She recently swanned onto my Instagram featured in my Mothers’ Day post looking flawless as ever, and casually broke the record for the number of likes I’ve ever received on an Instagram post — just, you know, casually. I’ve been trying to get the same number of likes since and yeah… no. ? Lol!
I’m her only child but I still have to share her with about 20 other girls who’re convinced she’s their mum, too. And she loves all of them, every one of my friends, as though they were her own daughters. Which really doesn’t help.
She radiates grace, elegance, love, wisdom, warmth and she’s set a standard of motherhood and womanhood that I can only hope to match one day. And yet she lovingly guides me closer towards it every day.
She is, of course, my amazing mum. And I wanted to take this post to honour her, since last month was her birthday month. I also wanted to honour some of the other women, particularly preachers and speakers I’ve come across, who have seriously been inspiring me over the past few weeks, and who hopefully might inspire you, too.
Our relationship is characterised by deep, close friendship. Not in a way where I see her as my age mate or my equal — she is my mum, and I respect and honour her accordingly. But in the sense that she is and has always been my very best friend. We have been through innumerable ups and downs together, things the world will never know about, and she’s raised me as a single mum for the past fifteen years.
Even writing this, I can already tell the words in this post aren’t going to be sufficient to convey even a glimpse of how much I love my mum and how precious our friendship is. It really is beyond words! So I’ll settle for saying some of the things I appreciate most about my mum, and some of the things she’s taught me. I know they’ll bless you, too:
1. You can do anything you put your mind to if you believe in yourself.
She and my dad were very intentional in naming me Imani, which means faith, and as I grew up it became routine to remind me what my name meant. ‘Belief.’ Including belief in myself and in my ability. That self-belief has carried me to where I am today. Thank God for parents who instil that in their children from a young age. I hope to become one of them.
2. Keep it simple.
Mum takes pleasure in the small things. She loves gardening, she loves cooking, but above all she is a people person and finds immense joy in simply loving others and encouraging them and showering them with warmth and affection. It is simply impossible to feel unloved in my mum’s presence. She’s taught me to take pleasure in the simple, constant things — nature, heartfelt conversation, family, quiet time, good food — and it’s something I’m so grateful for.
Linked to this, she’s also taught me to protect my peace. To maintain perspective. And to know that nothing is worth stressing over. Give it to God, and know He’s working it all together for your good.
3. The power of love, warmth and affirmation.
My mum is the queen of these three. You’ll feel it as soon as she walks into a room. At the end of a conversation with her you’ll leave with a renewed sense of who you are and how unique, precious and powerful your very existence is.
4. The value of conversation and of the ability to listen.
Mum and I have been talking non-stop since I was a baby, to be honest. The only thing that’s changed is the nature of the problems I’m facing; everything else — her wisdom, the amount of love in her advice and care in her voice, her ability to discern and decipher dilemmas, her availability to listen — has remained the same.
Failure is simply a step in the road to success. You are not your failures. Giving up is not an option. Rest, reflection and learning from your mistakes are.
6. There is no-one in this world you cannot speak to.
As Mum would say:
You were raised to be able to interact with the richest of rich, the poorest of poor, people from all nations and backgrounds, and to allow each one of them to feel at home in your presence. There is immense power right there.
7. You were not raised to be ‘average’ or ‘mediocre’.
You owe it to yourself to strive to be your best self.
8. Know your worth.
(And know the worth of those around you, too.)
9. Stay humble.
Vital. That does not mean dimming your light (that’s fake humility). It means knowing that what’s yours is yours, and no-one can take a seat God ordained for you. So it’s okay to let others go first. There is room for everyone and every single person around you is unique, valuable and precious.
10. With God on your side, you’re unstoppable.
Stand tall, be confident, and remember your Heavenly Father flung the stars into space. There’s nothing He can’t do.
As you can tell, I am so grateful to God for my mum! It was so lovely to treat her on her birthday weekend, shown in the pictures in this post, with three views of London — one from the top of The Shard, one on a bus tour and one over dinner on a boat on the Thames. Three words to sum up my mum: loving, caring, discerning. I hope I’ve inherited some of those traits!
Inspirational Women — my current Woman Crushes
Aside from my biological Mum, I also have recently come across a number of spiritual mothers — older, wiser women in Christ, whose names I wanted to share with you. I pray some of their material will encourage you; click on their names to watch some of their videos:
- Dr Jasmin Sculark (also known as Dr Jazz) — preacher, pastor and hilarious. I admire her sass and her carefree spirit, also the fact she makes walking in heels onstage look so easy!
- Bishop Ernestine Reems. She’s an 80-something year old lady who doesn’t mess when it comes to giving REAL advice to us younger women. She is AMAZING!
- Joyce Meyer (my all-time favourite!)
- Ifeanyi Adefarasin (the video begins with her husband in the intro). First Lady of House on the Rock Church, a megachurch in Nigeria. Her husband , Pastor Paul, is also an excellent speaker.
- Dayo Benjamin-Laniyi. Entrepreneur, singer, woman of God. Extremely inspirational speaker.
Funnily enough, it was Mum who introduced me to the last two, after attending a women’s conference where they were both guest speakers! This is another thing I love about her – she seeks out inspiration and passes it on when she finds it!
I hope this post has inspired you in some way. Mums — whether biological or spiritual — are a blessing. Be inspired to honour your mum and mother-figures, and the women in your life who inspire you. Ladies, seek inspiration from them so that you are able to become the very best woman you can.
And as an added bonus, here’s a life-changing talk led by one more inspirational woman, Caroline McHugh, for anyone struggling to simply be themselves or to find their purpose.
Lots of love!