“"If you wish to make an impact for one year, plant corn; if you wish to make an impact for a generation, plant a tree; if you wish to make an impact for eternity, educate a child." anon
Words have the ability to inspire or to depress; to make one happy and feel validated or to deplete and discourage. When we live with our children day after day, we either build an inheritance, a treasure chest of inspiration, confidence, validation or memories of anger, criticism, while storing up in their souls hostility, insecurity, bitterness.
There should be some words our children never, never hear. We should write down a commitment, a non-negotiable of things we will never say to our family. "I hate you." "You make me sick." "I wish you had never been born."
Words go deep into the soul and memory. But words can also build a legacy of faith, goodness, hope, confidence.
"I am so very blessed to have you as my child." "I adore you. You are so funny." (precious, wonderful, delightful, talented, intelligent, spiritual, clever, thoughtful)
Your words will have a great deal to do with whether your children believe in your God, your faith. Your words are many--make them arrows of life.
At my Dallas conference this year, a sweet friend, Kat, shared a wonderful, inspiring example of this concept. You will love this article and love her blog, as she is an encouragement to so many. It is very practical and will give you great ideas about how to put good words into place. Enjoy!
You can find Kat and her wonderful blog at: http://inspiredtoaction.com/
Do you wake up TO your kids or FOR your kids? I used to wake up grumpy. And bothered. And annoyed. And a whole lot of other synonyms for c-r-a-n-k-y.
Why? Because I was consistently yanked from my quiet, peaceful, cozy sleep by children dive bombing onto my bed and drilling me with questions:
"Mommy, mommy!!!!! Can I get some Cheerios?"
"Mommy, mommy!!!!! I need to go potty!!!"
"Mommy, mommy!!! She took my toy!!"
I woke up on the defensive every morning and I spent the first hour of the day just trying to get back to neutral ground. Somedays I never recovered and spent the entire day in grouchy-land.
I knew something had to change.
I decided it was time to stop waking up TO my kids and time to start waking up FOR them.
THE TRANSFORMATION So I began getting up BEFORE my kids. I spent time reading the word, worshipping and praying for my husband and children.
It transformed me and our home.
Taking that time to let God encourage me and envision me changed the outlook for my days. When my attitude changed, my children's attitudes changed.
Sometimes I'd even share with them the things I had prayed for them that morning.
To my 8 year old daughter: "Good morning precious! You know, this morning, I thanked God for your passion for His Word. I love how you enjoy reading the Bible. You inspire me. This morning I prayed that you would always have a passion for His Truth."
To my 6 year old daughter: "Good morning lovely! You know, I'm so proud of you. Yesterday, I saw how you helped your brother and how you spent most of your afternoon trying to teach him to read. You have so much compassion. This morning I prayed that God would use your gift of compassion in amazing ways.
To my 3 year old boy: "Good morning, my little man!!! You look so big and strong today! This morning I prayed that you would be a super hero for Jesus!!! I prayed that He would use you to fight for those in need. I prayed that you would grow up to be a man of justice."
Now I don't always say things like that to them each morning, but that time with the Lord puts that perspective and vision in my heart for them.
When I woke up TO my children I started the day cranky.
When I woke up FOR my children I started the day cheering them on.
If you were my child, which version of me would you want?
HOW DO YOU WAKE UP? What kind of mom are you in the morning? What kind of mom do you think your kids want?
Even just 5 minutes of focusing on Jesus and praying for our kids can make a huge difference.
So let's make friends with our alarm clocks. Let's stop getting up TO our children and start getting up FOR them. Not sure what to pray for your kids? Here is a free prayer calendar that features a different prayer topic for each day of the month.
TIME TO TAKE ACTION What time do you need to set your alarm clock for in order to wake up FOR your children?