Saturday, February 4, 2023

Raising Rebels on Grits and Grace

By Lori Weatherly, HottyToddy.com blogger
I am as southern as the day is long…and when I am out of my surroundings or atmosphere, it is very evident just how southern I am. From my “hey y’all” or “hey sugar” to the bejeweled flip-flops on my freshly polished toes, it is obvious I belong on the beach or flat lands.
A couple of years ago we traveled to Wisconsin. You can imagine the looks and questions I got when someone heard “y’all” come out of my mouth just as you can imagine the way I was entertained by the “now don’t ya” from them! It was great! I loved to hear them speak…I admit that I tried several times to master the dialect there, but it was epic failure every time I did. Can’t take the draw out of my y’all for nothing!
Well, just as I noticed how very different I was on this trip, I also noticed just how unique each one of us is, no matter where we are geographically.

Author Lori Weatherly enjoying the flat land of Mississippi.
Author Lori Weatherly enjoying the flat land of Mississippi.

The flatter the land, the more comfortable I am. My ears even hurt so badly in the high altitude letting me know I had never been that far from my home before.
On our honeymoon, Ronnie took me to the Smoky Mountains…Oh my word! Can you say sleet and mountains in a 6 speed convertible? I was freaking out! He, at that point, confessed he was really, really happy he didn’t take me to Colorado to the Rocky Mountains! Whew, me too, me too!
Once again, I was out of my element, all I knew were the flat lands…the kind where you can see the horizon and know where you are going and your car cannot fall off of a mountain or cliff at any given moment. I like those lands, a lot!
When I look at these experiences of being away from home, I realize there is truly no place like home, no matter where I live or where I visit. I also realize that it isn’t just about my dialect or being in the south, it is about my roots…my upbringing, what settles my soul and grounds me.
My roots are here, in the south…where my parents raised us on ‘grits and grace.’ There were so many nights that we had breakfast for dinner. As the baby of five on a preacher’s salary, I thought that these breakfast nights were so special! I mean, who really has breakfast at night? My mom, the preacher’s wife, was breaking the rules! Wasn’t she so cool? (Insert smile, y’all, my mom NEVER breaks a rule!) But I really thought it was so awesome to have grits, eggs, bacon for dinner. And before we ate the really cool breakfast for dinner, we said grace.
What I realize now is that my mom, although super amazing and the best mom in the world, wasn’t breaking any rule, she was simply living the example that “His” grace and her “grits” were sufficient to feed her family. Those nights that we had grits were probably because we didn’t have much else and she was relying on “His grace” to provide for her family. Of course, I didn’t know that then…but…I sure do now!
I fixed my little Rebels breakfast the other night and while at the stove I remembered all of those nights of grace and grits…and I was grateful. I was grateful for the provisions, grateful for the blessings of having this lesson in my life, for having parents that would model this for me and for having grits in my pantry to feed my family. And of course grateful for God’s grace!
Ron Weatherly, Lori's husband, and their boys on their way to Ole Miss graduation.
Ron Weatherly, Lori’s husband, and their boys on their way to Ole Miss graduation.

I have survived the last 8 years on God’s grace, but in reality have never lived without it, even as a young child eating my grits!
I do add a little drama in the kitchen with my boys, always playing the character of Flo from “Mel’s Diner.” Anybody remember that show? (It is no coincidence that her favorite line was “kiss my grits!” LOL! But, I will not smack my gum.) They love it when I am in character and they place their order…it seems our Will is quite a good tipper too. They have never seen the show, but when they do, they are going to laugh so hard at me! I hope I am there to see it with them.
It’s pretty powerful to see the life lesson I have learned just from having breakfast with my family as a little girl and making breakfast for my own family now. It sure makes me think about what will make a difference in their lives that I am modeling now to them as they grow up.
I hope and pray that anytime my boys are having grits and saying grace, they will have these amazing memories and lessons in life that God’s grace and their mama’s grits are sufficient, no matter where they are!
From coast to coast, God’s grace is everywhere! Now, grits on the other hand…hmmm…Did y’all know some people have never even heard of grits? SMSH! (Shaking My Southern Head!)
Have a great day Y’ALL! And for my new northern friends, I bet ya’ want some grits, NOW DON’T YA?
– Lori Weatherly is the proud wife of a Rebel and proud mother to three little Rebels, two that she gets to take to Ole Miss ball games and one that has a special “Hotty Toddy” room in heaven. She is the author of “Facets of Life; What I Didn’t Expect When I was Expecting.” Her work includes sharing her personal journey of child loss through writing and speaking as well as her hand painted, inspirational card line. She has a passion to help others and a most special place in her heart for adoption. Her website is LoriCWeatherly.com.

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