Preserved by Purpose: A Mother’s Wisdom

Shewanda Riley is the author of the Essence best-seller "Love Hangover: Moving From Pain to Purpose after a Relationship ends."
Shewanda Riley is the author of the Essence best-seller "Love Hangover: Moving From Pain to Purpose after a Relationship ends."
Shewanda Riley is the author of the Essence best-seller “Love Hangover: Moving From Pain to Purpose after a Relationship ends.”

by Shewanda Riley
Special to the NNPA from The Dallas Weekly

One of the most memorable images from the recent media coverage of the civil unrest in Baltimore is of Toya Graham, the single mother of six who physically beat her teenaged son when she realized that he was participating in the rioting. Regardless of whether you think she should have “whupped” him, it worked. Her refusal to accept anything less than what she thought was the best for her son kept him out of trouble. Because of her actions, her son was not arrested along with over 200 others on that day. Ms. Graham illustrated the lesson of the teachings of Proverbs 1:8 to “not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share one of my favorite writings about mothers. In this very poignant piece, Dallas area author Lisa-Lin Burke shares how Mother’s Day may not be a day of celebration for her and others whose mothers are deceased. Whether your mother is deceased or alive, she shows why it is important to be thankful for the blessings mothers are.

“Mother’s Day: my day of dread. The card aisle was to be avoided, like poison ivy. Envy, not blood, flowed through my veins when I watched daughters and mothers. They talked, laughed and loved together. Did they know how lucky they were? I did. My mother died when I was thirteen. Mother’s Day became just another Sunday without football.

Twenty years after her death, I began to ask myself questions. Did I honestly blame her passing for my every stumble? Why not try to embrace her death? Could I learn from her life to live my own? The Word helped me find solace with Psalms 121 (NIV): I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? I knew Who I had to trust.

The road had its bumps and curves. I almost gave up, but He stayed with me. I bloomed into a woman I prayed my mother would be proud of. Mother’s Day was no longer my day of dread. She taught me the changes a young girl goes through are a celebration. Each night ended with her words, “Mama love.” The card aisle isn’t poison ivy anymore. Now I pick the perfect one. It’s signed with love and then tucked away with the others.

Life on Earth with my mother was too short. Our time together was more valuable than rubies. Remember to treat your mother like the queen she is. You are the jewel in her crown. Not only on Mother’s Day, but always. My mother’s spirit dances within me every second, every minute, every day. I am truly blessed.”– Lisa-Lin Burke

My hope is that this weekend we are reminded to honor those mothers, mother figures and even men acting as mothers who have made a positive difference in our lives. Happy Mother’s Day!

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