10 Things My Mom Taught Me

Last year I wrote about my father.  I wanted to write something this year about my mother, but none of my stories could demonstrate some of the important ways she has been my mom, so I made a list of these important things instead.

My mom taught me that…

  1. Boundaries are good for people, but they shouldn’t be long term solutions between people.
  2. Disagreement doesn’t always equal distance.
  3. Parenting is as much about openness and honesty as it is about protecting your children.
  4. Catching snakes is an art.
  5. Listening is at the heart of relationship.
  6. Hospitality is a way of life.
  7. Money is powerful and powerless.
  8. Although people don’t change very often, they can change.
  9. People are at different places in their relationships with God, and that’s OK.
  10. Strength and love are not mutually exclusive.



And I’m not the only one-  she taught us what it meant to love others and to give of ourselves, as she became “Mom” to scores of neighborhood kids, “the least of these”, and all of my friends.

She taught us that family isn’t something to have or make, it’s something to give.

Allen Marshall O'Brien

Allen Marshall O’Brien is the pastor of a UCC church in Northern California and co-host of the Irenicast. He believes in the importance of education, peace, and ecology, throws things to his border collie Sonata, and writes for multiple platforms.

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