It’s that mushy-gushy, lovey-dovey time of year again . . . .
Valentine’s day can bring mixed emotions for some. I have gone through seasons of life where celebrating Valentine’s was a huge deal – I loved getting really dressed up and going out to a candlelight steak dinner. Eventually though, I grew to feel that it was kind of annoying trying to force a romantic night in a restaurant packed full of other people who are trying to believe that one night a year holds more romantic potential than all others.
Okay, enough of the cynicism. About four years ago my husband and I decided it would be way more fun for us to take our kids on dates this time of year. He takes our daughter somewhere special; she gets all dressed up and learns how it feels to be treated like a lady. And I get to go out with my son. It’s one of my favorite nights of the year, always full of great conversation and laughs. I wish I could say I go out and have alone time with Blake often, but unless you count running errands, it just doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. Last night was our date night, and we had a blast. He always amazes me with his sweet-heart and fun conversation. At one point we were both laughing so hard I was hoping we wouldn’t get reprimanded by the manager. 😉
My daughter has to postpone her date with dad. She has been fighting a fever for five days now; a nasty virus has been spreading like wildfire through the kids in our area. Grace is always super excited about celebrating ANY holiday, and she is so heartbroken at the thought of being sick on Valentine’s. Last night, after my date, she crawled into my bed and I got to sing to her and stroke her hair. As she was falling asleep she whispered to me, “You’re the best mom ever,” and a tear trickled down my cheek. I fell asleep praying for her, and daddy snapped a photo.
The fact is that while sometimes I don’t feel like the best mom ever, other times I get a feeling that I just may be getting some things right. My children are my treasure, and I want them to know it.
I am thankful to be a child of God – and to know what His awesome parenting feels like. Being the recipient of His love, affection, correction and grace enables me to offer the same to my children. My Savior sacrificed himself on the cross on my behalf – following His lead, I must be willing to sacrifice much on behalf of my own children as well.
This Valentine’s I want to remember that I am commanded to love others as myself – especially my children. To teach them what the Lord’s love is like is my greatest responsibility in life. Truly in the end of all things, when I stand before His throne, He will not ask me how clean my house was or what my GPA was – but he will hold me accountable for doing my best with the lives of these children he has entrusted to me for such a short time. And what a short time it is. My son is already 10, half-way to adulthood and possibly leaving our home. I have such a strong desire – and obligation – to make the most of every opportunity with him and Grace, looking out for them and their best interest. In the blink of an eye, they will be grown. My life can take on new purposes then, but for now they are my priority.
Psalm 113:9 ~ “He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD. ” (Thank you Lord for giving me a daughter after my miscarriages!)
Psalm 127:3 ~ “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.” (Lord, I want to be faithful with my rewards.)
Psalm 127:4 ~ “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” (Lord, help me to guide those arrows in the right direction before they shoot away.)
Titus 2:3-5 ~ “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (To be a righteous wife and mother is one of the best ways I can be a witness to this world. My family is my witness.)