Richest Woman in the World!

“Whatever they grow up to be, they are still our children, and the one most important of all the things we can give to them is unconditional love. Not a love that depends on anything at all except that they are our children.” 
Rosaleen Dickson 

When I think about my family, I realize that I am the richest woman in the world. 

I have a husband who adores me, and three children who do too.  

Recently each one of my children wrote me a letter that rocked my world.  In particular there was a one from my daughter that just blew me away.   I was not just impressed, I was moved to a pile of tears.  I won't share it all with you here except for the photo I've included above, but I will just say it was incredible.

 Today I'd like to share with you a few things that have been proven true time and again in raising my children. I'm not the perfect parent and they aren't the perfect children.  However, we are perfect for each other.  All three of my kids love me, and more importantly they love Jesus.  I know the jury is still out on their future somewhat as they are just 12, 18, and 19 (20 next week!), but so far we've done pretty well.  So here are some things that have been important to me so far on this journey:

 1)    Admit your faults readily and don't make excuses.  I've made a ton of mistakes as a parent.  Scores of them.  And I've told the kids often how sorry I am for those mistakes right away.   One thing I've always believed is that kids are very forgiving if you just own up to your mistakes immediately and apologize and don't justify, blameshift or make excuses.  It's important to own your mistakes and sins and move on.  Covering things up or being defensive just makes kids think you are a hypocrite and they can see right through it a million miles away.

2)  Lavish love on them with words.  I never wanted my kids to doubt my love for them or have to ask me how I feel about them.  Kids shouldn't have to wonder how their parents feel about them, or ponder about whether we are proud of them.  These things should be well known and not just facts they know in their heads, but realities they know in their hearts.  I want them to know I love them unconditionally and believe they are the most beautiful, amazing people on the planet.  Every day since the beginning of her life, I've said things to Savanna like, "How did you get so beautiful?"  (Said with huge smile!)  Or, "How's the most amazing girl in the world today?"   I say this stuff constantly and she never tires of it.   Our kids need to see our eyes light up when they walk in the room.

3)  Heap affection on them even when they act like they don't want it.  It's important to hug on them, give them sweet kisses, and snuggle up when you watch movies.  These are all things that I believe kids love whether they act like it or not.  I still cozy up to the boys on the couch, and hold Savanna on my lap when we talk about stuff at the end of the day.  Sometimes when I go in to wake her up I lay down beside her.  I always tell them, I'll still be holding them when I'm in my seventies and they are in their fifties! 

 4)  Always celebrate special occasions in their lives.   There was once a little girl who wanted so badly for her birthday to be celebrated and asked for a  party and she overheard her mother tell people, "we are careful not to do too much for her in the way of birthday parties and such because we don't want her head to get blown up."  Let me tell you that is one of THE most ridiculous things I have ever heard in my life.  Your child will not get prideful because you celebrate the special moments of their life.  They will only be  in need of inner healing later on if you don't.

I really truly believe with all my heart that the majority  of the success of parenting boils down  to one thing -- true love for your child, that is demonstrated.   The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins.  I have had a ton of sins as a parent, and in my life in general.  A great Mom doesn't have to be perfect.  Thank God for that, because none of us are!  But a great mother is immediately truthful when she messes up, and outwardly expresses her care for her children. 
Some people say, "I love people deep down inside, I just don't show it much."  That's wrong.  There is no excuse for it.  Jesus didn't just love us "way down inside"...he showed it.  He demonstrated it with His life.  So we are to demonstrate it to our children with our lives.

*More on the "Just Say It" series later...stay tuned!


Ruth, PA said…
My boys will be 18 this year. You are right...they are never to old to be loved on! We are blessed Moms!
Anonymous said…
Two things I remember from my childhood, and neither of them cost a thing:

1. All of my brother's and my best work from school [spelling tests, art projects, whatever!], displayed on two walls - one for each of us - in our dining room.

2. The "Happy Birthday" sign - on each of our birthdays, my mom hung it up in the hallway so that it was the first thing we saw when we woke up in the morning.

Parents reading this - it doesn't take a lot of $$ to show your kids that you are proud of them or that you think they're special!!!!