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Friday, December 21, 2012

Children are special!

Sarah Elizabeth
Here I go again, nag, nag, nag! 

After 29 years of parenting, I honestly believe that I have taped recordings of lectures that are stored in my mind which can go off quite automatically on certain cues. I have precise sayings that immediately dribble out of my mouth without any special forethought whatsoever.

Seriously, raising children takes a lot of repetition, a lot of pestering, and a lot of "constructive criticism." Every day I'm reminding people to brush their teeth, make their beds, be humble, be sweet, be respectful, be diligent, wipe their feet, put their shoes away, take out the trash, clean the counters, finish their schoolwork, write thank-you letters, stand up straight, and on, and on it goes... 

After a while it can grate on one's nerves, all of this energy expended in seeming futility. If a mother is not careful, it can wear her down, steal her joy, and keep her from truly delighting in her children.

Patience being her wonderful self!

Everyone needs a little correction and accountability from time-to-time, but constant "fixing" can tear down a home from the inside-out. If we want to grow a healthy plant, we certainly are not going to prune it down to the root, or drown it with too much water. No, there are times when we must very carefully bind up its tender shoots, and set it on the windowsill so that it can soak up some much needed sun-light, and their are times when we simply sit back to admire it. 

Parents can get so busy, that they allow the circumstances of life to rob them of the emotional energy they need for their children. They might have the best of intentions, but if their little ones rarely hear a positive word, they may never get to benefit from the gift of love and acceptance they need from the most important people in their lives. 

All too soon the youngsters are off and gone, and then the words spoken are often too few, and the relationship is too distant to make any real difference.

Faith, Patience and Lorilee

The proper time to enjoy our children is now--this very instant. It doesn't matter if they are in dirty diapers or have faces covered with acne; they need our affirmation and unconditional love, through the daily expressions of our total delight in them. 

So remember to smile, and flirt, and tickle them. We need to grab them up spontaneously and kiss them behind the ears. We need to learn to play with them, and tell them jokes and funny stories about times when they were little babies, or even when we were babies, share the memories that will make everyone laugh. We must learn to listen to their stories, and laugh at their jokes, and take pleasure in their artwork, even if we can't always tell what it is they were drawing!

And we have a divine opportunity to be their very first and best cheerleaders--their champions in a scary world.

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)


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