Mother’s Day is coming – good timing for a Mom blog – but that was not the inspiration for this post.
My oldest children are in the middle of different and very important life events. We’re talking big things here: college graduation, marriage, new baby… not in that order and not all in one place! Whatever I’ve done for/with/to those children in the way of training has mostly been accomplished. There is both comfort and anxiety in that knowledge.
I suspect parents do most of their “teaching” by example, whether we are aware of it or not. I’ve been a lecturing mom, for sure, but my children likely picked up more by watching than by listening to me lecture on and on. (Remember Charlie Brown’s teacher?)
There are times, though, when a mom feels that it is really necessary that her children hear what she wants to say to them. Mostly, we want them to learn from our mistakes so that they don’t make the same ones. We want them to have a smoother, straighter path to walk. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way. That’s when we have to trust that the same God who used our most exciting and challenging times to shape and develop us will use the high and low times our children and other loved ones experience to shape and develop them, too.
These are just a few observations that I hope I have shared clearly with my children. If not, here it goes in plain English:
1. People with the least to lose can be either the most generous people you will meet or the most dangerous. People who value other people over “things” are life-givers. People who value “things” over people don’t value themselves or you and will suck the life out of you. Learn to tell the difference and be a life-giver. You can’t change the other folks, so don’t try. Let God do it.
2. Your choices matter. Choose wisely in all things. Sometimes, though, things will come that you did not choose. Accept those things as opportunities to change and grow into the person God wants you to be. All things do somehow work together for good, but we have to receive the lesson and be willing to change.
3. God’s math is different from ours. Give generously and faithfully to God’s work in the world. You cannot out-give Him, ever. He is a source that never runs dry and His provision will amaze you and sustain you! Love God and love people with everything you’ve got.
4. Honesty is probably the most important element in any relationship – your relationship with God, with others and with yourself. God knows when you’re lying, and others soon know . . . and by the time you figure out you’ve been lying to yourself and everybody else, there will be a lot of cleaning up to do! After honesty, forgiveness is the next important thing. Forgive freely – and don’t forget to forgive yourself.
5. If your dog doesn’t like one of your friends, you should take note…
6. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That applies to everything, so use it in every context. And know that not everyone else will operate that way. Be willing to be different.
7. Time and space are two things that are always full, no matter how much you have. Always work toward having yours full of the things you want to be there.
To all the Moms, peace and blessings to you. Yours is the hardest job on earth and we all know it!