A Mother’s Wisdom

Recently, I was going through some of mom’s papers and came across this list of “sayings.”  No author is listed.  However, the sayings are wonderful life statements and truly represent the heart of our mom, Essie Mae Chever Brown. I have added mom’s sayings and my anecdotes in red.  I am sharing half of the list now and will share the rest in a later blog.  I hope you can relate. I know I can.

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch. Don’t rule out family members.  Even if you’ve had disagreements, they will usually come around in times of need.  So, stay in touch with them also.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month. If you can’t do this, try to pay more than the minimum, even if it’s only a dollar more.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Pay God first, then pay yourself second. Save from every paycheck. (This was mom’s golden rule. I still have my first savings account book from Florida Federal which was on Central Ave. in St. Petersburg.  Mom gave me a crisp $5 dollar bill to open my first savings account when I was in fifth grade at Jordan Park Elementary School; a lot of money in the 1950’s.)
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship must be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But, don’t worry. God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful. I ask God for the wisdom to know the difference and the strength to follow through. This is what I’ve attempted to do in my de-cluttering effort.  I admit it’s not easy to get rid of stuff, but at this point in my life it is so necessary.   Asking God for help in this area is an ongoing prayer.
  18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. You may feel as if you are dying or falling apart at first, but if you hang in there life returns; strength appears.
  19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take “no” for an answer.


God, give me the strength to learn from others.  Help me to realize I don’t have to make the same mistakes over and over.  You have given me wisdom, discernment and love.  Guide me in all situations.

I thought this would be a good time to include a couple of recipes. There’s nothing like a nice meal of spicy glazed chicken and your favorite sides.  Or, maybe the sweet potato casserole can be cooked up for your holiday meal.  Enjoy the recipes as you reflect upon words of wisdom.



1 envelope onion soup mix

3 lb. fryer, cut-up

1 c. Russian dressing

1 12-oz. jar apricot preserves


In bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken. Pour half the glaze over chicken. Bake at 375, basting occasionally for 1 hour or until tender. Cover and refrigerate any left-over glaze.



4 medium sweet potatoes, cooked

1 c. sugar

1/3 c. butter

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. evaporated milk

2 large eggs, separated

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. brandy extract (opt)

1 ½ tsp. lemon extract


Cream potatoes and butter in mixer. Add egg yolks and remaining ingredients. Beat egg whites till stiff; fold into potato mixture. Pour into 2-qt. casserole and top with streusel topping.

Streusel Topping: Combine ½ c. firmly packed brown sugar, ½ c. chopped walnuts, 2 tbsp. butter, melted, ½c. flaked coconut, ¼ c. all-purpose flour with a fork and spoon on top of potato mixture. Bake dish at 450 for 15-20 minutes.

 (I always double the streusel topping for the 2-qt. casserole. Sugar & spices

should be adjusted to your taste.)





























  • Fred Noble

    Sis good Godly Wisdom keep up the good job. Mother Essie was a wise woman of God I wish I could have had the opportunity to know her. I saw her when we all were little/ over to Aunt Grady’s house on Union Street. To know how she and my dad raised you all was outstanding. Thank you for the good post

    • Mary Chever-Watson

      Fred, I sure wish you could have known mom. Like I’ve said before, she would have loved you dearly. It’s a privilege to consider you my brother. I hope you know you are a true gift. Love you!

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