Skip to main content

A Mother’s Reflections from the Side of the Road: Strategies to Become Unstoppable

This special Mother's Day blog was written and shared with us by Dr. Delilah Joiner Martin, Program Director of SNU's Family Studies and Gerontology program and recent Oklahoma Mother of the Year honoree. 

Dr. Delilah Joiner Martin

Proverbs 31:25: "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."

Mother’s Day is the day to give a big Thank You to our mothers, to celebrate, honor, and appreciate them one and all for their role in our lives! Mothers may have given birth to us, adopted us, volunteered with additional needed support, and may have titles like grandmother, MiMi, GiGi, Meme, Nana, aunt, mom, mommy, friend, KiKi, teacher, foster mother, and mentor. We may have chosen them, and/or they may have chosen us. In whatever way we are heart-connected to one another, if we haven’t said it lately, we want to say it sincerely today. Your caring, teaching, love, strength, tenderness, guidance, and devotion are appreciated and have made a difference in my life, in who I am, who I became, and who I am becoming. Thank you for the life investment; it has made and continues to make all the difference.

Proverbs 31:29: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."

Upon reflection, everything of the greatest value in my life was gifted to me originally through my mother, what she believed in, and how she authentically lived her life. My mother, Norma Mae, was my very first teacher. The content and theory of every course I studied eventually had to pass these mother-approved foundations and frameworks for living. These strategies were naturally how my mother lived, and she gifted them to me.

Cultivate an Essential Engaged Relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit: If you desire the adventure of your life, build your world knowing that this Supernatural Powerhouse has your best interest at heart, loves you passionately, is with you always, will transform your life, and is your “more” when you are not enough. Also, understand that when you surrender your life to Jesus and when you pray, Father, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, these are huge life choices. You are inviting this Powerhouse team into all of your business with the understanding that the Holy Trinity knows you better than yourself. Walk in the confidence that you can trust in this amazing love, but also know this love changes every part of you to be a truer reflection of that love right here, right now, and in the process of developing that Holy relationship.

My mother role-modeled this in everything in our faith community and in our home. She was unwavering in her Christian Faith, studied the Bible, gave her best to her church family, loved her family, and believed that in everything her Heavenly Father is good, His love is unchanging, He is worthy of all trust, and this includes every circumstance of life, even the ones we don’t like, seem wrong, don’t understand, and challenges us to the core of our being. Pray over everything that touches your life. Pray with praise, thankfulness, and with confidence that He is already at work on your behalf, is completely trustworthy, and His love for you is unchanging.

Prioritize Education: My mother always seemed to have a book that she was reading, information to share, and guidance to give. She studied to be prepared, to understand, to acquire knowledge, and to be able to resource and help others. She was a lifelong learner, and she could not keep what she was learning to herself. Although she never completed High School, she loved education and learning, made it a priority in her life, and encouraged her children and others to value education. Don’t be afraid of the hard questions, and don’t necessarily believe everything that comes from an expert. Study and learning bring another dimension of understanding of others and the world in which we live but we can kindly agree to disagree on the importance it may or may not place in one’s life. We can certainly explore a theory well enough to pass tests, write papers, build an argument, engage in an educated discussion, and have some learning fun, but at the end of the day, this is a personal path, I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I love my family, so I can choose to leave a theory on my front porch and not bring it into my day to day life. Pray over everything even what you are learning. My Mother’s passion for education influenced me all the way through the completion of a Doctorate.

New call-to-action

Value Relationships: It is essential to value and love our family, friends, colleagues, faith community members, and people we may meet and have a conversation with unexpectedly. Our Powerhouse team is always at work in our lives, and they are always in the business of connections for our good and Holy Kingdom purposes. Honor the people in your life, believe in the best about people, forgive quickly, celebrate, share, pray for one another, mentor, listen, be transparent, be authentic, laugh easily, look for humor, and be willing to be surprised! My mother was gifted at loving people and really caring about them and for them. I don’t think that she ever met a stranger, and she enjoyed having fun! If you were known by her, you would be loved. She also was an advocate in prayer. She taught me to pray and today that is the gift I give to my family, friends, colleagues, and students daily. How blessed I am to be able to work at Southern Nazarene University which allows me to pray for my students in class or on a walk. My students know that I walk almost every morning and it is during my prayer walk that they are specifically being remembered in prayer.

All In: Whatever you have been assigned to do, it is important to do it as unto to the Lord. This work is Holy. You may certainly talk to the Lord while completing that work assignment but don’t make excuses for not getting it completed. Get the job done, and then let’s have some fun! It is important to be responsible and respectful and do what we have been assigned to complete. Complete what you begin. I believe I can still hear my mother’s voice clearly on this one. It’s very possible that my siblings and I may have challenged mother on the order of work and fun! Once again, a good work ethic is essential to every course completed, degree earned, and promotion received. Keep in mind that in every worthwhile endeavor, there is always a cost. Some of our endeavors have greater costs than others and always require differing lengths of time. This is your life. What are your dreams, goals, and visions for your future? Your hopes and dreams are nearer now than they have ever been. Live life well!

Proverbs 31:26: "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."

I encourage you to celebrate your mother BIG for Mother’s Day! Thank her for the ways she has invested in your life. Let her know how much you love her and what you appreciate about her, and give her a huge hug. If she ever mentioned that it is time to earn a degree or complete a degree, Southern Nazarene University is here, and you can reach out to us today! Now, imagine that big happy smile she will have when you tell her the good news!

For more information about Southern Nazarene University's Professional and Graduate Studies programs, please contact

Request More Information

Have questions about SNU or need help determining which program is the right fit? Fill out the form and an enrollment counselor will follow-up to answer your questions!

Text With an Enrollment Counselor

Have questions, but want a faster response?  Fill out the form and one of our enrollment counselors will follow-up via text shortly!