Lessons for Life

Lessons for Life

Grandma with kidsMaddi Gillel

When I was growing up, I had the advantage of my mother, two grandmas, and a great grandmother living with and close to me.  Such wisdom they all had about life!  They could cook, sew, quilt, raise children, farm, do handwork, serve others, and just generally make for a tight- knit family and community. I learned so much from them by their teaching me, and by my observing them.

The following are things I learned from them and also what I have learned as a mother and grandmother myself – things that have helped to keep me grounded on this “bucking-bronco earth.” If mom and dad are grounded, it’s easier for the children to be grounded:

Pray – Go to bed on time – Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed – Say ‘no’ to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health – Simplify and un-clutter your life – Less is more – Allow for extra time to do things and to get to places – Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time. Don’t lump the hard things all together – Live within your income and don’t use credit cards – Have backups, an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc. – Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting  – Get enough rest – Eat right – Read great books –  Get organized so everything has its place – Listen to a CD while driving that can help improve your quality of life – Write down thoughts and inspirations – Having problems? Talk to God on the spot – Make friends with Godly people – Laugh and laugh some more – Develop a forgiving attitude –Read to and with your children each day – Help with homework – Talk less, listen more – Slow down – Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe – Have a family ‘meeting’ once a week to coordinate schedules, cars, chores, activities, etc. – Take 5 minutes each evening to have a religious reading/discussion with the family.

Long ago, life taught me that if I procrastinate something so I can ‘play’, the next day is not as peaceful or fulfilling because I still have that ‘chore’ to do.  One of my grandmas taught me that we do our ‘work’ first (e.g. in the morning) and then in the afternoon, we can ‘play’ (she would talk to her friends on the phone or go visit her friends).

“The successful person has the habit of doing the things unsuccessful people don’t like to do.

They don’t like doing them either,

But they subordinate their disliking

By the strength of their purpose.”

               Albert E.N. Gray

Scriptures are the handbook for life.  They provide solace, understanding, hope, strength, and peace.

THE FAMILY BIBLE

Old Brother Higgins built a shelf

For the family Bible to rest itself

Lest a sticky finger or grimy thumb,

Might injure the delicate pages some.

He cautioned his children to touch it not

And it rested there with never a blot

Though the Higgins tribe were a troublesome lot.

His neighbor, Miggins, built a shelf

‘Come children,’ he said, “and help yourself.”

His book is old and ragged and worn,

With some of the choicest pages torn,

Where children have fingered and thumbed and read.

But of the Miggins tribe I’ve heard it said,

That each carries a Bible in his head.

And finally the point of this article:

“When mores are sufficient,

Laws are unnecessary.

When mores are insufficient,

Laws are unenforceable.”

Emile Durkheim

(Sociologist)

2 Comments
  • jessie elizabeth
    Posted at 13:01h, 27 April Reply

    Such an enviable upbringing and another great article! I loved the quote by Albert E.N. Gray – a quote I personally needed to read. And the end quote by Durkheim was a perfect conclusion to very concise article, effectively written.

  • Diane
    Posted at 17:42h, 29 April Reply

    Loved it. Great advice, expect with 9 kids all close in age, I never go to bed early. Maybe when I’m a grandma, I can make that work. 🙂

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