Learning to Cultivate from our Moms and Mother Figures

Learning to Cultivate from our Moms and Mother Figures

by: Emily Thomas

We are not born Cultivators—we become them over time. Experience is an excellent teacher, but if we're lucky, we also have people in our lives who help us become women who uncover what matters and do something about it.

Maybe for you it was a teacher, who taught you to value progress over perfection.

Maybe it was a babysitter, who showed you what it looked like to pursue your passion.

Maybe it was a family friend, who epitomized little by little adding up.

Maybe it was your grandmother, who cared for people well and left an enduring legacy.

And maybe it was your mom. For many of us, it probably was. Our moms are uniquely poised to speak into us from a young age, showing us by their words and actions what it looks like to live on purpose, set good goals, and remain relentlessly hopeful in the face of discouragement, overwhelm, and hard things.

Many of the gals on Team Cultivate are lucky to have had this kind of imperfect-but-purposeful mom, and, in honor of Mother's Day, we wanted to share a bit about how they've helped us grow into Cultivators. We hope it serves as an opportunity to reflect on what you've learned from the beloved women in your life this week!

"We ate dinner as a family—at the dinner table!—almost every night. Despite how busy our schedules got over the years, my Mom always prioritized breaking bread together. It stuck with me and we do the same thing in our house now. Our dinner table is the place for belly laughs and deep conversations, food fights (yes, we really did that once! Mashed potatoes everywhere!) and tears during times of grief. My prayer is my kids see the power in dining together and carry it into their future families." —Jessica

"For most of my life, my Mom drove a white minivan that was known around our town as the Jellybean. My sisters and I were okay with it when we were younger, but by the time we were in high school and the van had aged considerably, we would not be caught dead driving it. My Mom, however, drove it happily, even saying that she preferred it to some of our family’s newer options. That may or may not have been true, but her example of not deriving her value from the type of car she drove, and of valuing other things that mattered more (college payments!) over a new car, has made a huge impact on my life. And oh, how the tables have turned: I’m now proud to drive a 13-year-old car myself!" Emily

"Growing up, my mom kept a pretty steady evening tuck-in routine with my brother and me. I remember it including two things specifically: a gratitude journal and the same Bible verse prayed over us every evening. The journal taught us to look for the good or find blessings big and small—and take the time to be thankful for them. The verse was a blessing in and of itself, but it taught us the power of His Word and to believe in what we cannot see. And for what it's worth, I do those same things with my own kids still today (and believe my brother does as well!)." Lauren

"My mom was so good at prioritizing our family unit. Being military, we moved frequently and relied on each other in transitions. She was intentional to develop roles for each of us, use our strengths to make us a valuable part of the team, and create a safe environment full of adventure and fun. We supported each other’s interests and celebrated our uniqueness. We are all still extremely close, and it has been such a joy to see her implement those same things with my kids. She’s the best Nana! I’m so glad I had her as an example for creating a home of safety and comfort no matter the chaos happening outside. Now it’s a goal to cultivate that same environment for my family." Tori 

We’d love to hear from you below! What have you learned from a mother figure in your life? 

We know that while Mother’s Day is a joyful celebration for many, it can also be a time of suffering —for those struggling with infertility, those grieving miscarriages, those who grew up with an estranged mother figure. We want you to know that wherever you are, we see you, and we hope you can join us in celebrating the ladies in your life mother or not who have loved and encouraged you. 

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Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is Cultivate What Matters' Content Strategist and Writer. With over a decade at Cultivate, Emily loves helping women uncover what matters, set good goals, and live them out with joy. Her free time is spent with her high-school-sweetheart husband and three young kiddos.

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