I know the days feel long. I know that it seems like half of what you say to your children goes in one ear and right out the other. I know your kids may see you as an ogre even when you are making the decision that is in their best interest.
I want to encourage you, as a kid who’s grown up now, that what you say and how you live is making a difference and is training your children, even when they seem indifferent or rebellious. Even when they are blind to the vision that is so crystal clear in your eyes. Even when the habits you are working hard to implement in their lives are simply not “catching”.
I had times where I just didn’t see or understand a lot of what my mom was trying to teach me in the moment. I had tunnel vision. I didn’t draw connections between what she was saying and how it would affect my life.
But now, many years later, things she told me that I may not have taken to heart at the time come back to me and affect how I live.
“A place for everything, and everything in its place.” If you’d have seen my bedroom during my teenage years, you would have thought I didn’t know what this meant. But now, as I work hard to keep a tidy home, this simple bit of wisdom helps me take steps toward better organization.
“Sometimes it’s a good thing to turn off the radio and just be still and know. When you’re in the car, choose to talk to the Lord. We shouldn’t always have to be listening to something or keeping our minds busy. It’s okay to just be quiet.” Those words return to me and I will stop the CD player and start praying Scripture.
“[Referring to merchandise sales.] You have to spend money to save money.” How many times have I returned that “great bargain” to the rack as my mom’s voice played in my head?
“Saturdays are not just a play day. Two-day weekends are really a bonus.” I huffed around the house doing chores back then, but now I remind myself of this when my Saturday consists entirely of laundry catch-up, grocery shopping, and meal planning, and I am thankful that I didn’t grow up with the typical “weekend fun” mentality.
“It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it.”I hear in my voice disrespect or unkindness that was not present in the words alone, and I remember that tone is (sometimes) everything.
“Interruptions are from God. Plan responsibly, but be prepared for Him to change your plans, and respond with joy, even if you cannot see what He is doing. What good will it accomplish to gripe about something you cannot change?” I often remember this when I am standing in a line 10 times longer than I had planned for, or when Andrew gets home long after dinner was hot.
These are just a few small examples of the many pieces of wisdom that come back to my mind as I go about daily life. Much, probably most, of what you teach your children will not fall on completely deaf ears, even though it may seem so at the time. Take heart and remember that you are raising future adults. Lord-willing, one day they will thank you for your hard work and teaching in their lives. Keep up the good work! You never know what kind of a difference it is really making.
With love from a grateful daughter