Write It On A Rock

Faith and Family
May 13th, 2012

The Way I Want to be Remembered as Mom to my Kids


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I have been reflecting today, Mother’s Day, on my own mom and how much I love her.

As I’ve mentioned before, my mom raised us as a single mom, and she struggled with mental health issues most of my childhood.  We did not have the cleanest house on the block.  She didn’t bake, decorate, or garden, and she didn’t cook gourmet food.

I also know my mom made mistakes, but that’s not what I remember about her.

What I do remember is my mom sitting on my bed rubbing my back when I cried as a hormonal teenager.  I remember her packing embarrassingly gigantic lunches when I went on field trips because she was afraid I would get hungry.  And, I remember her compassionate responses when I was sick or struggling with something.

My mom really loved us.  1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

That verse gives me much comfort.  I know I will make mistakes as a mom, and I will sin.  I am lacking in a variety of areas.  I have bad crabby days, but I love my kids deeply.

I hope that my kids remember my love for them and forget my mistakes :).

As I think back to the ways my mom showed her love to me, times that stick out to me vividly, these are a few of the things I want to emulate.

  • My mom showed compassion and mercy when I was hurting, even if it was just a small sickness.
  • She encouraged us often.
  • She took the time to have a “special one on one time” with my brother, sister and I.  Since she often didn’t have babysitters she would take us out of school once in a while for a lunch date.  We cherished that time.
  • She gave us consequences for our behavior, something I loathed at the time but have become thankful for.
  • She was humble enough to apologize.

I remember a time right before I got married.  I was praying and thinking about the possibly near future of being a mom.  Something inside me felt scared and inadequate.  The sense of responsibility washed over me.  I wondered, well I still do wonder sometimes, am I going to mess my children up?

In hindsight I was scared because I thought I had to be perfect, and the picture I had of the “perfect mom” didn’t fit me.

I will never forget the mental image I saw in my head as I confessed my fear to God.  I pictured a little boy laying in his bed, and I was kneeling beside him apologizing.  It was as if the Lord was comforting me by saying, “you won’t be perfect, but you will be forgiven.”

That did bring me comfort, and I have apologized to my children many times since God spoke that to my heart ten years ago.  Just yesterday I turned down the radio in our car and said, “sorry I was crabby today.  I have had a bad attitude, will you guys forgive me?”

They accepted my apology, as they always do.  Sometimes we as parents think it’s unnecessary to apologize, but doing so models a repentant heart, brings reconciliation and shows our kids that we aren’t perfect just because we are the parents.

Thank you Mom for modeling deep love for me.  Thank you for your humility, and your empathy.  It’s why I still call you almost daily.  You listen, you understand, and when I am struggling you pray with me.

I pray for a healthy and godly relationship with my children and that I can model for them the deep, deep love of Christ.

 

February 29th, 2012

Don’t Give Up: Encouragement for Parents


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A few weeks ago I told my six-year-old son he needed to go to his room for ten minutes because of his behavior.  He tried to argue with phrases like “I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to disobey.”   I repeated back to him my usual response to manipulative arguing, “I love you too much to argue.”  His response… “No, you don’t love me, this last six years has been a lie!”  Oh the drama.  I had to keep myself from laughing this time at his attempt to get out of a consequence, but there are times when disciplining and instructing consistently can be overwhelming and exhausting.

Galatians 6:9 has become one of my favorite parenting verses.  It says “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”  I often recite this verse in my head when I am in a hard season of parenting.

There are moments as parents when doing “good,” like saying “no” when other parents say “yes,” or staying consistent when our kids are needing consequences can become tiring.  There are moments when you don’t see the fruit of your labor.  This verse encourages us not to become weary.

It says that if we are doing good we will reap a harvest of blessing!  The “harvest of blessing” in this verse is not promising perfect kids if we “do a good job,” since none of us is perfect no matter what our age, but there is a blessing that comes from doing what God asks us to do.

I have made many mistakes as a mom, but have really sought out God’s wisdom in parenting.  I wondered many times if the discipline I did was working at all.  I’ve walked the walk of shame through the grocery store more than a few times, leading one of my screaming two-year-olds to a time out in the bathroom as people stared at me.  I was tired and wondered if I would ever see the fruit of my labor.

I remember reciting Galatians 6:9 on some of my hardest days with a couple of strong willed children.  Though my children aren’t perfect, I am starting to reap some of the blessing of the hard work of fighting those long battles, encouraging my kids, and praying for them.  With our new two-week-old baby to care for it is a blessing to see our kids getting along, listening and being helpful, which is not something we’ve always experienced.

It is so easy to want to give into our children’s manipulation, or into our culture’s way of parenting.  It is easier to disengage sometimes.  Remember Jesus promised to never leave us forsake us.  He is with us, and we can always ask Him for strength and wisdom.

Parents don’t give up teaching your kids, setting rules and following through with consequences.  Don’t give up the habit of reading the Bible/devotions to your kids, even when they resist. It may seem too tiring at the time, but it is good and you will reap a harvest of blessing if you don’t give up!

 

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Why do children love to take all of the toilet paper off of the roll?

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It is so sweet when siblings love each other!

Do you have a memory of doing something you knew was good for your child where you ended up reaping a harvest of blessing for it?