Well, it’s 2:20 a.m. Yes. I was so exhausted, that after nursing Cadrian and putting him to bed at 7, (yes, seven) I lay down for a bit and woke up after 11. And now I’m still awake. Nice, huh?
One of my philosophies on mothering is that is should be fun. Lots of fun. Spontaneous fun. We sometimes spend an entire morning doing chores, and we sometimes spend an entire morning on the couch reading books. We sometimes break out the glittery tatoos for no reason in particular, or paint butterflies and ladybugs on our faces because it sounds like fun. We sometimes go to the park, sometimes we do crafts, sometimes we play games and we sometimes bake. I have a routine to the day, but I also go with the flow. Sometimes I am stern and sometimes I am gleeful, but it is almost always fun. I want to give my children a magical childhood. One where they grow up thinking that every day is the best day of the year.
Along those same lines, I want to teach my children the joy of the Lord. Joy is something different than being happy. Happiness is temporal. It depends on your mood. If you had a good day, you’re happy. If you had a rotten day, you’re not. It depends on things that happen to you. It depends on the externals of your life. If you focus on happiness, you might think, I’ll be happy when the kids are older and less demanding. I’ll be happy when I have a different job. I’ll be happy if I can just….
Joy is different. Joy is internal. The Joy of the Lord is unable to be taken from you. Trusting Him, knowing He will give me the strength to get through whatever I need to get through, gives me joy.
And speaking of strength, check out those muscles! I think the lacy socks especially, give her that “I’m super tough!” air she was going for.
Most importantly, I want to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Depending on the translation you prefer, this verse also says “nourish them, bring them up tenderly in Christian discipline, nurture, teaching, chastening, correction, and admonition of the Lord.
This is a tall order being the failed sinner that I am. Thank God for His grace, which I rely on daily. I do the best I can in reaching my children’s hearts. I teach them right from wrong. I encourage them when they do right, and discipline when they do wrong. Discipline doesn’t necessarily equate punishment. Sometimes it does, and while there is always a consequence for our actions, I rely on the Holy Spirit to help me to know what it should be.
I’m not perfect. I mess up. I sometimes am too strict or lose my temper or miss an opportunity for correction, but I live by grace, and so do my children.
The Bible is my guidebook. Among other things, I teach them honesty (lying is listed twice on the List of Seven Things God Hates), patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, compassion, humility.
Right now we’re working on memorizing 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. It’s amazing how many opportunities in a day with a two and four year old there are to say, “Is that kind? Was that loving?” “Did you just demand your own way? Was that loving?” “Are you being patient? Is that loving?”
Of course, I want children who say “please” and “thank you” excuse me” and know how to use their silverware who are fun to be around and who don’t embarrass me in public, but more than life itself, I want children who love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind.
I work on constantly pointing them to God, because He knows, Mama ain’t got nothin’ on Him. That’s what I do.