19 Apr “Momma Said” BY JUDY KENNEDY
Growing up in a home with six children meant that the phrase “Momma said”
was powerful. If Momma said it, you were expected to comply.
I cannot number the times I heard the phrase, “but Momma said I could,” or, “Momma said I didn’t have to!” Sometimes it was simply a matter of crowd control: “Momma said it’s my turn,” or “Momma said it’s time to go to bed.”
But the things Momma said to me went far beyond the instructional. With her words, my Momma shaped my faith and developed my confidence. She spoke things to me that would have life-long implications—some intentional, some unintentional. Her words then affect the words I speak now. Even though she is in heaven where I can no longer hear her voice, her words are forever imprinted on my heart.
Momma said… “You are pretty!” She never compared me to my sisters, nor did she allow me to. She said I was uniquely beautiful in that God had spent extra time making me, and He had created no other girl with my eyes. So He wouldn’t be pleased that I didn’t like certain attributes of my appearance. He created something beautiful. I began to believe her; and today, every time I apply mascara, I remember that God made my eyes unique, and Momma said they were pretty.
Momma said… “Learn Scripture—it will help you be successful in life.” She taught me that my choice of friends would determine my future. She daily reminded all of us, “A companion of fools will come to folly” (Proverbs 13:20). She said I needed to learn when to keep my mouth closed: “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent” (Proverbs 17:28). And over the years, I have closed my mouth many times because I can sense Momma’s hand covering it!
Momma said… “Be very careful what you say,” and, “Your words should always be positive and encouraging.” She taught me Ephesians 4:29: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” So many times I wish I had listened to Momma. And I wish some of my friends could have heard what she said—there would have been no bullies at school if everyone could have had a Momma like mine.
Momma said… “Guard your heart.” She said boys would break it, emotions would deceive it, and that lack of forgiveness would defile it. She knew that some of my heart decisions would bring me harm. And Momma was right every time. She said the right thing in every conversation. If only I had listened better. Momma said, “Your thoughts will determine your actions.” She quoted Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
She would say, “A penny for your thoughts, little lady,” meaning, share with me what you are thinking. I would give in, and share my thoughts, and she would measure them by this: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is a good report, if there is any excellence, and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”
The power of a mother’s words can change the direction of our lives. Today, sometimes I open my mouth…and my Momma comes out! And I often find myself asking, “What would Momma say about this?”
I want my words to shape my children, too, and I want my Momma’s words to live forever. Today, I call my Momma blessed. I have to—Momma said I would!