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Mama Used to Say: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: A Legacy of Words Worth Preserving from One Generation to Another by Joyce Digby Nelson, Ed.D.

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Ask and You Shall Receive
You have not because you didn’t ask. Mama wanted you to ask
for what you wanted.

You Have Not Because You Ask Not
Don’t complain about what you don’t have if you didn’t make
your needs known. Mama used to say she worked day and night
“to provide us with what we needed and some of things we
wanted.”

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Mama Used to Say: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: A Legacy of Words Worth Preserving from One Generation to Another by Joyce Digby Nelson, Ed.D.

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A Closed Mouth Doesn’t Get Fed
If you want something, open your mouth and ask for it.

You Can’t Judge the Honey
by Looking at the Bee
This had the same meaning as “You can’t judge a book by its
cover.”Mama wanted you to be curious and explore your
options before making a decision.

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Mama Used to Say: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: A Legacy of Words Worth Preserving from One Generation to Another by Joyce Digby Nelson, Ed.D.

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Your Lips Look Greasy to Me
Sometimes we would run inside from playing and tell Mama we
were hungry. She would then say, “You look full. Your lips look
greasy to me,” as if to say we had already been eating something.

I Am Not Fattening No Frogs for Snakes
Mama was not going to let you use her to do your dirty work,
nor was she going to work on something and allow you to get
all the credit for her work.

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Mama Used to Say: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: A Legacy of Words Worth Preserving from One Generation to Another by Joyce Digby Nelson, Ed.D.

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It’s Not How You Fall; It’s How You Get Up
Mama warned us that we would have many ups and downs, but
we should never give up when we were down. It was Mama’s
thinking that each time we got up, we got stronger and more
prepared for the next fall.

It Is Hard to See the Rainbow When
You Are Sitting in the Storm
Mama used to say, “Be patient” when we felt we were going
through something that took forever to pass. Sometimes we
would get so distracted with the negative that we could not see
the positive.

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Mama Used to Say: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: A Legacy of Words Worth Preserving from One Generation to Another by Joyce Digby Nelson, Ed.D.

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I Have Forgotten More Than You
Will Ever Know
Mama taught us to respect our elders. Learn to listen to those
who have already traveled the steps you are about to take.

I’m Backing Out of This World
and You Are Coming In
Mama wanted you to stop and listen. You don’t know everything
and if you take a minute and listen you may learn something.

Excerpts from Page 70

Mama Used to Say: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: A Legacy of Words Worth Preserving from One Generation to Another by Joyce Digby Nelson, Ed.D.

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I Brought You in This World,
and I Will Take You Out
When Mama asked you to do something, you had better do it,
with no hesitation. If it wasn’t for her you would not even exist,
and therefore she would not hesitate to lay you out on the floor
if you made her mad enough.

I Am Through With You as Much
as I am With the Dirt Beneath My Shoes
Mama wasted no time with people who appeared to be wasting
her time with foolishness such as pretending to be looking for
a job and they were hanging out over a friends house.

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Mama Used to Say: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: A Legacy of Words Worth Preserving from One Generation to Another by Joyce Digby Nelson, Ed.D.

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Don’t Shine a Light in a Dark Place
Mama didn’t waste time doing things that had no purpose or no
value to our family. She believed going down a dead-end street
five times was not going to produce a path for you to go
through. If a situation looks bleak from the start, then don’t
engage in it.

If You Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight
Mama constantly reminded us to let nothing stop us from
achieving our dreams. Prepare for the worst and hope for the
best.

Excerpts from Page 55

Mama Used to Say: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: A Legacy of Words Worth Preserving from One Generation to Another by Joyce Digby Nelson, Ed.D.

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If You Are Grown,
Get Out and Get on Your Own
If you didn’t want to follow Mama’s rules, then it was time to
move. Get your own house, buy your own food and clothes too.

Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse
Do things with decency and in order. Mama would sometimes
add, “You have to crawl before you walk.”

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Mama Used to Say: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: A Legacy of Words Worth Preserving from One Generation to Another by Joyce Digby Nelson, Ed.D.

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There Are Four Types of People in the World,
Movers and Shakers and Then Those That Need
to Be Moved and Shaken
Mama wanted her children to be movers and shakers. She
worked hard so we could enjoy some things she could not, but
it came as a sacrifice of her not continuing her education so she
could help support us. Mama wanted us to go to school, get
good grades, go to college, and ask for what we wanted because
in the end we will have earned it.

What Has Happened in Your Past Is Not As
Important As What Is in Store for Your Future
Mama knew as we grew older we would make some mistakes,
but she always reminded us not to focus on the past and to stop
looking back so you could see what was in front of you.

Excerpts from Page 38

Mama Used to Say: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: A Legacy of Words Worth Preserving from One Generation to Another by Joyce Digby Nelson, Ed.D.

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Don’t Pick No Shade Tree for Me to Shit Under
Mama didn’t need you to tell her when, where, and how to do
something. She was responsible and could make informed decisions.
She resented people trying to make decisions on her
behalf.

Dumber Than a Box of Rocks
If Mama said this, then the act or statement shared made
absolutely no sense. The person might as well been talking to a
brick wall.