Matriarchal Wisdom

Things my grandmother used to say:

You make a better door than a window.

It simply means please get out of the way. I heard it every time I stood in from of the television.

Always add as many eggs as you want, and one for the pan.

This is for scrambled eggs in a cast iron skillet. Since she was raised in the dust bowl close to the Great Depression, I’d consider it luxurious generosity.

When you get married, everything should be new inside and out.

Buy new panties.

You can’t tell on galloping horse.

This is in reference to uneven stitches on homemade clothing for children who spend most of their time running. But remember it for any thing that prompts shame. No haircut, dirty face, holes in pant legs…it doesn’t matter when your kids are playing.

What’s cute at two is not at five

In other words, start as you mean to go on. This is important in every area in your life.

Things my mother used to say:

You can’t spoil a child with love.

Don’t feel guilty when you want to hold your baby.

Trust your instincts.

This works for everything, but when my mom passed it on (she heard it from my grandma)  it was especially in reference to questions I had about being a mom. What freedom this gave me!

Don’t pour your life into your children.

This is not time/energy. I don’t regret one minute I invested in my kids and neither does she. It has to do with hanging your hopes on them. I do regret claiming some sort of self-value found in my perception of their “outcome.”

You can’t give what you don’t have.

A depth of wisdom here. Wild at Heart taught me femininity cannot beget masculinity…but more significant in this quote from my mom– you cannot teach self-worth or self-confidence if you don’t have it. And you cannot give forgiveness if you haven’t received it. If it’s something you cannot get from the world, you have to go to God. This statement contributed to me realizing that I needed to find God differently for myself if I wanted him for others.

Things I said to my kids: (Whether they remember it or not.)

Perfume should be as intimate as an embrace.

People should only smell you when you’re hugging. I remember my car smelling for hours after I gave rides to junior high school kids or having to switch seats in church because of someone’s perfume. (Of course, I hug everyone so maybe maybe it isn’t the best comparison.)

Everybody wants to save the tatas, but nobody cares about a woman’s heart.

This is talking about the disproportionate media given to breast cancer awareness versus the number one woman-killer, heart disease. My heart goes out to all the things women (whether they have boobies or not) have to fight against–the value of their bodies being one of the most significant wars.

Confidence is sexy.

It’s the first thing that attracted me to my husband.

You can’t flirt with sin. It’s a jealous lover and wants your whole being.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood: don’t feel like this needs clarification.

In honor of Mother’s Day next weekend, I wanted to share these tidbits of wisdom but I know the few good things I’ve said don’t negate the nasty things that came out of my mouth. Still, I want to honor the concept of motherhood whether you have kids or not.

In religious circles child bearing and rearing can become a form of idol worship as the only true success for the female sex, but Paul likened himself to a nursing mother in his tender affection. So I hope you can find a way to honor godly care and wisdom in the relationships around you this week.

Please share your own nuggets handed down, whether they are original or not.

4 thoughts on “Matriarchal Wisdom

  1. Heather says:

    These are so good. I’m afraid I’ll most be remembered for: “Drink some water. Have you been drinking enough water?”

  2. Letty says:

    My mother would say, “Always have a fresh pot of slow cooked beans in the kitchen for your guest”
    My mother’s bean recipe called for 3-4 hours of cooking, I was fully involved in church ministry, worked and attended college as a young mom but I did have salads ready for my guests 🙂

    • Hilarey says:

      Yeah, food used to take longer to pull together. What a sweet heart to have that ready. This also makes me long for the kind of life where visitors just show up.

Please share your heart. We learn from each other.