3 Things My Mom Taught Me

Six years ago today, I lost my mom to cancer.  

We found out that she had stage four gastric cancer on August 6, 2009.  They gave my mom 6-12 months to live.  Seven weeks later, she passed away on September 22nd.  

It is still hard to believe.  

Many of you have been reading my blog since my mom’s passing.  Some of you have not.  I wrote about my mom on my blog every Wednesday for a year after she passed.  You can find all of those posts HERE.

My boys were 10, 8, 6, and 2 when she passed, and I wanted them to be able to read about their amazing “nana” on my blog.  I needed to document how amazing she was, and how blessed they were to have her in their lives, even if it wasn’t as long as we all had hoped.  I thought my weekly posts about mom were for my boys, but God used them to heal my own heart and fill it with gratitude for  the Godly mother He had given me. 

This is a picture of my boys the day of my mom’s funeral.  Jonathan sang Amazing Grace (Chris Tomlin version) at her funeral because she had asked him to.  How that sweet little boy held it together to sing at her funeral, I will never know.  But he did.  And there is no doubt in my mind that my mom was in heaven soaking up every note in her heart with her hands raised high above her head full of praises to the God she loved so much on earth and is now standing face to face with for all eternity.


My mom taught me so much, but here are three things that stick out to me. 

1.  Jesus is everything.

Mom made no bones about the fact that she was hopelessly and helplessly in love with Jesus Christ.  She lived her faith out every single day, and her main goal in life was to share Him with others.  Was she perfect?  Heavens no!  She would be the first to tell you that. :)  But she did her absolute best to live like Christ every single day.  She taught me to spend time in prayer, cherish and study God’s word, and fellowship with other believers as much as possible.  

2.  Serve others.

My mom  had the most amazing servant’s heart.  She knew that serving others was what God had called her to do, and it is what makes us most like Christ, the ultimate servant. Year after year of my childhood is filled with memories of mom serving others through homemade meals, visits to hospitals, writing letters of encouragement, and volunteering at church.  It brought her so much joy, and she realized it mattered. 

3.  Dream Big and Take Chances.

My mom was always cheering me on to try new things and have a “carpe diem” attitude.  She always believed in me and would encourage me dream big.  She never wanted me to have regrets for not doing something that I really wanted to do.  I watched her live out that attitude in her own life.  She was always trying different things and stretching herself to try new things.  She had a custom window treatment business, a cake decorating business, an ebay business (selling hand sewn American Girl Doll clothes,) a job as the food editor for our local newspaper and for a national magazine (Home Life,) a church puppet team director, a student at a three month professional writer’s school, and on and on and on.  Mom would get a “hankering” to try something new, and she would do it!  CARPE DIEM! We laugh about it sometimes now because she tried some pretty hilarious things, like even being a ventriloquist {not kidding,} but I am so thankful that my mom had that type of attitude.  She’s the one who encouraged me to start my own blog, and I am forever grateful for that!


My mom has been gone for six years, but her influence in my life is ever present.  I find great comfort in that.  I find comfort in knowing that the love I give my boys each day, the things I do for them, the lessons I teach them, they example I set for them is NOT wasted.  

A mother’s influence on her child is strong and powerful and ever lasting.  I pray that that encourages you as well.  Being a mom is tough, but it is worth it ladies!   Stay strong.  Teach your children what matters most in life.  Never give up and find rest in knowing that your work is never done in vain.  It matters, and it will last forever in  your children, your grand children, and for generations to come.  

Thank you, sweet Jesus, for our mothers!




  1. I have been reading your blog for these past six years and just loved how you honored your mom every Wednesday. What a blessing she was to you and your famiy, as you are to yours. Your mom taught you well…I am so blessed to have had a mom so loving and giving and miss her every day. It is so sad not everyone has had that wonderful role model in their lives…

  2. My prayers are with you and your family. Mothers are the most important people in our lives…losing them is always hard but the memories and teachings that they leave with us after they leave are all that really matter. Best, Silvana

  3. You’re one courageous woman for being able to write about your mother and in public. Everyone can see and read about your affection and your mother’s lessons. I on the other hand couldn’t bring myself to speak about my mother. For me it was a complete shut down where I overloaded myself with work trying to bottle it down. For an year I was out of order.
    Sorry for bothering you with this. Your mother was right, never give up.

  4. My grandfather and my father both died of cancer. Doctors said 3 months. Both died in just over a month. It never gets any easier does it?

  5. Traci – You were blessed to have a other like her. I loved reading your posts during that time, and now I’m going to read them again. They are a beautiful tribute to her. I know she was and is very proud of you and your family.
    Blessings and prayers,

  6. Amen Sister!

    I lost my mom May, 2014 and my mother-in-law July, 2014. Both Godly women. I have been following you since about the time your mom passed. Your boys will be blessed as well with the memories you have created for them on your blog. They are such handsome boys and that Eli – he was just (and still is) adorable!

    Hugs to you my friend
    Marilyn C.

    1. Hi sweet Marilyn! I always love hearing from you! I am so sorry that you lost two such special women, but how blessed we are to have known them!

  7. What a sweet example and a great reminder for me today as I grab my coffee and start the day with my kiddos. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Thank you for sharing. I’m having a tough week being a mom. So I appreciate your reminders and encouragement. My dad went on to be with Jesus 7 yrs ago…pancreatic cancer. We had 18mo -which is long for that type of cancer – and I cannot imagine what tall went through first with the do and then the 7 short weeks. We’re remodeling a new we just purchased and seems I Pin so many of your projects :). Love your blog, too.

  9. Traci,
    I have been one who has been with you since that time, even a little before I believe, but I vividly remember those posts that first year. They touched my heart so much. I can’t believe that it has been 6 years, but take note that I think about you and your lovely mother every time I see the daffodils in spring. May God continue to bless your life.

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