And that is one of the many reasons I love my mom. She is just so wise.
I took her advice to heart and as I prayed a sweet image of my children as adults filled my mind. I found myself pondering how I want my children to remember me when they have kids of their own. What aspects of my parenting do I hope they implement when they are parents? How do I want them to remember me long after I am gone? Framing my motherhood responsibilities in this light allowed me to pinpoint a few of the most important things I hope my children learn from my example.
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"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself."Above all else I hope to teach my children that the truest love they will ever know is found in the selfless love of Christ. I hope they learn that loving God and serving him with all they are is their most important and fulfilling purpose. I hope they take the love that God has graciously lavished upon them and use it to bless their siblings, their friends, their family, their neighbors and also people who may cause them hurt along the bumpy road of life.
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Can you imagine spending your days with someone who exudes all the qualities above? How comforting to know that your closest companion will love you even when you disappoint them, be joyful and celebrate when you succeed and show you patience in every situation. I pray every morning for the spirit of God to direct my thoughts, my actions and my words. I pray because I desperately need God's help in this matter. By nature I do not embody the fruit of the spirit. But it is my hearts desire that my children learn from my example to also be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled.
"My father's house has many rooms; if that were not so would I have told you that I was going there to prepare a place for you?"
Every day is a gift from God, filled with more beauty than words can express. I treasure the moments I spend with my children and I pray that they will approach life with a heart that recognizes the gift of the present. Equally, I want them to know that because of God's love for us we are part of something even more glorious than the day to day living we enjoy. I pray that my children develop a deep desire to experience the reality of life in heaven with our amazing savior and all the people we love who have gone before us. I believe in my core that one of the most important truths I can teach my children is that we will see our loved ones again and that death is not to be feared when we know and love Jesus. As a young child I remember clinging to that truth when I faced the loss of loved ones. In recent years that truth has been my comfort through great loss. I can't imagine dealing with the incredible pain of losing a loved one without the comfort that one day "he will wipe every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain." (Revelation 21:4)