Mama's Rules for Life

I have been writing these rules for my amazing sons for years in my head.

It is time to get them out of my head and on to the internet of course :)

Here goes...............

My Loves,

I love you and you will hear me say this until my last breath.  I don't think I will ever stop staring at you and marveling in how handsome you are. You take my breath away and watching who you are becoming is my greatest pride and joy.

I have some rules to live by about everything for you and I want to document them for you. Perhaps you will read them and live by them, or maybe you will simply glance at them and go back to being teenagers. Perhaps you will take one or two of these rules now and they will sink in or maybe years from now, you will read this again and somewhere in mid-sentence with someone important you will smile and say, "Mama said."

All I can do is write this down and allow the pieces to fall where they may.

On God:

1. Always know that you are never alone. God's presence is with you always.  I did not give you your name that means "I am always with you" not believing this. Keep God close and talk to Him always.

2.  Life is not always a happy time. Someone, something, or some big event will have you feeling low and your faith may waver, I pray that even at your lowest low, you will continue to trust God and believe that he has you in the palm of his hand and will keep you always.

3. Find a good Church home on your own when you get older.  I realize that right now it is ritual but my hope is that one day you feel the presence of God in your life and not just go through the motions.  Do not put your trust in the people of the Church, remember to keep your trust on God.  People disappoint other people and lie to God daily, don't think they won't lie and disappoint you too. Go to Church to get the word of God. Do what the Bible tells you, not what the Church tells you. A good Church will be aligned with the Bible. Not all Churches are - remember that. Keep God as your focus.

4. Always pray.  Pray when things are good, when they are great, when they are not so good and even when they are really, really bad. No matter how bad it gets because it will, just pray. Prayer will change your focus and remind you what is important.

5. You are who God says you are. Read your Bible and believe everything it says about you. Ask God to speak through your vocal cords and to think through your mind. Ask Him for His eyes and that you see everyone as God sees them.

On Family:

1. You are brothers first and foremost. Don't ever forget that. Help each other for as long as you live.  Turn to each other for help when you need it. Don't ever be ashamed to ask each other for help. Remember the song I asked you to sing your whole life? Sing it again and this time hear the meaning of the words and believe them to be true - "He is my brother and I love him like myself."  You are each other's keeper. You are the only 2 human beings on this planet to share DNA.

2. Don't ever take advantage of each other. Always have each other's best interest at heart. You cannot change your family no matter how much you want to. Respect your Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. But when you get older and find that you need to love some of them from afar, that is okay too.

3. Celebrate each other's successes always, no matter how small.  I am your biggest cheerleader and have celebrated every small thing and will do so until my last breath; your first step, your first word, your every play on the football field..................I pray that you will continue this and celebrate each other.

4. Correct each other gently.  You will get on each other's nerves but love should always outweigh anything that you are going through.

5. Don't be so hard on each other. No one is perfect and both of you will make your own mistakes. Don't beat up on each other for mistakes. Mistakes are a part of life and they are to be learned from. Pick yourself up when you fall and do better the next time. May your brother's hand be the first to pick you up when you need it.

On Love:

1.  Love is a beautiful, wonderful thing. It should never make you feel bad about yourself ever! Love should bring out the best in you.  When it begins to bring out the worst in you, know that it is time to walk away and be truthful with why you are walking away. I hope you find a love that never ends but if it does, appreciate it for what it was. Do not walk away with bitterness in your heart. Walk away grateful that you experienced a love many only dream about.

2. If you both like the same girl, don't make her choose one of you.  Both of you need to walk away. If she knows you are brothers, she should never put you in that position.  The world is full of billions of people. She is not the only girl out there. You will both find someone else.

3. Always be honest with who you are in a relationship with. Treat them with respect and don't take them for granted. The more open and honest you both are in the relationship, the better it will be.  Treat her in the way you want to be treated. Respect her always. Treat her as you treat me.

4. Be accountable for your part if things go wrong in the relationship. Don't place all blame on your partner. Know what you did that made things go wrong and if it is the end of the relationship, know how to do it better in the next relationship.  Every relationship will teach you; it will teach you what you loved about it and what you never want to experience again - pay attention.

5. Never force love. If she doesn't want you, move on and see it as a blessing.  You want to be with someone who can't wait to be in your presence and loves everything about you.  I thought long and hard about this one and I am going to say it because I think it is assumed and never said - Don't ever rape anyone! No means no - no matter the circumstance.

On Life:

1. Don't ever stop learning. You will never know everything.  Don't ever think you are better than anyone else.  Every person on this earth has something to say, if you pay close attention you can learn from them.  Whenever you are given the opportunity, be someone's teacher as well.

2. Always be kind.  People may not always be kind to you but you need to be kind to them. This applies to respect and honesty too.  Don't ever hurt someone intentionally. Always help.

3. It is not always important to prove that you are right. If you know that you are right, that should be enough for you.

4. Don't ever let anger and pain consume you. Life is too short. Work hard at finding the good in every situation. It won't always be easy, but work at it.

5.  Don't ever let the world break you. I pray that your lives will be easy but this world has a way of doing a number on everyone at least once. If or when this ever happens, my prayer is that you will read your Bible and this list to find some clarity and peace in your soul to get you up and running again.

And that's it.

Take what you can use, disregard what is not useful, and make this work for you.

One last thing, LOVE always wins.

I love you.



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