Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Message for Moms

I had the privilege of speaking to my MOPS group again this year. And I felt that the things I shared might be worth sharing with my readers as well. This message is specifically for moms because well, it's Mother's Day. May it bless you.

A Mother's Legacy

Who do your kids see when they look at you?
What do they hear when they listen to you?
What do your children feel when they touch you?

Even if your kids aren't old enough to voice their memories/experiences of you, they are taking note. When they look at you, they see your eyes and your smile, they see love in your face. They see their value reflected.

When they hear your voice, they hear a sound they heard even before they were born! They hear love in your voice and in your words.

When your child touches your hand or wraps their arms around your neck, they feel your skin, your strength. They feel your love holding them, protecting them.

As your children grow up they will start to remember more and more about you. They will be old enough one day to say “I remember when...” or “Remember how mom used to ...” They might even say “I'm turning into my mother!” Or “Am I becoming my mom!?”

You are one of the most important people in their lives right now. They watch your every move and chances are they learn almost everything from you! Of course there are others in their lives too – dads, siblings, teachers and friends. But the influence you have over your children is huge.

I don't really have to say that “You Matter” – but you do, and I want to say it. I want to say it so passionately and purposefully that it reaches deep down into your heart today and you believe it. You Matter.

Who you are matters. Your personality, passions, your goals, and your talents –everything that makes you uniquely you – matters. Who you are is shaping who your kids will be. The character they see in you on a day to day basis, the values they see you living out, your strengths and weaknesses for better or worse will be imprinted in their memories. I don't want to scare you by any means. I only want to encourage you to know your value. You matter. And your role as Mother is a big deal.

Have you ever given it a thought that what you believe, do, think and say might be passed down to your kids? My oldest is only three and I can bear witness to this fact.

I have a very honest example for you:
Late in my second pregnancy and a few months after Stephen was born, I was not the mom I wanted to be—not by a long shot. I was tired, and uncomfortable, I was angry when my 3 year old wouldn't listen to me, I was angry when I couldn't just sit still for a moment by myself. And I showed him. I got angry at him. I yelled at him. And he saw it. He learned it. And now, when he gets upset he is my mirror image. He sounds just like me and he points at me just like he saw me point at him. I hate remembering this period of my motherhood journey.  And I can't forget it because he still does this. He still models it back in my face.

He is only three, so he may not remember it. I pray he doesn't. I really don't want one of his first memories to be of my anger...I don't want him to remember my angry face and think that is a reflection of how I see him; how I value him.

But another more heart-warming example is when I sit back and watch William, my three year old hug and kiss his baby brother and use our terms of endearment for him. “Oh, baby Stephen, you are so cute! I love you so much.” He knew that love from watching us. And I hope he feels that love from being with us.

What about your belief system? Your family values and traditions? Your priorities? Your kids will take note of these too! Sure, they might not follow in your footsteps all the time or agree every step of the way, but they are noticing it none the less.

Have you ever thought about what kind of characteristics or traits you hope your child has? Let's take a moment and name a few right now –


And how will our children learn to have these qualities? Who will model them?

We will! Or we will have to put people in their lives who can if we cant.

If I want my son to voice his frustration without loosing his temper – he needs to see that in action.
If I want my son to be a man of integrity when he is 20 – he needs to see his mom and dad following through with their word now.
If I want my son to value and respect people no matter who they are – then I have to show respect and value people in front of him. He has to witness it.

A legacy is something passed down from one generation to another. Often times we speak in terms of property or wealth when we talk about legacy, but it can be anything. Today, I want us to think about the legacy of a mother. What are you giving your children by being you?

We will all leave behind a legacy for our children—memories, a belief system, family values, characteristics or traits. A reminder of who we are. A reminder of where they came from.

The time you have now with your children is so important. You are so important. You matter.

Here are some questions for you to consider:

1) What are the values/beliefs/traditions you would like to pass down to your child(ren)?

2) What is one trait you hope your child does get from you? What do you hope he/she doesn't inherit?

3) Have you ever said “I'm turning into my mother!”? If so, share the story.

4) What do you want your children to remember about you?

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