Have you ever used the words: please, thank you and you're welcome? Well, chances are you didn't come into this world with an innate sense of manners, but instead learned those words from your mother or someone who cared about your future and your social interactions. As the mother of a five year old, I'm constantly reminding my son of how to ask for something, how to let someone know you appreciate their efforts and how to graciously respond to thanks given. It is a daily repetitive process. Today would have been my mother's 71st birthday, and I just could not help but be thankful for her constant daily repetitive reminders, for they were instrumental in changing my behavior and later, my heart.
The other night, I was having a difficult time with my youngest and then came across this picture. Seeing this photo of my mother holding up my Raggy Ann birthday cake is of great comfort to me as a mother now. My mother was not feeling well the day of my third birthday party, and I was clearly pitching a fit over something that didn't go my way. Yet she pushed through with patience, dealing with my obstinate ways for many years. As I now struggle daily with what seems like an ongoing battle with raising my own children, I am reminded how important the job of motherhood truly is! It is by far, the greatest undertaking of my life. I've had to change my behavior and learn how to be the best for someone else's future.
Everyday, I strive to change my child's behavior (only when it is inappropriate) and direct his steps. To help him grow into a thoughtful and respectful adult, but I don't want his responses to be like that of a robot, with no genuineness behind them. I want his heart to be sincere and honest in using those words. So we have good talks about manners, their origins and why they are so important. That's what my mother did with me. She served as a Sunday School teacher and I still remember her sharing God's love with me and other children as she used a felt board to tell the marvelous story of Jesus. But she didn't leave it there at church, she talked with me at night and during the day of God's love. She continued to talk with me about God and reminded me of manners throughout the different stages of my development. It was her teaching me the two values intertwined that instilled a change my behavior and my heart. Just exactly as the verse goes, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he shall not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
A friend of mine at work told me a funny story about how she handled a certain situation with her children, in a way that demonstrates how God loves and disciplines us. Her children had some candy that she was holding onto for them. In order for them to have the candy, she told them to clean their room and they could have it. They delayed and came back to her asking for the candy and she again told them to clean their room. Well, can guess where my friend had hidden their candy? She hid it in their room, so that when they decided to obey her, they would find the candy. Pure genius! I can see how God does this with us. There is great rewards when we come to Him with a thankful and obedient heart. There is so much He wants to give us, but He is teaching and training us, changing our behavior and our hearts in order for us to receive all that He wants to do in and through us.
So if your a parent, don't be discouraged in all the repetitive reminders you give your children. Know that what you are doing is important, worthwhile and long lasting. Remember that God is training us daily, just as we are training the little ones He has given us. When we obey His voice, we will find way more than just candy and chocolate!
Happy Birthday, Mom and thank you! Thank you for your example, teachings, patience, love and most of all for pointing me to Him! I'm beyond thankful to God, that He is all about relationship as He teaches us daily.
Thank you for reading and I mean that truly from my heart!
Stay humble & BOLD!
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105
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