Lessons from My Mother

Erma Carey-Bay will be writing a series of articles for our women readers highlighting her life experiences and the lessons she learned from her mother. She hopes to enlighten and inspire you just as she was enlightened and inspired by her own mother, who is now deceased.

When I think back to when I was a little girl, my first thought is of my mother. She was a wonderful woman—a woman who was devoted to God and to her family. Every night, she got on her knees and prayed. Without her ever revealing who those prayers were for, I know that she was praying for her children. Eventually, my mother, Marie Brown, would bare nine children—six girls and three boys. However, a set of twin boys didn’t make it—they died at birth. My mother was distraught. The doctor told her that the Lord would give her another set of twins one day—and he was right. The next time she gave birth, it was to a set of twin girls—healthy and happy! My mother often told that story to show the amazing power of God in her life.

I grew up in Dallas, Texas. Financially speaking, times were hard. My mother always tried to make the best out of a difficult situation. During the times when my father was gone on Sunday mornings and there was no transportation to Church, my mother loaded me, my older sister and younger brother in a big red wagon and she walked to Church—pulling us along in that wagon! She was an independent woman who loved the Lord.

Because of her strong relationship with God, she felt it was important to teach her children Christian principles too. She would warn us about the pitfalls of being a disobedient child. She would say, “Children must honor their fathers and mothers that their days might be long.” We listened to her. We learned from her daily example. She lived what she taught us. Because of her example, my siblings and I were baptized into Christ at an early age. My mother wanted us to have a life-long relationship with God, just as she did. Looking back, I believe she was equipping us with what we would need to deal with the ups and downs of life. Certainly, she knew we would need the Lord to get us through the difficult times—just as she needed Him to cope with the trying times of her own life.

I watched my mother deal with a difficult marriage, troubled finances, her own illness, death of loved ones and the uncertainty of what issue or problem was coming next in her life—and she handled it all with such grace, dignity and faith. She would often say that she put her trust and faith in the good Lord. I know that it was her relationship with God that got her through the trials of her life.

When I became a woman myself and was bombarded with the problems of my own life, her advice was for me to rely on the Lord. I would learn later that not only did I have to rely on Him, but that at times, I would have to hang on to Him for dear life! Without the influence and teachings of my mother… without that red wagon she used to pull us in to Church as children— I might never have had what I would eventually need the most in my life—a strong knowledge of God and a secure relationship with Him. The greatest gift my mother ever gave me was—God.