My sister wrote a sweet note to my mother for mother's day in 2009. The title of her note was: "Lessons on How to Live in a Small Town (taught to me by my mother)". Even though she used the word "live", the truth is the life lived was one of love, and she was taught specifically how to love by our mother.
My mom grew up on a cotton farm in West Texas. She attended the local small school, small church, and knew everyone. It's hard to avoid anyone in a small town, therefore, you'll either love them or hate them. My mom chose love, and she continued to choose love even after she married my father, moved to a big city, and raised three children. Her love extends to everyone she meets. I'm so blessed to have both my mother and my sister to look up to as examples of how to love on people in your life.
Tip #1: Always Remember Everyone's Name. It lets them know you care.
Why is it that you feel at home when people know your name? This can be such a challenging thing, yet such an amazing opportunity to truly love people by simply knowing their name.
Tip #2: Ask them how their _____ is doing.
Have you ever been in conversations with people where you're asking them all kinds of questions, and they never ask anything about you? It's so important in a relationship to have a two way street line of communication. The trick with this one is that you really have to remember what they are involved in, and that takes careful listening as they talk to you.
So often people are dealing with major drama behind the scenes of their lives, but put on a brave face to their casual acquaintances. If you follow up on a previous conversation, you're building bridges to deeper conversations and relationships for the future. It's a great way to show that you care.
Tip #3: Listen to People
People love to talk about themselves, so if you listen to them, soon you'll be their favorite person. It's really easy to get wrapped up in what's going on in your world and miss that others might have exciting news, pressing events, or heavy burdens that need sharing.
Tip #4: Do Things for Your Neighbors
This could mean looking out for their children when they need a little help, pickup up their trash can when it blows away, or taking them food when they've had a baby. The little things can really add up to a really meaningful blessing to someone, and you never know how important that act of love can be at just the right time.
Tip #5: Offer to Lend a Hand to Anyone Who Needs It
If someone drops something, needs a ride, or needs help with their kids, and you have the power to do it, lend a hand. It might seem small and insignificant, but keep your eyes open to ways of expressing love to others.
I love that both my mother and my sister express this simple yet powerful love to all who encounter them. What a beautiful example.
Happy Mother's Day
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.