Welcome to the first edition of “100 Women"!
I am delighted to start this monthly series at The Felicity Bee. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to encourage and build each other up. My desire with "100 Women" is to do just that.
I want to encourage and build each other up through life experiences, advice, wisdom, strength, support, and love. I want to get rid of what our culture seemingly teaches us . . . to embrace competition and jealousy rather than community and support.
I remember one of my first encounters with "mean girls". I was in the eighth or ninth grade. It was Saturday morning and the phone rang asking for me. I got on the line and it was a representative for a teen "fat camp". I have struggled with my weight all my life, so this call stung a bit.
They said they were returning my call inquiring about information for a week long stay at this "fat camp".
I told them I didn't call. They said they had my name, address, phone number, and a list of the earliest dates I could enroll in the camp. Again, I told the representative that I didn't call. She finally realized what was happening and said, "Honey, I'm so sorry to disrupt your morning, but it sounds like someone is playing a mean joke on you."
I later found out some girls in my school called in and gave them my name.
Unfortunately, Not much changes when you are older.
I want to help break that cycle of "mean girls".
What is "100 Women"?
In this series, 100 women (or more!) come together to answer a simple question. In answering, my hope is that we support, uplift, encourage, and build each other up instead of back-biting and tearing each other down.
The Felicity Bee reaches tens of thousands of people each month from all around the world. How great would it be to know that there is a sister in the Lord who struggles with the same struggles you do? Or that there is a sister in the Lord that completely relates to you, or that their is a sister whose testimony can set you free?
How does it work?
What did you learn from your mother?
Within minutes, the answers started pouring in.
Over 250 women wrote in with stories of encouragement, strength, and advice from their mothers. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to use every answer in keeping with "100" women, but the ones represented here represent the large hearts of these amazing women!
Some of the answers are encouraging as many had wonderful and godly examples of mothers. Some of the answers broke my heart in knowing that some of the mothers, through their bad examples, brought us closer to Jesus.
I hope that as you read their answers, you will see that you are not alone. I hope that you will be encouraged by the words, and that you may even learn something for the wisdom here.
My hope for 100 women...
. . .women encouraging women . . . women supporting one another . . . God being glorified in us!
What did you learn from your Mother?
April, 34. My momma taught me to celebrate even the small things, always lend a helping hand, and that cleaning the house isn't so daunting when Stevie Nicks is blaring!
Ada, 42. I learned ample love from my mother! There is always room for more at the dinner table even if unexpected. Everyone is always welcome.
Alexandria, 26. I learned to choose to look for the good in people.
Alicia, 34. My mom died from cancer last year. I learned that you can have joy and laughter during even the worse circumstances.
Amanda, 33. My mother showed me how to be strong and unyeilding, but always forgiving.
Amanda, 55. To treat people the way you would like to be treated yourself. My mother was a very warm hearted giving lady she would always go that extra mile for people
Amy, 47. I learned the importance of compassion for my family.
Angela, 50. I learned how to manage a household on a shoestring! And how to take joy in the simple things.
Arielle, 28. My mother taught me that what people think about me does not define who I am. She also taught me that it's ok not to be involved in everything and saying "no" sometimes is good for you.
Audrey, 64. My mother taught me to take everything to God in prayer, to forgive and to love the unloveable..
Angie, 30. My mother was unable to raise me past the age of 7. I learned that the greatest act of love for your children may be the hardest sacrifice to make personally, but that there is a peace in knowing God allows what seems like our greatest failures at the time to work for the greater good and bless all whom are effected.
Ayisat, 31. I learned to be strong in the toughest times and to never give up on your goals as a woman and mother.
Becky, 28. She showed me how to be a strong woman, yet maintain a soft heart. She taught me how to be a warrior in the Kingdom.
Beth, 30. Pray for wisdom in parenting and never reward a bad attitude.
Barbara, 61. Unfortunately, my mother was not the motherly type and the most important thing she taught me was what kind of mother not to be. I know that sounds bad, but by learning those lessons, I was able to raise my son in a manner that we to this day have a very close relationship.
Beth, 37. I learned that I can make lasting, positive change in my life. I'm not bound by who I was a year ago, I can learn, and grow and do things differently.
Brittany, 25. I would have to say I mostly learned what not to be from my mother. However, from the woman who actually raised me, I learned to love and be brave, and most important to live every second like it's your last and have fun.
Chana, 55. I learned that I have to persevere at every task to get things done. There is no shame in reaching out for help. And . . . I must find joy in all situations because every moment is a Gift from God.
Chelsea, 25. My mom has taught me so many things about life, Jesus, integrity, but more importantly she has shown me unconditional love. That love changes how I interact on a daily basis - it has allowed me to love people better, above all else LOVE.
Christina, 36. What I learned from my mama, is that if you center your life around Christ and His will. You can leave your burdens at the cross and find your joy in knowing Him.
Claudine, 42. She taught life and death. How to always have faith in the good times and always in the not so good times. Above all, put God first in everything I do because he has the power.
Cory, 41. I learned fierce determination and courage from my mom! Her faith in God was never wavering!
Danyel, 38. My mom taught and demonstrated to me, that God has everything under control-even when it doesn't feel like it, through the trials, through tears, through joy, and through those days you wonder how you are going to make it . . . God has you!
Daranda, 39. Of all the things my mother taught me the first that comes to mind was to never give up. Having done all, stand!
Darlene, 51. I learned from my mama that whatever trial comes your way to be strong and sweet and keep smiling. I hope I'm half the woman she is. She is precious to me.
Debbie, 50. My mother taught me what it truly means to "love unconditionally" be it family, friends, even strangers.
Debbie, 57. No matter how hard it gets, keep going strong. If there is a will, there's a way, and always love the Lord.
Delle, 57. I learned from my mother how to make sacrifices to put my children first in my life.
Donna, 48. I learned from my mother that life isn't fair. You can work hard, aim to do the right things, yet still encounter illness and sorrow. The only true constant is God's love.
Danielle, 42. It is worth waiting for God's best for you. Do not settle for less than what He gives you.
Destiny, 25. I learned the type of woman that I did not want to become. My mother led me to God by showing me what an ungodly woman was like.
Ellen, 71. From my mother I learned to listen and read. I like to read God's word and listen for answers to my problems. Be still and know that I am God.
Estefania, 19. My mother taught me not to be sensitive about what people think of me or of how they have wronged me, but to learn to forgive and pray for that persons heart to change.
Frances, 70. From my mother I learned the benefit of steadfastness, perseverance, and flexibility. Our financial situation was not good, but with full faith in God's goodness a way was always made available to meet our needs.
Gabrielle, 42. I learned to always ask. My mom always says "If you don't ask, the answer is automatically no. But if you do ask, there is a 50% chance of yes." I always ask.
Gertruida, 42. Your past does not define you.
Gloria, 53. My mother suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. Through witnessing her struggles, I learned about hope and compassion.
Grace, 42. My mom taught me to be a life long learner.
Jackie, 48. My mom taught me I can do anything! In her leading by example, I have faced challenges with an attitude of 'I can do that'.
Jamie, 34. Never, EVER, chase a boy. "They will always come to you," she'd say.
Jan, 55. I learned honesty, responsibility, love, and caring from my mom.
Jean, 61. My Mother taught me to lean not on my own understanding, always help those less fortunate, and to serve our risen Savior in every deed I fulfilled.
Jeanne, 67. I learned that my strength comes from the Lord God. She displayed that in all circumstances in her life. (Philippians 4:13)
Jen, 51. It isn't her words. It is the way she lives her life. God is as natural a part of her life as breathing.
Jessi, 35. My mom taught me that sacrificially giving yourself to your family is a worthy cause; raising a family is a noble profession.
Jessica, 27. I learned to go above and beyond for others. To be resilient when facing the challenges of this life.
Jo, 42. I've learned perseverance and strength through adversity, difficulty and sadness.
Karen, 34. Generosity - My mother is so generous to others regardless of the hardships in her life.
Judy, 75. I would have to say my Mom taught me to be modest and independent.
Ariel, 26. Growing up my mother was a meth addict and for a few years she was living on the streets and I was raised by my grandparents. I would always pray for my mother that she would one day be clean and sober and turn to God. I guess I learned how to have patience for God and to trust that he is working. I also learned how to be a light in a dark place.
Karen, 59. My mother never gossips. If someone tells her something she will , right then and there call the person, or she will tell you not to tell her unless you were there. That has been a very useful gift through the years.
Karimah, 30. My mother taught me how to be independent and how to think my way out of tough situations.
Kathy, 46. I learned what not to be as a mother; I learned how to fear everyone, especially women, in parental positions. In the bigger scheme of things, I feel like this has made me a better wife, woman, and parent, because I lean on God, and His words, to guide me in life.
Katie, 52. I learned to attend a Bible believing Church, and that Prayer is very important to our lives.
Kelly, 54. A quote from Shakespeare, "To thine own self be true." It took me until after she passed away 15 years ago to realize that if I did not have integrity, my whole life was a lie. "To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice." Proverbs 21:3
Kim, 47. I learned how to praise God from my mother. Inspite of pain or hardship, praising the Lord through prayer or music is the surest way to settle you perspective on the RIGHT thing . . . Jesus.
Kirsten, 37. l learned to follow my heart, regardless what others think I should do.
Laura, 26. I learned how to be a strong independent women. Also, I learned how to be a true mom from my mother.
Laura, 40. I learned how to be a good hostess. She was always welcoming people into our home and providing yummy food and wonderful conversation.
Joy, 25. My mom taught me that sometimes you have to put the situation in the "God I don't get this drawer". Some things only He knows! We might not get it and that is ok. He did not tell us it would be easy but He did say I will never leave you or forsake you.
Kristen, 35. I learned the importance of holiday traditions and making memories with my children. Toys will come and go but the memory of baking cookies each Christmas will last a lifetime.
Leigh, 30. I learned independence from my mother. My mom has always encouraged me to be independent. She taught me how to do a lot for myself which helped as I got older and moved out of state.
Laura, 41. Pray about it. Things aren't always as they seem.
Lisa, 46. My mother was an incredible woman and I learned a deep sense of compassion from her. She was incredibly loving and that love knew no strangers.
Lori, 43. The thing I've learned and cherished most from my mom was the ability to look at all situations and find the good.
Lori, 51. In every situation there are 3 sides: your side, my side, and the right (God's) side.
Madison, 16. To respect myself and others.
Marta, 63. I learned from my mom to be very resourceful…to make due with what we have.
Moe, 35. My mother taught me how to be strong no matter what and to never lose my faith in God.
Monica, 58. I learned from my mom to be the best person I could, and to always walk tall and have BIG smile on my face. Its contagious!
Monique, 28. I learned that strength is never is short supply. With the grace of God, a mother can do whatever is necessary for her children.
Naima, 62. My Mom who was a missionary in Morocco. She taught me that even in times of trouble God will always provide and be there for us. She taught perseverance, honesty, loyalty and above all else kindness to who ever might cross your path.
Natalie, 35. My mother has taught me that you can love others sacrificially and forgive people of their faults. I love my Mom!
Pam, 44. I learned from my mom its not always about about you it's about what you can do for others.
Pastor Toli Acosta, 35, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I learned to love God above all things
Phomolo, 29. I learned that it is important to open the windows to allow fresh air in the house in the morning. As well as to iron clothes on the wrong side!
Remi, 32. My mom taught me to be hospitable. She showed me that helping people in need is a joyful sacrifice! She also taught me never to cut corners when doing things for my children.
Rhea, 56. I learned from my Mother how to love those who do not know how to love themselves.
Sanae, 35. What I learned from my mother (indirectly, because of her choices) was that my problems were never bigger than my God and that running away is never the answer. What I learned from my grandmother, who raised me, was to do everything with a cheerful heart, no matter how small or menial the task, as unto the Lord and not unto man.
Nicole, 32. My mom taught me that you aren't remembered by the circumstances out of your control, but by how you bring glory to God in showing love and generosity to all around you.
Sarah, 25. My mom taught me to "be the cream; rise above the situation."
Sarah, 32. My momma taught me not only to face new circumstances, and challenges head-on, but to embrace the changes, conquer them, and look good doing it.
Sarah, 38. My Momma taught me to always look for the best in people, showed me what strong faith looked like during the darkest valleys, how to create a beautiful home on a tight budget, and most importantly, how to run to Christ for everything.
Sarah, 39. By watching my mama, I learned what it means to be steadfast in my faith during my victories on the mountain top and my trials in the valley.
Shannon, 45. To always be sweet and love everyone!
Shawn, 47. Unfortunately I do not have the relationship that would be considered nurturing with my mother. But what that taught me was forgiveness, and an overwhelming appreciation of being blessed to break that generational curse.
Shonna, 40. That a wife sets the tone for the home and family
Suanne, 60. I learned to "go" even when I was tired or didn't feel like taking the next step and if today was hard then tomorrow will be a new day so press on.
Tanissha, 39. I learned how not to treat my children from my mother. I also learned that I had to forgive her for things she never said she was sorry for.
Terry, 53. I learned about a mother's unconditional love from my mom and that she always has my back
Sherry, 54. I learned how to take care of my child. Mama always took good care of us kids. We always had what we needed and a lot of what we wanted.
Suz, 33. My mum has always been supportive to my faith especially in making sure was there when I got baptized, and later when I became an ordained minister. Despite her not believing, she has encouraged me in my faith, and allowed me to become who I am today. I thank God every day for her.
Theresa, 38. When I think of my mom I remember her sitting down reading the Bible. Taking time no matter what to be in the word.
Tiffany, 28. "My mother taught me how to be strong and feirce. She was a single mom and she made sure I always came first.
Timika, 27. My mom has taught me how to trust God during storms. When I feel my faith wavering a little (doubt), I always go to her for wisdom and guidance.
Yvanie, 21. I must always try my best to create my own happiness. And if in the meantime, I get some help or simply just help others with it, that's even better. I am currently working on it with the help of God of course.
Susan, 54. The importance of GRACE.
I hope and pray that you have been encouraged as you've read over 100 Women's words of wisdom and encouragement. Some of their stories brought positivity and encouragement. Some of their stories brought wisdom and advice. Some of their stories showed beauty from ashes. All of their stories remind us of the goodness of Jesus Christ.
Thank you all for sharing your wisdom. I am so sorry I wasn't able to use all of the entries sent my way, but I look forward to next month and more of our "100 Women" series.