Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Moms,


I interrupt the regular blogging schedule to bring a special announcement from...me.

I want to address something today that all of us know, but sometimes we just need to hear someone else say it...or read it or whatever. I am talking to my fellow moms today, but really this is for any parent or anyone who wants to be a parent someday.

Just a friendly little reminder. That's all.

I want to talk about what makes a great mom. I can tell you exactly what makes a great mom, because I am surrounded by great moms all of the time. Not a single one is perfect, but they are great.

I am encouraged by these awesome moms (and others) almost every day. I receive messages and comments and I run into them while I'm out and about, and I hear the sweetest words. Believe me, my love language is "words of affirmation" so those compliments mean the WORLD to me and fill me up. I'm also very aware that the main reason those comments come is because we share so much of our life here. People only know what we're up to, cause I tell you all so on a semi-regular basis. :) Everyone deserves to hear kind words every single day.

Since you're reading this today that means you've probably been here before, so let's clear up what doesn't make ME a great mom.

Taking my kids to Disney World...no.
Planning parties for my kids...no.
Going on outings with my kids...nope.
Being holiday crazy...not even a little bit.
Crafting with the kiddos...no.
Having fun dressing up my kids...no.
Baking with the kids...no.
Taking a gazillion photos...no.

These are all things that I DO, because I enjoy doing them. They are activities. They are not always awesome parenting, they are just...fun. And everyone has a different definition of fun. If I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't do it. Quite honestly, there are times my kids look at me like I'm nutso when I want to do some of these things, and they are humoring ME by going along with it. :) (I'll be sharing more about that later this week, haha!)

Other parents will have lists that look different than mine. Playing instruments with their kids, hunting with their kids, riding with their kids, playing sports, planting, collecting, sewing, fishing, experimenting, exploring...whatever it is they are interested in. These are all great things, but on their own they don't define anyone as a great parent.

Let me tell you what makes a great mom.

Her heart.

Because no activity in the world means a thing without the right motive, and there is no greater motive in this world than love.

The wonderful, magical, mysterious thing about love is how much we crave it and how simple it can be to show. Acts of love are as easy and satisfying as pulling chocolate out of thin air. We don't have to put on an elaborate show when it comes to showing love to our kids (or anyone.) A kind word, a simple gesture, a touch, your attention, your help, your patience...things that often cost no money or require no plans. (Let's be real, I could work on the patient part!) These things make our kids feel safe and happy, and other than food, clothing, and shelter, those are the most important things of all.

I never want this blog where we share our family memories to discourage anyone, ever. I can't tell you how many times someone comes to me to talk about our activities or lately our trips to Disney, and they follow it up with a crestfallen, "It would be a LONG time before we'd get to go...." Their expression breaks my heart! Like, eee ahhh oooh rips my heart right out. My first reaction is always to say, "You'll get there!" but what I should always say is..."Seriously, take your kids to the playground and PLAY with them, and I promise you they will squeal with just as much delight." It's not a lie. (Ask my kids who could spend their entire trip to Disney on the playgrounds and be perfectly happy.) Even the "happiest place on earth" would be a miserable place if you were with people who weren't loving you while you were there.

But it's not just Disney, it's all of the things. It is always always about the motive, even more than the activity. Our plans don't always go right, but if the motive all along was love, then it doesn't really matter does it? Somehow everything works out and great memories are made anyway. It never really was about the activity. :)

Great moms have figured out that they don't have to do things to impress anyone. They don't have to be elaborate. They don't have to travel around the world or even outside of their own backyard to prove their love. And they know it is never...ever...fair to compare their "style" to someone else's. The kids don't care. (I repeat, the kids don't care.) They just want YOU.

There is one thing that is more important than any of it for me, and that is sharing the love of God with my kids. That's MY motive. I love because He first loved me. And you can bet your boots I remind my kids WHO is love and where our love comes from all the time. :) When I look back on my life years from now, many of the various things we've done will fade from my memory, but I want to rest in assurance that I shared the truth of the love of God with my kids.

What motivates you?

I hope it's love! Always. :) If you love your kids and are loving to your kids, you are a great mom! And certainly we lead by example. If we love, so will they. No matter if your house looks like an exploded pinterest board or is littered with plastic toys. Whether you go and do or stay and play. There is no "right" style. Your kids are going to look back on their childhood with a wonderful fondness if their house was full of love. Our memories are always tinted by how we felt while they were being made.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.         1 Corinthians 13:4-7

High-fives and hugs to all of the great, loving parents out there! And thank you, God for the gift of a mother's heart.

Love!

4 comments:

Heather said...

What a refreshing post! I think you're a great mother and I hope you don't ever feel like you have to apologize for being at a point where you can do the kinds of things like Disney with your kids. You worked so hard to get there and deserve to enjoy it!

Cassie said...

amen sister! happy to call you my friend - you're just an all around great person!

Adrien said...

Thank you, friends! I am SO excited for an excuse for us to get together with our kiddos soon! :D Love!

Jami Papenberg said...

I love this! It's so true and such a great reminder. It's easy to get caught up in comparisons, especially when we're constantly reminded of what other parents are doing with their kids through social media, but you're right, everyone's style is different, everyone preferences are different, and it's all about love! Thanks for reminding us of that!

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