I know every parent says this…but OUR baby is the most beautiful, sweetest, happiest baby in the WHOLE WORLD!! Josh and I are so proud of her!
BUT…we are also filled with such a realization of the responsibilities that rests on OUR shoulders.
One of the first things a parent looks for from their new baby is a smile! Even those first couple smiles (that all the studies agree are just gas) warm the heart of ANY parent!
But, as I began taking our little Heidi to nursery on Sunday mornings and passed the older classes, I began to wonder…what happens?? They start off sooo sweet and happy, naturally smiling at anything funny or ridiculous, but somewhere along the line, they develop attitudes and get really good at throwing fits.
We understand that there will always be some moods that might come and go, but Josh and I began brainstorming about what could be done NOW to help determine our child’s more permanent attitude in a few short years…
The Little Sponge
As soon as Heidi was beginning to look around and be aware of her surroundings I began to realize that she was picking up everything she did by seeing someone else do it. And the person she sees for the majority of the day is ME!
Just last week, Heidi learned to blow raspberries and sing at the top of her lungs. Why? Because she watches her mommy all day.
I began asking myself, what else could she be learning by watching me? Could she learn to have a frowny face on tough days? Get frustrated and complain when things don’t go her way? Be less then grateful for what God has given us?
My desire is that my daughter, my little sponge, will soak up God’s joy by watching Mommy! That right now she will see and copy a smile…later on, she will know what eternal joy causes that smile!
From the heart
There are moments when I do NOT feel like smiling. Do you ever have those days? But when I realize that Heidi is looking at me, I CHOOSE to put a smile on my face.
But there will come a day when that isn’t enough. And I have a gut feeling that day will be here before I know it! As Heidi gets older, understands more words and becomes more discerning of my facial expressions; she will know if I am painting on a fake smile or if I am experiencing true joy.
The Bible says in Philippians 4:4 that we are to “rejoice in the Lord always.” Sounds so simple but in day to day life it is TOUGH!
Think about the word “always” for a moment.
When the little one throws food in your face – REJOICE!
If your good sleeper suddenly wakes up five times a night – REJOICE!
In those tough financial moments – REJOICE!
When you thought you had your cleaning perfectly planned out but the house still became a mess – REJOICE!
There is only one way that command from the Lord is even remotely possible…with His CONSTANT help. Taking captive my thoughts has been a habit my parents have taught me my entire life, but the need for it has become real on an entirely different level since becoming a mom myself. Check out this post to see what I’m talking about.
The most important thing is for my children to learn where my joy comes from and that we serve a forgiving God that is there even when we fail. He will love us through every mistake and continue to give us the strength to grow.
For Our Children – No Excuses
During this time, when our kids are so young, temptations to just think about their comprehension level and not think about what habits are being formed can easily pop up.
I can sit in front of my nine month old Heidi and tell her how funny she looks when she chews with her tongue sticking out. It doesn’t matter if I shower with the door wide open right now. We can go shopping for Heidi’s Christmas present with her in the cart!
But just as we are having this think about changing these less significant habits now, we are also having to consider what more permanent habits we developing (or, on the flip side, not choosing to break).
Having joy is a habit, a choice and a life lesson that will only be truly effective when CAUGHT by kids (it is not as effective if only TAUGHT to them).
So I am challenging myself, even today, to:
TAKE CAPTIVE my thoughts with the joy of the Lord EVERY moment of my day!
NEVER give an excuse for why Mommy isn’t happy!
COMMIT to remember that I serve a faithful and loving God that has blessed me in so many ways!
STRIVE to memorize His Word and to share it with my children!
Mothers and sisters in Christ, we have NO excuse for not being joyful. Any trials we face during the day pale in comparison to what Jesus suffered for us. Our biggest responsibility as mothers is to show our children that there is no better or happier life then serving Christ!
Thank you for listening to my heart!
I would love to hear your thoughts!