I have an unusual question that bounces around in the walls of my brain every once in a while, and it’s this, “What do I want my children to remember me for when they’re grown?”
It may seem silly to you, but it is a query I’ve grown to respect in my head because of the balance it can bring to my days…someday, in the not-so-distant future, my children will be adults. Someday in the not-so-distant future your children will be adults too. It’s true. (I know it’s hard to believe when diapers and drool make up the majority of your day, but I’m far enough along now to realize how soon it comes around the corner.)
Although we don’t want these kinds of questions to stir up fear in us, we can allow them to gently guide our behavior.
Do you wonder how we can guide our behavior with a question?
Well, I look at it this way…every day we wake up with new challenges to face and yet no way to predict what they will look like. Maybe when we lift our sleepy heads off the pillow we feel thrilled to be starting a fresh, new day of mothering. BUT, maybe there are mornings when our heads feel glued to the fabric of our pillowcases and our feet feel so heavy we are sure they will never leave the bed, and our hearts, oh they just ache from the weariness that fills us and we can’t begin to imagine doing ANYTHING well today…well, those are the days I let a good question guide my actions.
First, I begin with a prayer – “God, there is NO WAY I can do today well alone. You have promised to show up for me, so I am asking you now to do that. Please be strong where you know I am weak today and help me be the mommy my children need me to be in spite of me, but because of you.”
Next, I often think of a question, like I shared above. We have a choice – I realized this, years ago, while I waited in frustration wondering why God wasn’t waving a “magic wand” making me into a perfect mommy like I had asked Him to, and that is when He began to show me this…
We can choose to smile instead of frown, if we want our grown children to remember that we loved life with them while they were at home.
We can choose to speak gently instead of yell, not because it’s a natural response, but because we want our grown children to remember the understanding that we offered them.
We can choose to play once in a while instead of work all the time, because we want our grown children to believe that relationship with them holds great value in our world.
These, and so many other moments, are choices. God is right there willing to help us, but for some strange reason, He lets us CHOOSE. This is not a “let’s make you feel worse” post – this is a gentle prodding from one mom to another.
This is simply an invitation for you to join me in letting our future hopes guide our present lives. If we don’t use these present moments to invest in the memories we want our children to draw from someday, then what will be there in their place?
I feel I’ve been where you are now – the days are long, the nights are short, patience seems thin and troubles seem deep – we think this will last forever, but it won’t!
So whether today was a bounce-out-of-bed day or a drag-your-weary-body-out-of-bed day, stop and ask God to fill you with His strength. Then look to the moments that fill your day as a choice of what kind of legacy you want to leave; I know you’re going to leave a great one!