What many of us don't realize (or simply try not to acknowledge) is that this saying is almost nearly impossible for kids to follow. Think about it, the things we saw our parents do, even if taught otherwise, are the very subconscious things we find ourselves repeating.
From infancy, children are under estimated, and their cognitive abilities to decipher fraud is remarkable.
I recently experienced the power of actions with our oldest son. I have told him for a long time (because I feel like if I start early and repeat it, it will miraculously happen..... ha ha) that we should give away some of his toys at Christmas time since he always receives new ones. He insisted that he loves every single one of his toys, and he'd rather keep the old ones than get anything new. Although I'm sure this is just a hoarding selfishness that we all innately maintain, I couldn't seem to express the joy of giving like I had hoped. (I do realize he's not yet three years old, but I do believe in starting as soon as possible).
However, just before Thanksgiving, Matthew and I did a massive clean out of all our closets. Silas was an observer to this wonderful purge, and literally after about thirty minutes of watching us make piles of our things to "give to people who don't have as much," Silas went and grabbed his favorite pair of boots and said, "Mommy I want to give these to someone who doesn't have shoes!" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. These are literally the only shoes he wants to wear. Then it dawned on me. How could I expect Silas to give away his toys if I didn't follow my own advice.
Teaching and preaching are certainly needed, but when we don't practice those actions truly, our children know we are hypocrites. We can't ever expect our children to be outstanding citizens, selfless leaders, or generous givers, if we aren't any of those things ourselves. This modeling extends to every area of our lives. The days I lack patience, I see the spiral of disobedience and crankiness in my own children. The days I approach life as a gift, there is a sweetness that spreads through our whole family.
Now I recognize that I do not have control over anyone else let alone their actions and emotions, but I must continue to live the kind of life I hope to see my children one day emulate. It's just that simple.
|This is the earliest we've ever put up our tree since we were actually home this year. Christmas is so much more exciting through the eyes of little ones!|
|This is what happens when mommy doesn't pack a spoon. I love boys!|
|Levi is getting good at his own therapy!|
|I could just sit and stare at our beautiful tree all day!|
|First time Levi has sat in a high chair! He's growing up.|
~ Levi is still spitting up almost every feed, and while he's up to 15 pounds, his weight gain has slowed. Please pray for his nine month appointment on Tuesday! Hoping to get some good advice or encouragement on his progress.
~Levi is starting to roll slightly by himself even with his leg braces on! He needs a little help with his right shoulder because it gets him stuck, but he's improving nonetheless!
~ Levi is NOT sitting up solo yet, but at the adjusted age of 6 months, we still have another month before they want to see him do this. (Although we have learned to be very VERY flexible with milestones markers.)
~Levi has tried banana, avocado, oatmeal, rice cereal, and sweet potato! We are talking tiny drops by spoon and the rest through his G tube, but it's always exciting to try new things with our little man!
~We have learned never to have expectations or impatience with our sweet baby boy, and I'm thankful to enjoy our new normal together. Besides the obvious unique difficulties, Levi is one of the easiest babies I've ever met.
~We will continue with therapy this month, and we will see a lot of our important doctors in January for progress reports and updates (i.e. feet, hand, g tube)
Thank you for praying for us!