Is there someone in your life that makes you want to be a better, braver, or kinder version of yourself? I have several men and women who’ve done this for me, but there’s one in particular I’d like to highlight today. Thankfully, she’s given me permission to share the Cliff notes version of her inspiring story. I’m hoping she’ll let me help write her memoire one day because it needs to be told!
My mom, Linda, grew up extremely poor and very grateful for government lunches and the Salvation Army, who brought her Christmas gifts and took her to church. The youngest of six (three brothers and two sisters). As a baby, my mom’s mom would often just up and leave my mom and come back for her whenever she felt like it. Sometimes days, weeks, even months went by before she came home. Both her mom and stepfather were alcoholics. They would get into huge verbal and physical fights and my grandmother would take the girls with her and leave the boys with their father. She’d come back to him and the cycle of abuse would continue. Thankfully for my mom, her sister, Betty, stepped up to the plate to take care of her. Sometimes my grandmother would come take my mom and would drive with her while she was drunk. When she would do this, Betty would be worried sick and would try to go find my mom. It was an extremely dysfunctional and unstable childhood. At one point, my mom ended up in foster care where she endured all kinds of abuse, which to this day brings my heart so much pain. She hopped from home to home until she eventually ended up back with my Aunt Betty, which is where she wanted to be.
From the time my mom was old enough to work, she took jobs at grocery stores and at Dairy Queen to make money. She married right out of high school, had a baby, and divorced quickly after. She met my dad at his nightclub and was immediately smitten by his business savvy. They married, had me and my little brother, and then my dad dropped a bomb on her that they were $600,000 in debt. At the time, she was taking college classes, trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life and then suddenly he informed her she should try real estate and he needed her to do it NOW.
She begrudgingly did it and made only $3000 her first year, but she soon realized if she modeled her business after the real estate agents who were successful, then she could make some money. She went to every real estate conference she could find, interviewing people and implementing what she learned from the best of the best around the country. Eventually, she became the best and won awards for best in the area, then best in the state, and now the best in the country. My dad closed up his night clubs and went to work in real estate with my mom. After bouncing around to several real estate companies, they found Keller Williams Realty. They built a very successful team and then went on to own Keller Williams offices, Keller Williams regions, and now have the highest profit share honors in the company.
Beyond her accomplishments, what inspires me the most is the person she’s become in the process of achieving. My mom had no idea how to be a great mom, business owner, wife, or Christian, among other things, but she was committed to finding a way to be better than what she experienced. She took responsibility for her life no matter how much hurt, pain, and resentment she must have felt. She choose resourcefulness over excuses. I watched as my mom went to coaches, therapists, mentors, conferences, Bible studies, and read all kinds of books in order to learn and grow. In seeing her do this, I’ve been inspired to do the same. In fact, I’d say it’s the greatest gift she’s given me.
So when the day came that my life was turned upside down after losing my husband to cancer, I knew I had my mom to show me the way because she’s been doing it my entire life. I know from watching her how to move through pain and how to use my experiences as fuel to motivate me to become all God created me to be. It’s a blessing to be able to share those lessons to encourage YOU to become all God created YOU to be.
Who makes you want to be better, braver, and kinder? How has that person impacted your life?
Thank you for spending time with me today! I’m always grateful to spend time with you. I hope you were encouraged through my mom’s story. You have so much to offer the world. Don’t sell yourself short, share your gifts. Go be better, braver, and kinder! Blessings.
PS – Headed to speak at a MOPS event in Allen, TX on Friday! Looking forward to it! If you want me to come share with your group please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Blessings.