Dear Mama, it's not a race or competition

Dear Mama,

It's time to stop comparing your child to other children their age.

It's not a race to see who can learn what first. It's not a contest to see who can count the highest at such a young age, or who can write the best report in middle school. It's not about who has the best ipad apps or the smartest career minded parents. It's not about how your friend parents, your sibling parents, or even how your parents may have parented you.

It's about so much more. It's about you as a parent and a child as your child. It's about Christ, love, grace and what works best for your family.

It's not about teaching them so that they can pass tests, nor is it about overwhelming them so that they do well in school. It's about teaching them daily life and encouraging them through the hard times. It's about wanting them to learn so that they can do well in life, not so that they can go to a good college or get a good career. Trust me, most children and teenagers don't want to think about a career when they are in school.

Which brings me to my next point:
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Don't forget that, at one point, you were a child just like they are.

Oh my, sweet mama, it is not about the material items. It is not about your babies being good at learning their ABCs and 123s when they are 2 or 3. It's about watching them figure things out for themselves. It's about watching them become independent and full of wonder in awe of the marvelous Creator. It's about capturing their interest and helping them grow their imaginative minds. And it's about steering them back on course when they stray a little too far from your loving arms. It's about showing them Christ, in every situation, and teaching them Christ in even the tiniest of situations. It's about grace and mercy when they make mistakes.

Mama, it's about being Christ to them. You are their very first image of our Savior. Their very first image of grace, comfort, love and encouragement. If we taint their minds, spirits and lives with a false image of love and grace, then we taint their very first real glance of God.

It's not about being perfect, it's about being imperfect and owning up to your mistakes. We all make them. It's about asking your toddler for forgiveness for losing your cool when he threw that toy. It's about asking your teenager for forgiveness for being the mouth that speaks instead of the ear and heart that listens. It's about forgiving yourself, most of all. 

It's not about comparing your parenting skills to another mother; it's about comparing your parenting skills to what the word of God says you should be. It's about comparing your lifestyle and parenting skills to what is clearly stated and laid out for us in the Bible....our parenting handbook. Comparison is the thief of joy; but Jesus is our joy.

When you're looking at your child, are you really seeing them? Are you listening to their still little voices, even when you're busy? Do you take the time to read to them, sing to them, care for their souls? Do you know the song that they sing in their heart? Do you know their heart? Are you serving them, respecting them, loving them in their own love language?

It's not about other people, other children, other families, and how they run their household or how they live their lives. It's about grace and understanding. It's about striving to be the child of God, wife and mother that the Lord has asked you to be. It's about growing your own child's mind and creativity, not forcing someone else's child's mind and creativity on your little ones. It's about showing them real life instead of praising them for how well they can work the ipad or remote control -- they could use a little dirt under their finger nails every now and then. It's about being Christ to them, to their father's, to their siblings. It's about forgiving yourself for the past, and moving into the glorious future of a Christ filled home. Because, Mama, there is nothing better than sitting back and watching your babies grow and learn. There's nothing more enjoyable than knowing that you're sending your highschooler into the world knowing a trade or skill that many peers his age will not know -- knowing that he won't be afraid to get his hands dirty in order to provide for his family. And there is nothing more satisfying in the end than hearing our Savior say, "well done, good and faithful servant".

Dear Mama, it is such an amazing adventure. Please, don't let it pass you by. Don't let it pass them by.

Holistic Health