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  • Ashley Thomas

I get it from my mama.

Truth: I was nervous for my father’s speech at our wedding.


Fact: he prepared, and in typical Henry (Hank) fashion had us laughing, slightly uncomfortable and ultimately in tears.


He said it best, I was daddy’s girl. He fanned the flame within that craved competition, success and any and everything to do with basketball. In many ways he “got me”.


What was slightly alluded to, was that Daddy’s girl, meant for a chunk of time I was not Mom’s girl.


Like most teenage girls (or so I’m told) I had a rough patch with my mom. Lord help me, if karma is a real thing. Nonetheless, trust and believe I was closely watching my mom’s every move.


I watched her work ethic. She would go to work, manage the household, and care for my siblings.


I watched her patience (with me, but also my beloved Dad).


I watched how she clung to her faith, especially in moments that made NO sense to me.


I watched her care for people in a kind, humble and selfless way. If she had it, she would share it and trust that what she needed would still be provided for.


As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how healthy it is to question my own perspective. Much of my tension with my mom growing up was that she was constantly trying to “get in the way” of my basketball career. Her continual reminder of “more to life than basketball” was a loud siren that I did everything to escape from. I heard it, but hated it. The irony, the very thing I fight so hard to be true in my own life today and those I work with - is holistic wellbeing. Acknowledging we must grow spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually. My mom got that, and persistently modeled this.


Next week I have the opportunity to share with women on the topic of “who are you bringing with you?” In other words, how are you investing in the next generation? Everyone has someone - whether you are a teacher, parent, coach or any other role. You fill a role for someone. We benefit in being in the mentor and mentee role.


My mom brought me with, kicking and screaming - but persistently, patiently and as well as she could. The blessing? Even though I was an unwilling follower, her influence made an impact, and is bearing fruit today.


My mom gets me. Probably because we are a lot more alike than either of us likes to admit. While I was trying to make my way in this life, she opened doors, prayed and did her part to educate as well as prepare me for this thing called life.



So, this look is one more reminder - thanks mom, thanks for being someone worth watching. Thanks for being in this moment with me, and knowing that tension of being independent, wanting to do my own thing and simultaneously trusting that life is so much more full with a husband, education, other hobbies, with people…with our Father. It doesn’t make me less than to have my attention divided, more like a better reflection of the one whose image we bear.


Ultimately, thank goodness I’m His girl, or else neither one of my parents would have the necessary grace to bring me along.


Who have you been given grace to bring along?

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