best to live by the principle that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  My mom constantly reminds me of this.  Remember, the definition of insanity is doing
the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  Unless there is a new track record, the hold track record likely holds true.

10.  Sleep with the windows open when possible.

Love you, Mom!

And just because...
Mom & Baby Colleen
Mom & Baby Dylan

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