Saturday, September 18, 2010
C is for Commitment
Commitment is a word that strikes fear in the hearts of many men, but it’s what we mothers are all about, isn’t it?
We are committed to wiping that nose, changing that diaper, singing that lullaby, kissing the boo-boo, and feeding those chubby cheeks. We make the cupcakes for school treats, we hug the hurts away, and we counsel the choices. We become “Mama Bear” when need be, and stand on the side line and cheer them on. We become super mom when the moment demands it and our children look to us as their super-heroes.
I remember when I overheard my son fighting with another boy about whose mom was the best.
“My mom can run faster than your mom.”
“Well, my mom could beat your mom up.”
“My mom can lift up a car up all by herself. Can your mom do that?”
Now my son was referring to the time I helped another mom change a flat tire. How he missed seeing me use the jack to raise the car, I’ll never know.
C is for Complacent
A couple of summers ago I was so tired from being sick that I had no energy for my kids. I remember thinking it’s okay if they watch one more TV show, I can barely move. At least I know where they are and they are safe.
That extra TV show turned into an extra two then three. When I started to feel better, I became complacent with them watching TV. They weren’t getting into trouble when some show kept their interest and I could get some work done, whether it was cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry.
What I didn’t realize was that my actions showed them that I valued the TV more than interacting with them. They didn’t seem to mind. Everyone watched together. My complacency spread to other things too. It became regular policy that if a couple kids were watching TV, the other one was on the computer. We started watching more and more and getting less and less.
When life gets busy, we tend to become complacent with our kids. We let them do and say things just because we don’t have the time or energy to step in.
C is for Conviction
Conviction comes when we again realize how important our job as mothers really is.
Break out of the TV habit or whatever complacency mode you are in right now. That first step isn’t as hard as you might think. Take five minutes and play a game of hide-and-seek or sing a song with your child. Stand outside at night before bedtime and count the stars together with your children. Remember to show them the awesomeness of God’s creation during the day.
Tell them you love them with all your heart. It is in those little moments that the greatest love happens. And in that love, you are showing them how much God loves them. In the end, that Love is far more important than clean dishes or folded clothes.
I would love to hear your stories about when love happened in the little moments of the day. Please share them!
Posted by Loretta Oakes at 4:07 AM
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
B is for Baby! Of course!
B is also for bottle. Bottles and breast feeding represent comfort for babies, the time when they feel safest and most loved. We cuddle them close and our warmth surrounds them.
As they grow, our babies are weaned, either by our making or theirs. It is time for them to stretch their toes out in a sense of independence. And though they begin to drink from cups, they still cling tightly to us for that sense of encouragement, love and understanding.
B is for back breaking.
If our babies stayed little it would be no problem to continue to carry them. But also as part of God’s plan, they grow and learn to walk and run. But even a two year old still needs to be held. They long for that comfort and assurance that they are still loved. And so even though we feel those muscles in our shoulders and back feel weary, we lift them up and give them that reassurance that they are loved.
Truly, as children grow, the need for love and encouragement continues. Age brings reason, but their hearts still need a sense of belonging and to know they are loved. We now shift our hugs to more verbal and action based love. We cheer them on during sporting events, we sit cheerfully during the Christmas pageants and school plays, and we listen when someone has hurt their hearts.
But how do we let them know that as they mature, they don’t outgrow God? They see our love and commitment, but how do we make sure they see God’s? It’s not always present in our daily comings and goings…or is it?
How often do we read to them and share with them God’s Word? How do we let them know of God’s spiritual hugs?
My mother talked to us about grace. Whenever we performed some act of kindness—no matter how small—my mother reminded us that we received grace from those actions. And that grace, that intense feeling of love was an embrace from God.
What are some of the ways that you’ve shared with your children about the gift of God’s love? There are so many! Please encourage us!
Posted by Loretta Oakes at 7:46 AM
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
And so it begins!
A new venture for me! I’m on a “Mom” journey and I’ve started this blog because I know I’m not the only one in this stage of life. This blog is about being a mother…a blog about the joys, the hopes and the fears of being a mother.
What better way than using the ABC’s to start the process! Every week, once a week, I will post a little tidbit for thought, something that has proven useful…or not so useful in my journey. I hope you will join me. If you have ideas, or comments, please post them! We can all learn from our successes and failures AND we can all encourage each other to keep going!
A is for angel. Our children are all angels, little gifts from God.
A is also for the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, our God.
What do these two “A’s” have in common? God has given these children to us. He’s lent them to us to help Him grow them into incredible human beings.
Sometimes it’s intimidating, isn’t it? When my oldest was born, my cousin said, “Isn’t it scary to think we’re responsible for their immortal souls?” At that moment, I thought, “What have I done! What have you done, God!”
When the panic passed, I realized that I had not only the responsibility but the promise in what God had given me. I prayed for the courage and the wisdom to nurture my child in the way He wanted.
Time passed and I kept praying. One day I picked up a magazine and read an article that suggested repeating an action with a small child helps them incorporate it into their lives. If it works with action, why not words? So I looked at my small daughter and said, “God loves you and so do I.”
Now I repeat that every day to all my children. I hope that somewhere in their hearts they've incorporated Jesus as someone who loves them.
There are days when it’s so hard I cry. There are days when I laugh. I now understand the phrase, “Live, Love, Laugh!”
But sometimes it’s hard to remember that motto. I struggle with the daily grind of preparing meals, running errands, helping with homework, driving kids to activities and dealing with the occasional emergency. I sometimes get lost in the tasks, and let my children slide. Then I remember my true calling and recommit myself to nurturing the tender young hearts in my care.
We all have our little tricks that make “mothering” easier for us and a good experience for our children. I would love to hear yours. If you have an "A" to add, please share!
Parenting is a journey, and I don’t think it was meant to be done alone.
All of us are afraid, but what we do with that fear is what defines us.
I choose courage and communication. I hope that you join me.
Posted by Loretta Oakes at 10:18 PM