Several years ago (27 to be exact), we were traveling along snowy roads in order to spend Christmas with family. As the snowfall became heavier and heavier, the roads became slicker and slicker. So much so, that when the car in front of us started sliding, we had no choice but to try to avoid hitting them. When my husband began pumping the brakes, we also slid...right into the ditch.
Seconds after we stopped, our 3 year old son began to sing (to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It") "If you go into the ditch say a prayer....".
Thankfully we were able to drive right out and go on our way. There wasn't even a scratch on the car.
No, this isn't a lesson in defensive driving. My purpose in sharing this memory with you is to impress upon you as parents and grandparents how important it is to LIVE Jesus Christ; making your faith who you are not just something you do. As parents and grandparents we need to raise our little ones up to instinctively go to the Savior first of all in any and all situations.
How do you do that? Glad you asked. You teach by example. Let your light shine before them to bring glory to our Father in heaven.
I'd like to say that by doing so you have the assurance your children will follow suit. It is every Godly parent's hope and prayer that they do, but there will come a time when they will choose for themselves who they will serve. If they choose to serve the Lord, give thanks! If, however, they wander away, consider this time their time of 'sliding into the ditch'. And in those times, follow 3 year-old Zach's advice and say a prayer. Say lots of prayers.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
They See So Much More
Tucked into one of the interior pockets of a purse my daughter gave me for my birthday one year, was a note. In the note she told me she loved me and was thankful for our relationship and that I was her mom. While it was nice to read these words, the words that left the greatest impression were the following...
"Mom, I am so proud of you. I don't know who you see when you look in the mirror, but when I look at you I see a woman who is strong, smart, beautiful and who loves God and her family with her whole heart. You are such an example to me and I hope that someday I will be just like you."
Wow! Does she really see all that? I was both happy and humbled. I was happy because she was seeing in me the mom and woman I wanted to be. I was humbled because she was seeing in me the mom and woman I wanted to be.
Do you think about what it is your children see when they look at you? You'd better, because they are looking even when/if you don't think so. And their vision is 20/20 when it comes to seeing who you really are. They see deep down into your real self. They know the difference between who you are at home and who you are in public. They know your phone voice vs. your real voice. They know if you parent by example or are the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do kind of parent.
Oh, and one more thing...your children don't stop looking once they leave home. In fact, they usually start looking closer and more intently once they leave home for college and to strike out on their own. So take a few minutes to stand in front of the mirror (the kind that allows you to see yourself from the inside out). Do you like what your kids are seeing?
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
All That Christmas
When my granddaughter, Mackenzie, was about 17 months old, we were waiting in the drive-thru line at the bank. Sitting in her car seat, Mackenzie spied the window of a gift/interior decorating shop across the street from where we were. The window was filled with Christmas decor; an elegantly decorated tree, Santa, wreathes...you name it, it was there. There was even a mock fireplace with stockings all hung with care.
Mackenzie, who had been chattering away (as usual) stopped in mid-sentence, took a deep breath and said in a voice filled with awe and wonder..."Nanna, just look at that. Just look at all that Christmas."
I will never forget the softness and sweetness of those words. She was totally captivated. I get all teary-eyed just thinking of it now. But what's that got to do with anything besides Christmas?
As parents, it should be our heart's desire to fill our children's lives with awe and wonder. We should strive daily to keep their lives wise but innocent. Don't allow their childhood to become tainted with fears, anger, emotional pain and heartache. A child shouldn't have to worry about what is waiting for them at home. They need to know that they are loved and protected; treated with as more TLC than any glass bulb hung on a Christmas tree ever would be.