I am My Mother's Garden

I stand before you as a living testimony of God’s grace, mercy and abundance. Sometimes the person that plants your garden is the same one that sows seeds into and tends to your garden. That is not my story. My mother planted my garden when she gave me life. And although she loved me, she was not my primary care giver into adulthood. My Grandma, my mothers’ mother, raised me the majority of my life starting at 6 weeks old. My Grandma nurtured and loved me in my tender years. She spent countless hours when I was 4 teaching me to read and write my name. By the time I entered kindergarten I could already read and write. This planted the seed in me of my love of reading and writing that I enjoy today.

I lived with my mom’s sister, Aunt Jean, my first grade year. Although my Grandma had introduced me to Jesus, it was my Aunt Jean that instilled a true understanding and passion for the Lord. That foundation is something I am most grateful for today.

I lived with my mom for a few years after that, and through her example, I learned about sowing seeds of kindness. My mom has always believed in being kind to all people – stranger or friend – rich or poor. As a nurse, she lived her life caring for strangers and today I intentionally sow seeds of kindness.

As a widow my Grandma raised me again for 7 years until I left for college. Since August of 2007, Grandma has been dancing in heaven and now more than ever I cherish the seeds she planted in me. We actually had a huge garden growing up that we spent countless hours in – that had every fruit and vegetable imaginable. Grandma labored tirelessly in this garden hoeing, watering and spraying year after year. While Grandma labored daily, she was planting seeds in me that she possessed: strength, patience, perseverance and the ability to see the job through to the end. Grandma would harvest these vegetables and share them with a sick neighbor or one who may not have much for their dinner table. I harvested from her generosity and giving. Grandma planted in me a sense of balance and spontaneity. When the watermelon was ripe, we would throw it down on the ground hard to break it and eat it right there in the garden with juice streaming down our arms. After hoeing and weeding, we’d go out front and pick hedge apples and set them up in the lane like a bowling alley. I learned fun and imagination. At 72, my Grandma rode her first 3-wheeler and a seed of adventure was planted in me. When I got married one of the presents my Grandma gave me was this recipe card that I framed for my kitchen. Now I live my life as her legacy and I leave you with her recipe.

1 cup consideration

2 cups praise

1 gallon faith in God and each other

1 pinch of laws

Generous dash of corruption

1 cup confidence

1 cup encouragement

1 cup hobbies

1 cup courtesy

2 cups human kindness

3 tbsps pure extract of I’m sorry

1 cup kindness to each other, love for God and each other. Thank you.

Kimberly Wright is the 2009 National Young Mother of the Year.  Kimberly was born in Hominy, Oklahoma and now makes Las Vegas, Nevada her home. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. While in college Kimberly volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and was a Court Appointed Special Advocate and volunteered with foster children programs for several years. In 1996 Kimberly married John Wright and in 2000, John and Kimberly welcomed the first of their 4 children.  Kimberly is an Executive Regional Vice President with a Swiss wellness company. Kimberly and her family are active in their church and she loves any opportunity to serve in ministry. Kimberly enjoys taking Bible studies, reading, and playing outside with her family. This was her three minute speech at the American Mothers National Convention in Portland, Oregon.