There is nothing that warms my heart as a mother more than witnessing great character growth in my children. We all know ourselves and our children. We see our mistakes and where we have fallen short as parents. We also recognize how we could have trained our children better or more specifically in certain areas of life..and this is sometimes uncomfortably evident. Then in contrast, there are times when we see how our training has paid off. We have the priveledge of watching our children grow and learn, and even see them struggle sometimes. The struggles can be such a blessing, because it offers us the opportunity to pray specifically for what we hope to see.
Today one of my sons had the opportunity to have a friend over to spend the night. The morning of his friends visit, he chose to rise early and begin cleaning his room. I never spoke a word, never even made a suggestion. He began by picking up a few things on the floor, making his bed just so, straightening the closet, encouraging his brother (whom he shares a room with) to do the same, straightening his clothes that were already put away, he opened the blinds, vacuumed and kept the room clean all day! He called me in to share his accomplishments with me. He was so proud of himself! And, rightly so! He did a wonderful job. This is something that I would generally have pressed him to do in the past, and there would have been arguing and complaining. Today he needed no coaching, no prompting. He demonstrated maturity, and a real sense that he has received the training that he has been given by his father and I.
On another note, one of my daughters has recently shown an incredible amount of spiritual and emotional growth in a specific area of her life. Her father and I have bathed this issue in prayer, and discussed it with her at length. There have been times when her pride has raised its ugly head and become defensive rather than vulnerable. And, without getting too specific, I want to share the victory here. You see, she has dealt with this specific issue in her life for several years and has recently become aware that if this issue is not taken care of, it has the ability to cause problems in relationships for a lifetime. I have seen her turn a corner in the past few months. A mark of maturity that cannot be mistaken has risen up in her. She is making great choices in regards to this challenge, and she is not giving in when hard times come. She has even come to us in the past few weeks and shared specific situations that she has recognized could have been a temptation, and she did not give in. To see the look of excitement on her face, as she knows she is overcoming this battle is a wonderful experience as her parents!
There are many areas in my own life and the lives of my children that will require God to continue to work in us and through us. I am so thankful that He is faithful and shows up right when we need Him. It is so important to mark these times of maturity, so that we recognize them when they arrive. And, we can be faithful to encourage our children to keep pressing in. These are testimonies in their lives. As a mom, I must keep these reminders close to my heart so that I may draw on these experiences for strength during times of discouragement. My focus needs to stay tuned to what is right in our lives.
“…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8 – 9