2. Listen, even when it is annoying. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. ;) You've been there. Some conversations are just roll-your-eyes-boring. If my child is wanting to talk to me about all of the Lego battles that were won on our carpet, I need to listen. Yes, there are days when I want to poke my eyes out because I've heard about the cute 7th grade boys a thousand time over. But, so many treasures are hidden in the lines of my child's day. If she is willing to let me peek into what is important to her, I need to be willing to listen ... and respond.
3. Say "I'm sorry" without giving excuses. We all speak before thinking. Some days (especially if my patience is running thin) I respond with clipped words. It's not so hard to say "I'm sorry," but it is a stretch to say it without adding, "but if you had not _____________ I wouldn't have responded that way." What are we teaching our children about true repentance if we constantly give excuses for our own words?
4. Love their Father. My children need to see my love for God. Is it evident in the way I speak? Do they see me spending time in His Word? If not, then I am no better than the parent who says, "do as I say, not as I do."
5. Love their Daddy. I could write the same lines as above. Do my children see my love for their daddy? Do I speak well of him? Do they know we're crazy about each other? Do they get an eyewitness account of what God designed marriage to be?
6. Lighten up. I don't know about you, but when my schedule fills up, so does my seriousness level. Sometimes I allow my "business face" to take over because I'm trying to check things off the list. Do you ever wonder why there is a crease between your eyebrows? I wonder about mine too, but I have a slight suspicion that it comes from being too focused on all that "must get done."
7. Get a little CRAZY. It is important for our kids to see and experience the fun side of mom. Crank up the music and show them some of your dance moves. If you are like me, I don't really have dance moves. Just, uh, moves. White-girl-got-no-rhythm moves. Not too long ago I cut loose and even let them record my crazy jig. Did I embarrass myself? Yes. Would I die if anyone outside of our family saw the video? Yes. Will my kids remember how much fun we had that hysterical afternoon? Y.E.S.
8. Touch them. In a society that is saturated with perversity, it is sickening that I have to type this with caution. Our children need to be touched by their moms. Don't allow the depravity of our culture to steal the affection that your child needs from you. Hug them. Tickle them. Squeeze their shoulders. Hold their hands. Kiss their cheeks. Even as they get older, DON'T STOP. They need appropriate physical touch. If that void isn't filled by healthy relationships, they will seek it from someone else. That thought makes me shudder.
9. Worship freely. When you see the markings of God's paintbrush across the sky, take the time to give the Artist the credit. If a song of worship comes on the radio that moves your soul, let them see that you are awed by your Creator. How many days do we allow to slip by without praising our Maker? Allow it to be a natural part of each day. Your children will learn, through example, what genuine worship is; not just something they attend on Sunday mornings.
10. Enjoy them. "The days are long but the years are short". I would shout that phrase from the rooftop if I could. Yes, the daily grind is hard. No, it's not a bowl full of cherries. No, motherhood is not for the faint of heart. BUT, you can enjoy it. If you've been through a tough season, take baby steps. Look for little delights that are brought to you through the lives of your children. Savor the sweet moments, for these are the ones you will remember into your golden years. When your children sense that you enjoy them, they will feel the security of love flow over their hearts. To be treasured is one of life's greatest gifts.
I'm joining Grace at Home and Front Line Moms and Pieces of Amy today.