54 Ways I Want to Be Like Mom

I started this list on the airplane returning from Kona to Honolulu ten days after Mom died. It was Sunday, June 26th, Mom’s 54th birthday and I was flying back to a place full of people who loved me but never knew my Mom. I decided two things: move home for five months and make this list.

There are a million-billion things that make a complex person like my Mom who she is. I came up with 40 favorites and my two sisters helped me with some of theirs as well to complete the 54. Enjoy.

5 years ago

1. Love Jesus more every day.
2. Listen to the Father every day.
3. Love my family fiercely.
4. Laugh at everything – loudly with a little snort on the end when necessary.
5. Interrupt homework with tea time breaks – complete with tray and china.
6. Compliment people every chance I get.
7. Pray for my family.
8. Marry the man of my dreams.
9. Write things down.
10. Read voraciously.
11. Look words up in the dictionary at the dinner table.
12. Respect my husband and talk him up to anyone who will listen.
13. Buy a good dress in multiple colors.
14. Shop for others more than myself.
15. Make friends with cashiers.
16. Pray with and for strangers.
17. Dress up for my husband.
18. Plan dinner for my family every night.
19. Stay sensitive to sin no matter how old I am or what I have been through.
20. Hear God’s voice and speak prophetically to people in my life.
21. Use big words.
22. Plan great trips.
23. Never get mad when my kids break something.
24. Give the best part of my meal away – or the last bite of my dessert.
25. Make fun plans for rainy days, good report cards, Tuesdays, you name it.
26. Confess and repent in front of my kids.
27. Clean the kitchen sink no matter what.
28. Give gifts for every occasion.
29. Make every holiday special with some appropriately researched meal or obscure tradition.
30. Straighten the house at 5:00pm by leading “clutter drills” – whoever picks up the most in 3 minutes wins a prize! Brilliant.
31. Teach my kids at every opportunity (particularly unit prices at the grocery store and how to clean the bathtub just right).
32. Identify with my kids’ weaknesses and sin struggles with my own stories, fights, and victories.
33. Keep the Mommy-dance going.
34. Ask lots of questions about my family’s days and be the first one my daughter wants to tell her stories and secrets.
35. Buy special birthday cereal.
36. Take my kids to surprise lunches.
37. Conduct read-alouds and do the voices when necessary.
38. Recognize talents and gifts and cheer-lead for them.
39. Bake honey wheat bread.
40. Make my home a beautiful and comfortable place.
41. Take in the family-less and make them adopted family – especially over the holidays.
42. Be unashamedly myself, especially in public. i.e. singing loudly in the car with the windows down.
43. Set aside my own desires for the sake of my family.
44. Write encouraging notes and leave them on dressers, beds, and lunchboxes.
45. Write music.
46. Prioritize my alone time with God.
47. Be the loudest cheerer at my kids’ sporting events.
48. Make people feel loved.
49. Always laugh at my husbands jokes.
50. Play tennis.
51. Make up for any lack of ability with great enthusiasm.
52. Counsel women without being a “Counselor”.
53. Be competitive with sports and board games-but always with a smile and ready to give the win to a loved one (usually the Dad).
54. Raise a family that will love me as much as we love our Mom.

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12 thoughts on “54 Ways I Want to Be Like Mom

  1. Lynn Bembenek says:

    This is beautiful Erin. I think your mom did an amazing job in raising all of you based on what I have seen, and what I know of you all. Your mom was such a beautiful loving person, and so are you and your sisters. You all are a great legacy to leave, and you are all a tribute to your mom every day. I am honored to know you all.

  2. Scott Keen says:

    I missed catching a really, really easy pop-fly at the church softball game today. It was nice to hear the church family say nice things to make me feel better (i.e. “the sun was in your eyes”, “anyone would have missed that”, “it’s softball, y’know, whatever”). Hey, I did hit 2 SOLID line drives out to center field that got me on base, and I never struck out!

    But my point is, it’s so much easier to be at-ease to around people — genuinely good, kind people — who don’t care if can’t run or flub the easy pop-fly catch. And I think having family like that, well, it’s a homerun even for someone who’s a base-hit (base-hit = single, get it? I’m going with the baseball double entendre…).

    Great list Erin. What exactly is special birthday cereal?

  3. That’s an impressive list. Better start now!

    • eb does life says:

      I’ve certainly started some of them. Loud cheering, laugh-snorting, and dictionary scanning to name a few. Oh, and you are a really incredible friend and awesome singer (that’s the compliment-giving).

  4. Nicole Thurmond says:

    love this list and love knowing your mom a little better 🙂

  5. Chris rehrer says:

    I didn’t know your mom but after reading this to a room full of people in Indonesia we all agree we love it and the legacy she has left. Thank you for sharing her with us. This short list alone shows just how great a woman she was!

  6. Megan says:

    I love this! What a sweet legacy and way to remember her. She was definitely an inspiration!

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