Sunday, May 10, 2009

Gifts to My Children

Mother's Day... it sure has a different meaning when you're a mom. I always say having kids makes life much more difficult... and much better.

I am so thankful for my girls who gave me the amazing, beautiful, incredible title of "mom" or "momma" as I'm most often called. I remember being in the hospital after having McKinley, just seriously amazed that they were going to let me walk out of that place with this tiny baby - that the world, and more importantly my Heavenly Father - trusted me to take care of her and teach her and love her and help her grow into a capable, faithful, strong woman.

I have a friend who gives her children gifts on Mother's Day because they, after all, are the ones who made her a mother. I would like to give my children gifts as well, but since our budget is pretty tight this year, I would like to give them gifts of myself.
I thought about my last post - about the mothers in my life and the good qualities I hope that they "pass on to me." And now I am brought to think about some characteristics of myself (or characteristics I need to work on) that I want to pass on to my children. And some qualities I want to do away with.

So, my children, here is a list of qualities I promise to work on getting, improving, and losing. You are certainly choice spirits whom I love so dearly - and you deserve the best mom you can have. This is a small list, and there are many more to add, but hopefully by this time next year, I will have gotten better at these.


-Service. Sure, I want to take my kids to Disneyland like everybody else, but what I'd REALLY like to do (when they're a bit older) is take them to a 3rd world country to help those in need - and give us all a reality check about how blessed we are. Of course, this is on a larger scale, but I'd like weekly and daily to have my kids help me serve others - that they can LOVE to serve.

-Contentment. This kind of goes with the one above, but I really don't want spoiled kids, and if that means getting rid of most of our toys, so be it. We recently got rid of our TV and hope to keep it that way. I hope it helps with the feeling of contentment with what we have, and not a constant feeling that we never have enough.

-Healthy living. I hope I pass on my love of exercising to them and the joy, stress relief, and therapy that can be found by just having a really good work out. I am far from perfect on this, but I also want to pass on a love of eating right - of loving fruits & veggies - of wanting to eat right.

-The Right Priorities. I hope that as my children watch me, they will tell you that my priorities are #1- my relationship with my Savior, #2 - my husband, my children, and family, #3 - helping others, #4 - everything else. Obviously, taking care of myself is very important, too, because it's hard to take care of others when you aren't healthy physically or spiritually.

-Gratitude. I want my children to be able to be filled with gratitude every day for all they have - even their trials. I want them to be able to find God's miracles every day of their lives and feel his love for them. I want them to express gratitude to God for His mercies and gratitude for everyone in their lives that makes a difference. I need to do so much better at teaching this.

-Virtue. In this world, it is going to be VERY difficult to have a virtuous child, but I truly want my kids to be pure and innocent - shunning filth and staying clean and worthy of the Holy Ghost.

-Loving God.
This is one that I put last, but is obviously the most important. I want my children do what they do in life because they love Heavenly Father & Jesus. I want them to go to church because they love God, not because their friends are there, or a cute boy is there. I want them to pay their tithing because they love God, not because their parents make them. This is going to be difficult FOR SURE, but it is the goal.


-Negativity. I admit I can be negative - I tend to worry about things more than I should. I really don't want to pass that on to my kids. Here's my resolve to trust God more and LET GO of the fear and negativity - to use my happy voice and find positive all around me - and play WITH my kids more.

-Not REALLY Listening. I have a tenancy - especially when my husband or children are talking to me - to half-listen. To think about the 4 or 5 things I need to do after that conversation. I want to FOCUS on them - help them know that they are important to me and what they have to say is important to me. I want to be more sympathetic and listen with my heart.

-The scriptures & praying. I do read the scriptures, but I'm not so good at the studying, pondering, and applying part. I want to LOVE to read - to be able to share insights with my children and get excited about applying principles to my life and my families life. I want to memorize scriptures that will help me be a better mom and help us be a better family. As far as praying, I do pray. We do pray as a family, but I want to do more spontaneous praying - when we hear about someone in need or we have lost something or we are having a hard day, I want to be able to fall to our knees as a family and say a sincere prayer. This should be a regular occurrence, since these things happen daily.

-Not always taking care of myself: I want my children to be able to look at me and know that I care about this temple He has given me - clean, clear skin, healthy body, eating things that are good for me.


Patricia Potts said...

I LOVE the pictue of you and the girls. I LOVE your gifts to them now and in the future. I know I wasn't always the best listener but I think that is one of the best gifts you can give. YOU ARE AMAZING!! I see so many of these already! How blessed McKinley and ireland are. Love, Mumpka!

Gardners Glad Tidings said...

I love that picture of you. You are so amazing....I have always thought so! Those qualities your are already passing on just by being you everyday...and your girls are drinking it in. You are the essence and service and down-to-earth kindness. I adore you! Happy Mother's day!

Lena Baron said...

My Dear Friend! All of your Mother's Day posts are beautiful! thank you for inspiring us all to be better. I wish that we lived closer to eachother!!

Melissa said...

you're so awesome! You're a great example!! your kids are blessed to have you as their mom!