Sunday, November 29, 2009

Encouragement for mums.

"What you teach the children- sticks" was a note I made during my lunch with Hettie and Eirwen. Not only did they directly draw attention to this, but woven in and out of our time together were stories, truths stated, or hymns rehearsed that they were taught when they were young.

[Its never ceased to amaze me that our brains can constantly learn new songs while never forgetting old ones. I believe whole-heartedly that it was on purpose God made our minds as such. Always building upon our knowledge of Him. I have confidence that this will not change even when we reach the Glorious Paradise.]

So, moms, (or mums- whatever country you're in) please do not complete reading this blog post without being encouraged. YOU, dear heros, are witnessing to your little children each and every single day. They are watching you. (Possibly more than you'd like them to.) And even though, time and again, you are repeating yourself- over and over, "Don't touch this" "Don't say that" "What's the magic word?" "Say you're sorry" "Forgive your sister" "Obey mummy the first time"...whatever phrases are used most commonly throughout your day...


I sat with two women who QUOTED for me things their parents or teachers had taught them over 80 years ago. Did you catch that? 80 years later these truths and words live on. While they're parents have gone to be with the LORD many years ago, the investment they made remains...and continues. Because while Hettie and Eirwen don't have children of their own...they are passing what they've learned along to others- including me.

For this specific note to be made in my time with them, spoke volumes to me: It sticks. So, TEACH! Whatever you're training them in, whatever you're telling your children...they're not going to forget it. This then merely begs the question,

"What are you teaching them?"

In attitude and action, let alone words. Though I do not yet have children, I've gotten a small taste of what this "stickiness" is like with my LIFE girls. Often I am afraid when they begin to quote me and I don't have any recolection of that particular conversation, nor the statement that is being quoted back to me. My words must be watched far more carefully than they are.

For us as Singles, what about when we babysit? Even just yesterday, I was asked by parents if Americans used the phrase, "[Something] is a keeper." Their 4 year old daughter had said, "It's a keeper" about a picture and they'd never heard the expression before. Yep. That would be me.

Yet again I realized the power of words sticking in kid's minds. I don't ever remember saying that in front of her; but I must've! Sort of a scary thought. It made me wonder, "What else have I said?!"

I can't tell you how true this is in my own life: Things I've learned from my mother. Songs like, "When I am afraid I will trust in You" to a little picture she used to have of a man on a yellow ladder leaning against the wall with, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." My mom taught me how to make butter: "We're going to make butter, by mixing milk and cream, we're going to make butter, soon you will see. Shake it shake it shake it, shake it all around, shake it shake it shake it- shake it up and down!" We'd jump around in the basement with a tupperwear container making butter for HOURS on end. (Moms: I highly recommend this activity.) Even today at 23 the tunes of those songs and various memories fill my mind. It's fun telling my mom things about my childhood that she doesn't even remember. Think about all the things your mom has taught you. Let's praise God for mothers!

But for us: what are we communicating about God to others? About the Gospel? What will our grandkids and great-grandkids be quoting about us 100 years from now?

It's certainly worth evaluating and making intentional changes where needed...because what we teach will live much longer than we do.

1 comment:

Meghann Roberts said...

Oh JJ! I haven't read any blogs it seems like in weeks, but today I actually decided to sit down for 10 minutes, eat my lunch and read a blog or two. How timely this post! Thank you!!! I sit here both challenged and encouraged with tears in my eyes. There are many days when I pray the Lord will allow my girls NOT to remember me being harsh with them or me speaking too quickly. Then there are days like today when I get to share about eternity with Reagan and I pray she never forgets talking about heaven and hell and trusting God. I pray He writes those words on her heart! Oh, I could go on and on, but J is crying and is upstairs w/ her sissies! Better see what's happening!! Love you!!