Mothers. If Webster had given it more thought, surely he would have defined the word "mother" as, "The most dependable source of honesty known to man." When it comes to cutting to the chase and telling it like it is, mothers are natural pros. We all know that sometimes truth can hurt, but no one can soften the blow of painful honesty like a mother. When a mother speaks truth, even hurtful truth, there’s an unexplainable sweetness that helps the medicine go down. My mother is no exception. She’s the most caring, compassionate, nurturing being I know. She can speak truth to me that no one else can speak. The same truths fed to me by others and ingested as bitter pills, become spoons full of sugar when served from the sweet heart of my mother. However, there are times when I must brace myself for the brute honesty of the woman who gave me birth. She is a lady of opinion, and holds nothing back in letting me know exactly what that opinion is.

For example, Mother always "fusses" over my white socks. Now, you have to understand, I love my white socks. I wear them inside the house to cook, clean, eat, and relax. I wear them outside the house to check the mailbox, sign for UPS packages, and walk the dog. I’m not ashamed to wear them to entertain guests for dinner, and I always wear them to bed. I wear them to work on my computer, home school my children, and talk on the phone. They’re familiar, comfortable, cozy, and as the most treasured part of my wardrobe, I never leave home without them. After all, as ankle length sports socks they are easily concealed by long pants and boots. I mean, really, if you can’t actually see my white socks, what difference does it make if they don’t match my clothes? Well, let me tell you, to Mother it makes a difference.

While modeling a potentially new outfit in a department store dressing room, she’ll raise one eyebrow and announce, "I don’t know how you can tell anything about that outfit with those white socks on!" If she’s traveling with me to a speaking engagement, she’ll complain, "I can’t believe you are going to stand on stage in front of all those people, wearing those tacky white socks under your pretty black dress!" "What difference does it make, Mama? It’s not like anyone knows they’re there," I’ll argue. "Well, I know they’re there," she’ll reply followed by what I affectionately refer to as the look.

I once made the mistake of wearing brand new boots during a three hour speaking engagement. By the middle of session three, I was in major pain and could hardly walk away from the podium to make my points. The pain became so intense, that comfort finally became more important than fashion. I paused in the middle of a story, proceeded to unzip and remove my sources of torture, and begged the audience, "If ya’ll happen to bump into my mama, please don’t tell her about my white socks."

Mothers. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s honesty. I had the privilege of being a featured guest on CBN’s nationally syndicated television show, "The 700 Club." In spite of my vain requests for the camera crew to film from my right side (my "good" side), they allowed the host to have first dibs on preferred camera angles. Turns out, we both have only one good side, which unfortunately for me, was the right. While the lovely host spoke into the camera zoomed in on the flawless right side of her face, I had to swallow the shame of allowing millions of people to view a close-up of my most self-despised and hideously ugly feature; my pea-sized baby tooth. Yes, I have a thirty-seven- year-old baby tooth. It’s right up front, and believe me, it’s not a pretty site.