Raising Beautiful People in a Fallen World

Train up a child in the way he should go_ and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22_6Today, I watched my little boy put an oven mitt over his hand and mix up an imaginary meal.

Like any mother would be, I was touched to see my son enjoying himself – playing fearlessly in the Children’s Museum and exploring with many fun and creative toys.

He would open the wooden fridge and purposely put a spatula in a specific compartment. Though it was not known to me his reasoning – or anyone else for that matter, you could tell – he had a plan for that metal spatula and it was to be in that freezer.

When he placed that oven mitt on his hand today – a truth hit me like a brick. To some it might be a super cliché truth; but, nevertheless sometimes cliché sayings hit us harder at specific times for a reason.

The truth was: I had never shown him how to put that oven mitt over his hand. He simply had watched me cook dinners with these funny looking mitts on. From watching me he knew what to do.

Sometimes, I overlook the fact that he is still so young. Not even 1 ½ and he gathered enough of what was happening around him to know how to copy me. More and more each day he studies what my husband and I are saying and doing, and he tries to mimic us.

As parents, it’s a scary truth. Little eyes and ears are always watching what we say, do and how we react to certain situations. That’s a serious reality – one we mustn’t overlook.

These little one’s minds are impressionable, and it’s our duty to reflect love, respect, reverence, commitment and so much more into their little lives.

Children learn more from what you are than what you teach. ― W.E.B. Du Bois

It’s funny –a silly, little oven mitt today made me remember to watch my words and actions. But, isn’t that how God works sometimes – through the simple?

It made me remember to slow down and truly reflect on my movements – for little eyes are watching expectantly – trying to figure out this brave new world.

We have been given a huge task by God – to raise beautiful people in a world full of despair. The fibers of our character can knit a masterpiece in our child’s lives or a misshapen garment.

May our little ones pick up more than just how to put an oven mitt on their hands from our lives. Our goal should be to live in such a way that integrity and uprightness is interwoven in the filaments of their hearts.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

I pray LORD that you give me your hands and feet. I feel elated and honored that you chose me to care for this little one. May he see in my life – someone who is not perfect; but relies on the Master of the Universe for guidance and wisdom. This is my hope and prayer – that he sees and desires to emulate one day. May he see you through me!

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10 ‘Facts of Life’ I Learned From My Mother

momMothers. They can frustrate you sometimes. But, face it – you will always love your mom. She is that friend that will never leave your side no matter how gross, dramatic or pathetic you may act.

I mean really, she changed your diapers and dealt with those sugar sporadic moments when you were in elementary (but, maybe that was her fault because she fed you sugar after all.)

However, at any rate – you love her and she loves you. And she has some good ideas from time to time. Just admit it. Here are some (just a few) ‘facts of life’ that my mom has taught me over my past 28 years of life. Sure she will teach me many more things as time progresses:

1. Add some mint to your unsweet iced tea. Yes, I said unsweet because sweet tea (though the epitome of southern charm) is loaded with sugar. Not only is this garnish girly, it adds a naturally sweet taste. What a great idea!

2. Never go out of the house without looking the best you possibly can. This is true. Like a genuine southern lady, hot rollers are used every morning. I don’t care if I have to add an extra 20 minutes to my morning routine. My hair will be big and look nice. {Ha- however, if it’s Saturday and you just have to wear jeans, T-shirt and a make-up free face, make sure you look put together}. I mean, c’mon ladies, how hard is it to wipe the mascara off from under your eyes and brush your hair!? Not hard at all.

3. Buy expensive flip-flops. Your feet are precious. Take care of them. If you have to spend some extra bucks on some shoes that have cushy soles – do it. Your back and body will thank you. No Walmart or Payless flat footed sandals (those are for the beach, so they can be thrown away). Buy some real, woman flip flops and wear them.

4. Don’t feel bad about getting a pedicure. You need to treat yourself in some way. Why not a pedicure? I used to feel so bad that someone was painting my toes for me; but, you pay for it. And, what better way to relax is there than sitting in a back massage chair and having your feet massaged and manicured?

5. Wear some type of spanx under your dresses, even if the dresses are not super tight. It does not matter if you weigh 2 lbs or 200 lbs, spanx are always needed. Period. Maxi dresses. Mini dresses. Wear them.

6. Sometimes you just have to cry. Don’t feel like a baby. As my mom would tell me when I was younger, let it out! It is not good to hold in and bottle up all those emotions. And for a puffy eye fix in the morning, cold tea bags work great. This girl speaks from experience.

7. Enjoy some good junk food from time to time. Don’t be so weight conscious that you can’t order some tasty French fries from McDonald’s (let’s be honest they have the best fries) and I am going with Arby’s to top the charts with the curly fries. Eat salads most days – but don’t hate yourself over sinking your teeth in a burger from time to time.

8. Hug long and hug often. My mom always taught me that you need 12 hugs a day. While I thought that was funny when I was younger, now that I am older – it’s the truth. Hug those you love long and often. We are set on this earth to love God and love others.

9. Wine and cheese can serve as a dinner {and maybe a vegetable plate too}. Don’t feel bad if all you want for dinner is cheese and wine. If you want to pull some yummy cheese out of the fridge and sip on a glass of wine, do it. You don’t have to necessarily have a four course meal for dinner. For that matter, I have had many a nights where sliced celery, carrots and romaine lettuce leaves dipped in ranch have been my evening meal.

10. Sing in the car. I know you may think that others will think you look goofy; but, who cares, really!? If you like the song and want to sing – bust out a tune. Life is too short to try and impress others. Get your worship on, star in your own country show, whatever. Sing. It makes the heart happy.