Have you ever watched a movie only to have it run through your head for days afterwards? That is how it has been for me with The Help, the movie we watched last week. I don't want to spoil things for you in case you want to watch it (which you should TOTALLY watch it!) so I won't say much, but the scene that has been rolling around in my head and heart is the scene of a black maid who works for a white family - who among other things is raising their little daughter, who they pay very little attention to.
The little girl is just about three. The maid, Aibileen kneels down to her eye level and tenderly tells her, "You is kind. You is smart. You's important."
And in her little three year old voice, she it repeats back to Aibileen. It's just the sweetest ever!
What has resonated with me is just how much my children need affirmation and love. We all do! And why would I be stingy with life-giving, relationship-building words? Sweet and tender words of encouragement and love and affection cost me nothing.
But the dividends are immeasurable.
I often ask myself why I am quicker to correct my children when they are misbehaving, or being loud and rambunctious rather than speaking words of encouragement? They grow up so fast. My time with them is short. I have learned that I must be intentional about what I say and how I say things to these precious people in my life.
I'm not just talking about complimenting them on a how pretty/handsome they look on a given day (though, I am sure they like to hear that too), but rather about speaking affirming words about their good character. Things like kindness and deference, joy in spite of disappointment, diligence, and perseverance through frustration.
But most of all, how loved they are for who they are. And loved not just by me, or by Eric, but by their Heavenly Father who created them and knows them so intimately. Who loves them more than I ever could (which almost seems impossible to me.)
Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. It is demanding. It requires strength and wisdom, which I often lack. (Thankful that God supplies me with both when I ask Him.) At times it is discouraging. Sometimes because I can't see the "fruit" yet in their life, other times because my own sin stares me square in the face. (That is surely discouraging!)
I am reminded of some verses.
Psalm 126:5 "Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting."
Proverbs 31:26 " She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."
Ephesians 4:32 "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."
Colossians 3:12-14 "And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
I want to be a mom like that.
I have finally realized that life will always be busy, and stress will always be present, but making time and taking opportunities to build relationships in the midst of it all must be a priority. I want it to be a priority - so I need to order my days accordingly.