What I Learned From My Mother

Tammy Taylor. Carol Brady. Claire Dunphy. Marge Simpson. Claire Huxtable. Kate McCallister. Mrs. George.

When it comes to movie and TV moms, we have been #blessed with all kinds.

And these characters are all so lovable because we can see glimpses of our own mothers in each and every one.

Some more than others, (I’m lookin’ at you, Mrs. Regina George, self-proclaimed “cool mom”), but each reveal an aspect of every mother’s heart. Because at the end of the day, Mrs. George is really just desperately trying to relate to her kids, however questionable her tactics may be.

I’ve already expressed on here, numerous times, my complete admiration of my mother. She is my rock. My best friend. My role model. My biggest supporter. And I love her with my entire being.

But you already know that. So I’ll table the gushing. At least for this post. 🙂


But truth be told, I have learned so much from my mom. Growing up, even into high school, my mom would tuck me in every night and we would chat for a good 30 minutes about absolutely everything. From faith, to friends, to fashion, to her childhood, to boys, to fears, to struggles, to my hopes and dreams for the future. And I learned some of my most valuable lessons from her.

But there’s one gem that she taught me that has stuck with me more than anything else.

Something that I find myself repeating multiple times a week, if not multiple times a day.

Just do the next right thing. 

Recovery from anorexia is a bit overwhelming. And if that’s not the understatement of the century, I don’t know what is.

But there were days, many many days, where I simply did not think that I could do it. That I couldn’t make it through the next meal, the next supplement increase, the next weigh in, the next urge to exercise.

But it was during those times that my mother’s little mantra would come into my head and help me get through that particularly difficult moment. Just do the next right thing.

I’ve been pretty clear that my recovery was in no way my doing. That it was God’sHis rescuing. His strength. His working. Which is true. But at the end of the day, I was still the one that had to put the fork to my lips. And I believe that this little “one liner” of strength and perspective was given to me by Him, through my mother.

I think a lot of times in life, and not just recovery, we can get bogged down by everything staring us in the face. Whether it’s finals, or stress at work, or a house full of kids to take care of, or relationship issues, or kicking an addiction or bad habit. We can become frozen with uncertainty or doubt or fear.

And it’s in those moments when I just take a deep breath and think, Okay. What is the next right thing?

And I’ll tell you what, just that shift in perspective can change a mountain into a mole hill.

And sometimes that’s all you need to get through that moment.

For me, it was a game changer.

So thanks, mom.

Whether you’re a biological mother, a spiritual or emotional mother, or even a “puppy mother,” thank you for all the hats you wear: Nurse. Encourager. Provider. Teacher. Disciplinarian. Nurturer. Fashion consultant. Protector. Comedian. Helper. Chef. Entertainer. Advice Guru. Advocate. Spiritual Advisor. Friend.

You enrich our lives, just by being you.


154 responses to “What I Learned From My Mother”

  1. Sounds like you have a wonderful mother and an equally wonderful relationship with her. Love the lessons that she’s imparted to you … such a great way to approach life. Hugs and warmest wishes to you. xo

  2. Mothers are incredibly special and important – a gift straight from God. It’s so important that a child has a mom and dad. Sounds like you have an amazing mom – you are blessed immensely 🙂

    • Thanks Corrie, for sharing this. Aw I’m sorry you miss your mother. It always gives me peace to know that we’ll see our loved ones again some day:) thanks for reading. Sending you a big big hug right now. Hugs and love xox

  3. I needed this so much just now, I was going through a number of issues today, and I just kept hearing, “Joshua just take it the next ten seconds at a time” it didn’t really sink in until I read this, so thank you for allowing me to see I just need to keep doing the next right thing!

  4. That advice is the best. It’ll get you thru any overwhelming task. I get on overload pretty quickly and just fixing my mind on the next thing to be done has pulled me through some very dark moments!

    • Hi Elihu! Thanks! Yeah, my mom is pretty swell. You’re right – just thinking about the next right thing will get you through! thanks for reading! hugs and love xox

  5. I had a therapist that said “when you feel like going crazy, stop, breathe and make the next healthy choice. Whatever it is.”
    I still remember that and do it when I get feeling crazy. I also say a prayer in there. Wise words from wise women.

    • Hi Ellie! That was some very wise advice by your therapist. I love that. Yeah pausing and praying is always the ticket to peace in the craziness. thanks for reading! hugs and love xox

  6. This is a truly beautiful blog post 🙂 Mothers are always there for their children regardless of whether or not we are happy or sad. That one paragraph you wrote before the very last one could not have been summed up better 🙂 Mothers are all of those things and I am glad that your mother was no exception 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • Hi there John! Aw, thank you so much 🙂 yeah I am so grateful for my beautiful mother. Because you’re absolutely right – they are all those things. And how lucky we are for that. Thanks for always brightening up my day! hugs and love xox

  7. “Just do the right thing.” How that one simple statement, when brought to life, through God within each of our lives, would change the world.

    Thank you for another great post. 🙂

  8. I love this!!! Thank you. The question on what is the next right thing to do is simple and so easy to follow. I have a question I ask myself “How can I choose to love right now?” Similar, huh? Also — I love what you wrote about just gaining a higher perspective. Thankfulness is one of my key intentions. So many blessings to you.

    • Aw thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I absolutely love that question you ask yourself — because love is ALWAYS the right answer:) Yay for thankfulness! Hugs and love my friend! xox

  9. What a wonderful tribute to your mother. As a daughter and a mother myself, the bond cannot be measured. I am sure she is proud of you and I truly know how blessed you both are!

    • Hi Tanya! Thank you so much 🙂 You’re right – the bond is incredible. I’m so blessed to have her in my life. Thanks for the encouragement. It really means a lot. hugs and love xox

  10. It’s wonderful that you had your mother with you through all the pain and heartbreak. Must have been very tough on her to see you go through this illness and fear for your life. Wonderful to hear you are still close. I miss my mum.

    • Hi Hanna, thank you for this reflection. I’m sending you a big big hug through the screen. I know this may sound kooky, but I really do believe we will see our loved ones again some day in Heaven:) lots and lots of love my friend xox

  11. What’s really great about your story of you and your mom and all that she taught you – you’re gonna be a GREAT mom yourself someday! Your kids are going to be SOOOOO blessed!

  12. I love this! I’ve been getting a bit stressed lately with all the things I’m busy with and I think this motto could be very helpful! For me also I’ve been trying to stop and realise how much I have already done. I’ll often get to the end of the day and think of all the things I havn’t achieved but if I stop and list the things I did do, I discover I’m doing alright.

    Wondeful food for the soul – thank you

    • Thanks Gee Jen! That’s really great perspective – to think of what you have done and not what you haven’t. Great advice! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  13. “Do the next right thing” is some really good advice. Great post. Also, just letting you know that I still love reading your posts 🙂 I know how, sometimes, people show up at a blog and leave a comment and then disappear, and that can be discouraging. I’m still here 🙂

  14. Ever since you liked my own blog posts, I have been fervently reading yours, and I have seen content I one day aspire to be as good as. Thank you for being a beacon and an inspiration, and please, keep on going, and I will as well. Thank you. God bless. Godspeed.

  15. I almost cried reading this! Your posts are SO truthful! I love my mom and she literally is ALL of those things to me. Lots of love <3 ML

  16. This one liner for me is a very special too. The first time I heard it, I was sitting in group on my third day in the psych ward. Me? In a psych ward? People thought I had it all together, but really I just wanted to die. And yet, someone offered the hope of this simple line. It put such a new perspective on the struggle through depression and self-harm. Because during the times that all I wanted to do was cut or overdose on pills, that saying would pop into my ahead. Just do the next right thing. It meant so much that I didn’t have to figure out how I was going to beat that monster. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have all the answers or even the way out, but all I had to focus on was doing the next right thing. Praise God, I have been free from self-harm for almost 6 months, and I haven’t abused medication in seven or eight. It all comes from doing the next right thing consistently. 😉

    • Hey masykes. Thank you for sharing this. Praise God indeed. I am so happy for you that you’ve found freedom. Amen to that-just doing the next right thing. sending hugs and love my friend xox

  17. Thank you for sharing this simple phrase – what a wonderful tool to help us navigate through all the noise!

  18. What a wonderful tribute to your Mom! Aaaaaand, so many great reminders here. “Just do the next right thing,” is one of those phrases that I hang my recovery on. Like deep breathing, I couldn’t get through a day with out it. “One day at a time,” still leaves me with too much to think about all at once! Haha. I really loved the way you acknowledge the different ways we can “mother” other people and find “mothering” for ourselves at the end of your post. My mom always meant well. Reminding myself of that helps when I begin to remember all the little traumas that contributed to my eating disorder and the other scars I carry. She did her best, but the truth is, and it sounds really cruel and terrible and accusatory to say this, her best wasn’t good enough. However… I am SO blessed! I am so blessed because I met other amazing women who showed me the unconditional LOVE that I did not receive from my mom. They poured their compassion and acceptance into that little void in my heart. It still took a boatload of therapy for me to get my mom’s harsh, critical, demeaning, and destructive voice out of my head, but I am so grateful for these other mothers who showed me a different model. For a long time, I couldn’t even talk to my mom on the phone, let alone be in the same state as her. Now, we are back to a place where I am able to see her for who she is, the good with the less-than-good, and I am visiting home again. Whew, this is a really long comment, but you always give me so much to think about! I hope that you are having a wonderful spring! Happy May, my friend! ❤️

    • Hi Lulu, thank you so much for sharing this. I think you’re right-God brings people into our lives for a reason, and it sounds like that’s definitely been the case for you. I’m sorry that things with your mom have been less than ideal, but I’m so glad that the two of you are in a better place and you’re able to go home again. That brings my heart so much joy:) thanks so much for sharing your sweet spirit on here, Lulu! It’s always such a bright spot to see your name pop up in my feed! Hugs and love xox

  19. I love how you give so much glory and honor to God! You are inspiring so many people by sharing your story! Cherish the relationship you have with your mother. I always dreamed of something like that with mine but it never happened. Now I try desperately to share that with my daughter. Your mothers love and support is clear to see 🙂

    • Thanks Jen, for sharing this. Yes, God has been very good to me. I owe him everything. It sounds like you and your daughter have a special bond. I’m glad that you are able to cultivate that with her. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  20. What a beautiful testimony! So beautiful that God has blest you so. I have been blest with a mom who worked hard to make sure I got put in life’s direction. I can’t say she was there to help steer my direction in ways that many are for others, but it was a start that I wouldn’t have had, had it not been for her. <3 Hugs!!

  21. That was awesome advice: “Just do the next right thing.” I’ll remember that. My mom was such a gem as well. I wish I knew some times how she is doing or if she is even still around. Life throws some really weird curveballs at us at times, and there was a point in which we lost contact. I think we were both okay with it back then because of extenuating circumstances at that juncture, I prayed about it and was hearing to just let it be. But every once in a while I ask again. “Is it time to try and reconnect?” I do miss her at times.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m sorry that you have lost contact with your mom. I don’t know why we go through things sometimes, but I will definitely pray for you guy to reconnect if that is what you wish to do. Sending big big hugs and love xox

  22. Oh, Beebs, you need to meet my mom. Very different from yours, but I think she wins the competition. I ripped her heart out and stomped it to pieces in the ground and she still loves me. I made my object of existence to tear her down. In fact, in the hospital, I was given the qualification that to get out I had to go 14 days straight making no threats. I was there five months. Boy, that was a long 14 days! Don’t get me wrong! She was not bashful about using her artillery, either! She knows a thing or two about war, too. Any resource available, she’ll find a way to use it and turn it into a weapon. Things you’d never think… When I was 10 trying to learn how to become a boy scout, she did a 50-mile bike ride with us on a one-speed with my five-year sister riding in a little basket in the back of her bike, up and down hills. I shouldn’t tell the whole story, but I guess I should mention that, again, when I was 10, I saw the announcement for some race in town, and I was afraid she would say, no. She didn’t. I ran it and won. An entire life opened up. She was the wheels, and I was the gears. Anyway, neener neener neener. Top that. I dare you. My dad wasn’t too shabby, either. Don’t ever ask him to arm wrestle. My biggest (and I do mean, biggest) brother made that mistake one time. I’ve never forgotten. A man that can kill a badger with only a crowbar seems to know more than how to find his way to the pill cabinet. Evolution kinda left me behind, but they were pretty studly in their day. People sometimes make the mistake of trying to judge me by my parents, and, boy, does it backfire! A private school director made that mistake when she hired me to teach. I having teaching genes on both sides. My mother was a preschool teacher, and my dad’s mother was a school teacher throughout much of her life.

  23. I am so glad that you have a lovely supportive mum. You are a beautiful lady and your trials have given you a special place to help others. Thank you for reaching out to others who find life difficult and giving them hope. God bless you.

    • Thank you Friend:) yes, I really have been so blessed with such a wonderful mother. I am grateful every day. Thanks for your affirming words. Hugs and love xox

  24. I would seriously, simply be finished without my mum… God knows my ultimate prayer for both of us… Thanks Princess… now you go do the next best thing by your mum which you sure already are doing in total trust in the Great I Am

    • I absolutely know what you mean 🙂 Yeah, I pray I’m doing the right thing. I just have to trust in Him that He will give me the right words to say and the guidance in my decisions. sending massive hugs xox

  25. I’m just getting swept up in your story lately! Thanks for sharing about your mom, her recovery, your recovery, and y’all’s relationship. It’s so special and I’m left tearing up at the end! Your mom has given you so much wisdom. It’s awesome.

  26. SOOO…I just happened to be reading this utterly random entry of yours and came across the “just do the next right thing” thing. My mom says that ALL THE TIME, so much so that I say it all the time (and I really try to do it) and it’s become my absolute favorite saying of hers, ever. Anyway, I just thought that was a totally weird fluke thing that you needed to know about immediately. =)

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