Happy Birthday, Mama! I’m writing this for you. And, for the others of you who are reading this, I’m writing to encourage you to think about who has most influenced, most supported, and most loved you. More specifically, when you think: “Life is so much better because of you!”…who do you think of? Do you already tell them how much they mean to you? Maybe you need to tell them again today or for the first time even.
Before I go any further, let me say how blessed I am to have an amazing family. The more I go along in life, the more appreciative I am of each of them. They are the ones who make life most fun and the ones who make life most bearable. Life is so much better because of each of them. And, I tell them often in one way or another: Life is so much better because of you!
As much as I love my family, I want to specifically honor my mother today because it’s her birthday, because I love her like crazy, and because she has been with me the longest…cheering me on through the highs and encouraging me through the lows. She is the wisest, strongest, hardest-working, most dependable person I know. I count on my Mama. I truly can say my life is so much better because of you, Mama!
Tell Your Loved Ones You Love Them
One of the many important lessons I’ve learned over time from my mother is that you should tell your loved ones you love them. Her parents weren’t as forthcoming with expressions of love, and so she made sure to tell my brothers and me that she loved us when we were growing up. She told us, wrote us notes, danced with us in the kitchen, laughed with us, sacrificed time and money for us…all to ensure that we knew she loved us. She still tells us today. And, I recognize more and more how sweet those words are and how fortunate I am to have her in my life.
The Five Love Languages
What about you? How do you express love? My good friend, co-author, and NY Times Best-Seller, Dr. Gary Chapman, has helped millions over time with his book: The Five Love Languages. The five love languages are: words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, quality time, and acts of service. You can read more about those at www.5lovelanguages.com. You can also take the free and fast online test to determine your love language.
More than simply know our love language, we need to know our loved ones’ love languages, and then we need to actually follow through with speaking their language. Why? Because our loved ones won’t necessarily “just know” we love them. We also aren’t promised tomorrow. Today is the time to invest time and energy in our relationships and to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us.
Now, Not Later
My father’s health is quickly declining; he won’t be with us much longer. I don’t know how well he understands me anymore, but when I sit with him, I tell him that I love him, that he has been a good father, and that I appreciate all the hard work he did for me and for our family. I wish I would have told him more often when he was well. But, I’m learning—life is short. Now, not later, is the time to tell our loved ones: Life is so much better because of you!
On Birthdays and Every Day
Mama, thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do for me and our family. God could not have given me a better mother or better friend. Thank you for your unconditional love, good humor, patience, hopefulness, selflessness, and wise counsel. Life is so much better because of you!
And, to the rest of you, thank you for your friendship and support! I hope you’re thinking about to whom and how you might express love and gratitude. I hope you have in mind one and many people of whom you can say: Life is so much better because of you! Today may or may not be their birthday, but then again, it doesn’t have to be someone’s birthday to tell them how much they mean to you.
Before you go…
Who are you thinking of? How have they made your life so much better? Share your thoughts below in the comments section. I’ll do my best to get those posted as quickly as possible.
If you think this article may be an encouragement to others, please consider sharing it via Facebook or Twitter (see below for sharing options).
Photo from © Can Stock Photo / AnikaSalsera