So, today’s “Momma Monday” is dedicated to my amazing Mom, Jean Marie Seiwert. If you have been reading for a while, you know…I think my mom was pretty much one of the most amazing women to walk the face of this earth. She has been gone now for over a year and a half, but there are words that she spoke to me often that I think of every single day, multiple times a day, those words are “Don’t be hateful.” They are three simple words, but words that can change your life completely if you chose to employ them.
I feel like I could truly write a novel on these words…they can be used in so many situations. I want to give you some examples from my life, and hopefully I will be able to convey just a small part of my heart and the way I honor my mom every single day.
In My Role as a Mom
Let’s face it, my beautiful, amazing, wonderful children are also ornery, inexperienced at life, and don’t like to listen to what I say. So, there are moments in the day when I can become frustrated, and as much as I don’t want to, I can lose my temper pretty easy. Enter Jean Marie…when those frustrations rise and I feel myself getting upset I truly do consciously make the effort to not be hateful towards my own children. They don’t understand most of the time what they are doing and even if they do, it’s my job to not jump down their throat and flip out…it IS my job to talk to them and teach them. It doesn’t mean I can’t be upset, but what I can do is calmly tell them why I am upset and what they could do differently. Mind you, this works WAY better with Kolten than with McKinley, who is at the stage when you talk to her and say anything, she responds with, “YA!” – as much as that could comfort me to think she knows why I am talking about, previous experience as taught me otherwise. ;)
|Kolten's attempt at taking a "selfie" of us all :)|
In My Role as a Wife
I have explained this pretty well in my “L word” post (if you didn’t catch it, check it out here). However, what I just want to make sure that I do touch on is this is in two fold. I will NOT publicly (on facebook or any other social media outlet or even over and over to friends and family) “vent” about Keith and what my get on my nerves or about a fight we may have had. It’s just not going to help anything get resolved between Keith and I and it is not going to help anyone else truly know what is going on in our relationship , Keith is not there to tell his side, it’s just going to give them an obstructed view of Keith, which helps no one. The second part is though that I will not be hateful TOWARDS Keith. Everyone knows that when you are in an argument or tensions are high about a situation, things can be said that you very well may regret. When it happens to me, I’m not kidding when I say I feel like I hear the words I my head directly from my mother’s mouth, “Lisa Marie, DON’T be hateful”.
As a Sports Fan
Here is a good one, I’m serious too folks! I am what some would say an “enthusiastic” college basketball fan - (that’s fancy talk for the fact that I yell, A LOT – I can’t even blame this one completely on my dad, my mom was HILARIOUS to watch sports with!) …I have that syndrome in which I believe that the teams can actually hear me through the TV! ;) It’s a completely true story that one time, before I was even pregnant with Kolten, during March Madness I was watching games at home while Keith was at work and I was yelling so loud during a KU game that I scared our dog into his kennel and he wouldn’t come out! Something that I have learned over the past few years (as KU has done not so great on occasion and I have been humbled and WSU has done better and better), and I know this is a hard subject honestly for some people to comprehend, BUT…to be a fan of a team does not mean you have to be rude and hateful towards other teams! Why in the world can’t being a fan just mean that you have incredible pride in YOUR team?? There is a difference in a little playful banter and such (some of my best friends are K-State fans and I live in UNI country up here in Iowa) but don’t be nasty. There is no need to “Boo” at games and make fun of players because of hairstyles or anything like that…it’s not going to make your team play any better…on any given night, either team can win…that’s the beauty of the game!
|Keith and I at the WSU vs. UNI game in Cedar Falls in Feb 2014|
I have seen a lot of posts on Facebook about the idea that dirty laundry belongs in the laundry basket, not on Facebook, and I totally agree! I am so truly thankful for Facebook…it allows me to stay connected to people back home and even get to know my new friends up here in Iowa a little more as well. However, sometimes Facebook is used as a place to just spew negativity…whether it’s about current events happening in the world or people posting negative comments on other people’s posts. I guess with this one, I think of two sets of words…”Is it Hateful?” then “Is it Helpful?” Really, do the words I have to type or my “two cents” to add to a situation have anything to add that is going to be helpful? I have been known to thrown in my own opinion just because I feel like it, but I know I don’t always appreciate it when someone else does it to me, so I try to be aware of those situations as much as possible.
For Myself in General
This one is a HUGE one and one that took me a long time to come around to. This is probably the part that I could write on the longest, but I am going to try and keep it to two points. I spent most of my life comparing myself to so many people around me that I almost literally made me sick…the thoughts that would run through my head on a daily basis were, “I will never be that skinny”, “My could never look that good”, “I will never make enough money to be able to afford that”, “They are so much better than I am”. It took me 28 years (yes, this thought truly only came to me in the last year), to realize what my mom had told me all of those years was applicable most to ME! I should not be hateful towards MYSELF! When that thought finally became apparent, it literally changed my life. I no longer felt the need or desire to try and impress other people or compare myself to them or their situations. I began to focus on myself in order to improve myself to be what I wanted to be. What I do want to be is a healthy, strong (literally and figuratively), supportive example of faith and encouragement for anyone and everyone around me. When I focus on the good that I have done and everything that God has blessed me with, it’s incredible to truly see what else is possible in my life. I am no longer hateful to myself and that makes an INCREDIBLE difference in every aspect of my life!
The 2nd part of this is truly the general point that I have taken away from my mother’s incredibly simple, but life changing words. As I said before, she said to me, “Don’t be hateful.” While it is not a direct translation, to me it is in the same realm of these amazing words from the Bible:
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” Matthew 7:12 (NLT)
Some refer to this as “The Golden Rule”; I like to refer to it as just simply TRUTH. In any situation you are in, especially if it’s a difficult one, remember two things: Matthew 7:12 and Jean Marie’s words, “Don’t be hateful”…would you want someone to be hateful towards you? I highly doubt you would say, “Yes, of course!” It has helped me in so many situations! To be honest, sometimes if you don’t want o be hateful, it means you have to be quite (I like to call it “The Thumper Approach” – If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all).
I will be totally honest with you…each and every one of these things is a daily point of full on intention on my part. Every day it gets easier and I am so very grateful for my mom in so many different ways, but the words, “Don’t be hateful” with be with me in my heart forever and I will pass them to my children and I know that Jean Marie is looking down, smiling and one day when I see her again, I will be able to tell her how much truly thankful I am!
Have a blessed day friends!