Watch Your Child Grow...
Consistency, Intentionally, Overtime.
These are the words that come to mind when you plant a seed and wait for it to grow in to this beautiful plant, flower, or food to nourish our bodies. Plants need the consistency of water and intentional nurturing in order for growth to happen overtime. This goes the same with planting seeds like love, encouragement, expression, comfort, support, and faith in our children. With consistency, intention, and time; the seeds we plant, will help them grow in to the men and women you so hope they will become.
Have you ever looked at the behavior and development of your child and thought to yourself..."Mom win! I know I'm doing something right." I love those moments when you can see the positive impact and benefits from the hard, enduring work motherhood can bring. As mothers, we can be hard on ourselves and think I should have done that better or I should have taught him/her that differently. Don't worry none of us are perfect parents, but with great intentions, consistency, and time, I can assure you the benefits will far outweigh our imperfections. I once read that it's not about being the perfect parent, but being a praying parent that makes a difference (The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian). More information on this book can be found on my resource page.
"I once read that it's not about being the perfect parent, but being a praying parent that makes a difference."
I wanted to share a "mom win" moment with you and hope you know in return, how valued you are and the job you are doing (all the jobs you are doing) as a mom or dad will pay off. I am so grateful God is revealing how effective it is to be present in our child's development each step of the way and how lucky we are as parents that we get to plant the necessary seeds for their future growth. I am not referring to the height and weight of your child, though that is important as well. I am referring to the maturing and the behavioral development. To hear my 4 year old out of the blue, say "Mommy I love you so much" this of course makes my heart melt! The fact that he says it without me saying it first is the rewarding part and he does this quite often. My 4 year old is telling me how he feels. He will also say things like "Mommy, this is so frustrating." We encourage our children to express their feelings by communicating in a healthy way. That is just a couple of seeds, encouragement and expression....there are so many more.
One of the most important seeds to plant is the one of faith. It has been liberating to hear my son express his feelings on God at such a young age. Some of the things he learned in Sunday school or preschool and some from home. More importantly, I am so glad he is developing his faith. Faith is a huge part of Christianity or any religion. There are so many benefits from your child developing faith at such a young age. This can help with difficult circumstances that he or she may face as they get older or as an adult. When I hear my child say out of the blue..."Mommy, I know God loves me," that is a "Mom win". I want my children to know, they are loved, which is another seed planted.
My motivation to share this post was from a time when I was really lost from about the age of 16 to 26. I really did not know what direction to go in half the time and I could have used a little extra guidance outside of what my parents had given me. I believed in Christ and called myself a Christian but was not exemplifying that behavior. However, I at least knew of Christ and knew to pray because of the seed that was planted in me as a child by mostly my grandparents. I am so thankful for that seed. I knew enough to know I was not living the way God would want me to. I knew enough from that seed to know I needed to find a way back to church. I needed to find a way back to God and make a change for the better. We all get off track at times on our walk with Christ, but if that seed is planted in our children, and in our youth, then they will know they can always come back to their faith no matter how broken or lost they are at any time in their life. This reminds me of the verse from Proverbs 22:6, "Start children off the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."
We had a family night, with a bonfire and watching the stars. We sat outside for 3 hours. Our youngest down for bed while my 4 year old Mason is outside with us. As he sits in his own chair, I watch him in awe as he is capturing the moment and isn’t distracted by the mundane busy thoughts that can sometimes take over our adult minds. He is appreciating what is right in front of him. He just sat there for a while looking up at the sky. He then looked at us and said “Mommy... Daddy, I like just having a fire and watching the stars.” He said it in the most adorable 4 year old voice you can imagine. We are so proud of the young boy he is becoming. He is now reminding us of how important our time is together. We were able to shine flash lights up in the sky together and let Mason know that he can still talk to Paw-Paw (My husband's dad who recently passed) up in heaven whenever he wants. We all waved and said "Hi paw-paw Dave. We miss and love you." Planting the seed of faith can go a long ways. God will do the rest.
Watching our children grow has been the one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. Their innocence, brilliance, their eyes lighting up when they talk about something, their curiosity, discovery, gentleness, kindness, and love they express regularly is so incredible. There is nothing else at all that could bring me so much joy. All from our persistence, consistency, and intentionally planting seeds that will continuously grow into the special young boys they are becoming. As we are starting to see the fruit of our labor with our oldest, this reminds us daily of how important and crucial our roles are as parents. We are our children's main influence and example.
My husband and I took a vow to ABSOLUTELY and whole hardheartedly live in the moment with our boys as much as we possibly can. Like truly try to embrace every little thing they do. We even started a journal about a year ago to write down special moments that happen week to week. We take so many pictures we don't know what to do with. I'm sure you can relate. We could sit and just watch our boys for hours as they talk, play, and discover who they are. Investing in our children and planting this type of security, love, encouragement, communication, stability, truth, faith, support, comfort, thankfulness, and more on a consistent basis is beyond the best thing we can do for them. They will forever be thankful for our relationship, for our investment in them, for our time with them, for our effort and our love.
From all of this, we can only hope that our children become adults who yearn for a close relationship and bond with us. I don't know about you, but I want our children to feel the need to communicate with us and the desire to be around us. God, our Father wants the same from me and you. He wants us to get to know Him, communicate, and build a relationship with Him. I love that God is revealing these precious, special "ah ha" moments. Those moments where we can be deeply touched by looking up to the stars in the sky, feeling thankful for this great life we get to experience with our children.
Staying home with Mason and Micah has been the best decision for our family and our children. I thank God for giving me this opportunity. It has been a huge challenge for me at times, being the career oriented person I am, but I cannot imagine it any other way. It was during some of my loneliest and hardest days where I found myself drawing closer and closer in my relationship with God. How ironic. Investing in my children in this type of way has benefited us all. We want them to know the heart and example of a Christ follower. Being a mother has motivated my husband and I to grow in ways that were much needed for a better life filled with love and contentment.