Encouragement life lessons

Wake Up

September 6, 2013


It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. I wake from sleep with a thought so prevalently on my heart that I know God woke me up to pray. Today I didn’t just wake with a thought; I woke with a sadness. An almost broken-heartedness. Forgive me for veering from my regularly scheduled programming of humorous and airy stories, Mama, but I have to ask you to join me. I need you (all of us) to wake up. More importantly, our kids do. I have read twice in a week now the same general sentiment. One was in a newsletter sent home by Brynna’s school. It said

A person’s moral foundation is generally in place b age 9. Fundamental perspectives on truth, integrity, meaning, justice, morality and ethics are formed quite early in life. After age 9, most people simply refine their view as they age without a wholesale change in those learnings. {Generally speaking}, what you believe by the time you are 13 is what you will die believing.

The other instance was in a completely unrelated source. I’m reading a fiction book that has nothing to do with belief necessarily. One line has played over in my mind for days.

One of the things I have come to know most surely…is that the belief system acquired in childhood is never fully escaped; it may submerge itself for a while, but it always returns in times of need to lay claim to the soul it shaped.

I am the first person to admit that the work of a mom is hard. It’s exhausting. It seems that whether you stay at home, work full-time or something in the middle, you spend more time wishing for a break than any other time in life. As moms we always feel we are dropping the ball somewhere. Something isn’t getting the attention it needs. 

I’m asking you. I’m begging all of us to Wake Up. Don’t let the thing that falls through the cracks be the beliefs of your babies. That’s what they are. They’re babies. Regardless of their age, they need you to show them how to view the world, other people and themselves. I know it’s easy to say “this is only a season” and “I’ll pay more attention when I get through _____.” It’s tempting to put off until tomorrow the discipline she needs because you worked all day and you don’t want to feel like the bad guy. It’s sometimes easier to ignore than address. It feels like it’s better to “keep the peace” than push the issue. 
Wake Up, Mama! That’s not peace; it’s a ticking time bomb. It may be easier for you today but it’s ensuring it will be harder for them tomorrow. I know it feels overwhelming, but every decision you make today affects who they are tomorrow. Every time you put aside their needs, you are teaching them something about their value. Every time you raise your voice, they are learning how to respond in hard situations. Every time you ignore, they learn to do the same. They are watching and listening and taking notes ALL THE TIME. And each time it’s shaping a little bit about what they believe.
I walk in the same trenches of motherhood you do. I would never presume to know your kids more than you or suggest you aren’t good enough. You are exactly the mom your kids need. God entrusted them to you. Your hugs will always wrap around their hurt better than anyone else in the world. Your kisses are what their boo-boos long for. That’s why I say it. Wake Up, Mama. It’s not an excuse to feel like you aren’t doing enough. It’s not a put down or suggestion that you should be perfect at all times. It’s a plea to do the most important thing first. If her hair isn’t combed or you get to work with mismatched shoes, you’ll live. Been there. Done that. No one died. But if you overlook how scared she is or don’t take the time to listen to how she feels, you missed it! She doesn’t understand deadlines, history, or politics. But she hears how you speak. She sees when you say you believe one thing but act differently. She’s in the car to hear your music and at home to see your behavior that’s hidden from everyone else. Kids are the clearest mirrors to a mother’s soul. What’s reflecting back, mama? 
You aren’t perfect. Your kids aren’t perfect. Help them understand that they are not the sum of their situation. Jesus died so they aren’t bound by their mistakes. He did exactly the same for you. If they don’t believe there is a God and He’s bigger than what they face, what do they believe? If they don’t know that life goes beyond our short years on earth, what do they think happens when they die? If you don’t teach them, who will? And what will they learn? 
Wake Up, Mama. There is more to this day than the things on your to do list. The choices you make today will outlive you. Your kids and their kids and their kids will carry their effects long after you’re gone. 
If you don’t know what you believe, send me a message. Or grab a cup of coffee (or Dr. Pepper) and watch this.

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