There Is No Telling Where I Would Be If It Wasn’t For My Mother

Early on my mother realized that being in an abusive relationship with our father and her husband came to a life or death situation. She said “someone was going to die.” My mother chose life. In 1980 , several months after her father’s death and one year after her third child, she gathered the three of us, all under the age of 5, two suitcases, and $4,000 and left my father.

I never considered ourselves poor, and we always had food on the table, a roof over our heads, and much more. With everything that I experienced as a child, I know that God gave us the right mother.

Without my mother’s teachings, I don’t know where I would be today. I didn’t focus on not having my biological father in my life or other adversities, but on what I did have and made the best of it.

I am currently editing a memoir, Underestimated: Leaving A Legacy Worth Fighting For where I discuss many of my mother’s life principles and how they have helped me in being the person and mother I want to be. I want to leave a legacy of character and the conviction of leaving the world a better place.

Here are 10 of my mother’s principles I share in my memoir, Underestimated.

  1. Give from the heart and expect nothing in return. We will run into people who may treat us unfairly. Our life is not about what they do, but how we react in the face of adversity.
  2. Be Thankful. Show your gratitude by taking care of what God gives you. God will bless you with more. I have seen this principle in my progression to my first house, children, and health.
  3. Be Bold. No one is greater than me. Ask for what you want.
  4. Live Another Day. If you can hold out until tomorrow, life may surprise you.
  5. Take Care of Yourself. To take care of others, you need to take care of yourself first. When I had pneumonia for the first time in late 2019, I couldn’t be there for my family like I wanted to. This period of unwell and recovery helped me in choosing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  6. Take Care Of Home First. If you can’t do something for your own family, how can you do it for others. My belief is I am not a successful unless my children are.
  7. Make No Excuses. Once you accept others and yourself, you can move forward. Denial leads to a lot of unhealthy behaviors and emotions. I didn’t rely on alcohol, drugs, and sex to hide from my past or emotions.
  8. Move Beyond, “I’m sorry.” Anyone can say the words. Action is what really speaks.
  9. Listen. You learn more by listening.
  10. Create The Family You Want. Just because it has always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean you need to continue.

Mothers have the power to shape the world before, during, and after life experiences. We do not have control over every life experience, but we can reinforce the compassion, forgiveness, love, peace, and understanding in our child. A mother’s wisdom can make the trial seem less of a tragedy. I hope I will do the same for my children.

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Who Are You Permitting To Plant Seeds of Doubt?

Is anyone telling you something that is contrary to your core beliefs? If so, how are you discerning healthy seeds from harmful ones? Do you know who you are so that you do not fall for who you are not?

During my reading time yesterday, Genesis 3:1 awakened me to an old technique that can cause us to doubt the truth within our hearts and minds. Genesis 3:1 reads “now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?”

The technique the snake used is appearing to know more than what Adam and Eve knew and had been told.

Before Eve’s encounter with the snake, God gave Adam and Eve clear instructions on what they could eat, but desires for more wisdom and to taste the fruit (susceptibility) drove Eve to eat the fruit and share it with Adam.

From ages 5 to 10, two male family members misused my developing body. Both of them used actions and words (force and kindness) contrary to what I felt was right, but my confusion, seeds of doubt, and susceptibility kept me quiet for years, denying the truth within me.

J & S was not my first experience with abuse. Before the age of five, I reported to another family member that my father was abusing my mother. Seeds of doubt planted while my father berated me for telling the family’s secret.

Shortly after the abuse secret was out, I realized that my focus must be on decreasing my susceptibility to false information instead of spending a lot of time in anger, fear, and potentially destructive habits. Therefore, I sought alignment with nature and a personal relationship with my Creator. I still experienced weeds, but I became more proficient at recognizing and ridding them.

Throughout my personal and professional life as a nurse and health coach, I have witnessed the power of words, but more importantly I realized that the state of our inner garden is what permits harmful seeds (words) to grow.

Often, my mother told us that “as long as people have tongues they will talk.” This is true. Therefore, the way I see it, the best way to utilize my energy, money, and time is by attending to my own garden.

Not too long after the secret was out, S, the nicer one tempted me with doubt.

(Here is an excerpt from Bent Not Broken, my soon-to-be published memoir about my experience with sexual abuse).

“One day, after the secret was out, we were playing outside with S. Before I knew it, he was standing in front of me with his back facing me. Within a matter of seconds, he turned to me and said “it wasn’t that bad.” I stood there shocked by what I just heard. I wondered if anyone heard him, but everyone was laughing and running around. In a round-about way, S was admitting what happened between us. From day one, he denied his involvement in the sexual abuse and blamed J. No matter what, I knew that telling on him was the right thing to do. Sex with children is wrong.

Throughout my life, I have encountered many weeds, but now more than ever I know that preparing and saturating my garden with living water, planting healthy seeds, and daily maintenance is an absolute necessity. I know that my life could have been worse if I had not sought to know my Truth and my Creator. I do not get hung up on religious behaviors or what to call our Creator. The Truth is what I seek, and the Truth is within me.

Unfortunately, weeds have a way of finding good soil, and they can look so pretty and inviting. As a novice gardener, I am learning this Truth. It is up to us to know what our core beliefs are and to have something stable to measure what we hear and see.

How do I get in touch with my Truth? I meditate, pray, and read and watch empowering and inspiration works. I use the principles within the Bible to reinforce my foundation.

Our mind is the master controller of our body. We must cultivate thoughts of honor, respect, and love and remove weeds of doubt, for if they are allowed to grow, they can look so pretty and inviting.

We must hold unto our truth.

The Bible continues to open up truths to me and the mindset to transcend life experiences, even using the lessons of others. That’s what made Jesus so effective in dealing with bitterness, criticism, jealousy, and the like. When we know the truth and beyond knowing, we see the distractions a mile away. We do not succumb to the pressures of life because we know who we are. I am not mad at S for asking me that question that day, because the thought helped me to reestablish who I wanted to be and convict me to my truth.

Anything used to silence someone, whether through force or kindness is not right. God did not give us dominion over people, but over fish, birds, and creatures.

No matter the technique, having sex with children is not honoring the human body. No matter how long sex with minors have been around, children are children for a reason.

Who is in your ear slowly steering you from your truth? Have you detoured from your Truth and trying to find your way back?

I’d love to hear your comments.

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When I am the observer of life’s movie, compassion rises and anxieties and worries dissipate. Life urges me to listen, look, and learn. Timika S Chambers