They Are Watching

For those of you who know me, you know that I always question myself as a mom.  I always wonder if I am making the right decisions.  I am constantly seeking wisdom on decisions regarding my kids.  Sometimes when I choose to show tough love, I realize I should have reacted with gentleness.  Other times, I have been soft and figure out that I should have used the belt.  For these reasons, I usually try to not be so judging of other parents.  We all make mistakes and we all share guilt at times.  Some of us get "mother of the year" awards at times.  Others get "I barely made it through another day" awards.  None of us are perfect but in the end God chose each one of us to be the parent of our kids. 

Sometimes my kids will do things that make me fear that they will pick up some of my worst qualities.  And other times like today I think maybe Bryan and I aren't doing so bad.
I am sure you have all experienced those awkward times with your kids when they have imitated you at just the right second.  I remember Christian being impatient and vocal at a restaurant because our food didn't come fast enough.  I just had to look at Bryan because he has acted that way before.  As a parent all you can do is correct them all while giving your own self a punch in the gut.  I always have the habit of telling my kids to hold on in a very loud and frustrated tone.  And it embarrassed me to hear my oldest tell his brother those same words in a very loud voice.  I just kept thinking "Oh my! Is that how I sound?"  The truth is that they watch our every move and they hear our every spoken word.  They watch our actions and how we treat others.  So I have to ask myself just what am I instilling in my kids?

I sometimes wonder if they will end up with my stubbornness or my lack of patience.  Will they end up with my insecurities?  Will they see my faults as a mother and grow up thinking I failed them?  Will they ever know how much I love them and how much I will fight for them?  Will they ever know how many tears I have cried in prayer as I pressed in for them and for their futures?  Am I teaching them how to be strong men with gentle spirits?  I have so many questions.  But I am reminded in little God moments that I am never alone.  I keep serving my boys while keeping my convictions.  I still do many things for them.  My reasoning for this is that I want them to see how a woman should take care of the special men in her life.  But they also get to see how their Dad loves me and always puts me and them first.  I hope that they see our home as a place filled with love where each person matters and selflessly gives of themselves.  It is daily work in progress. 

We aren't the perfect family.  Our home is never spotless.  Balls are always bouncing in the house.  The corners of our walls have fingerprints on them.  Boy noises are made all day and all night long.  Toilet seat lids still get left up every once in a while.  We hardly ever eat at the kitchen table but we always eat together.  We play music and I mean all kinds of music.  We dance and we sing.  We pray every night together and everyone is comfortable in bringing the needs of others into our family prayer time.  We have many friends going through many things and I am confident in saying that the Rhodes family is praying for you.  We don't just say it lightly.  We are truly praying.  Today at church Bo had his hand on my back for almost the whole service.  As I would lift my hands in worship I would look down and see him staring at me.  He is watching me, watching every move I make.  We got up to take communion and I leaned over to my boys to tell them to not forget a few friends of ours in their prayers.  They both said they had already turned in prayer cards for them.  My heart was smiling.  As we took communion and prayed, I was brought to tears.  Actually, I think I cry every time I take communion.  I am such a baby!  In the midst of my tears, I heard someone sniffling beside me this time.  It was Bo.  He was crying too.  His eyes were filled with tears and he was rubbing my back.  I don't know what moved my precious boy but it was such a wonderful sight.  If you have read my previous blogs, you know that I love "moments."  At that moment my heart was filled with such peace.  I just know that my boys are going to be alright. 

They will have trials and they are going to walk through some valleys.  But I know that they know the One who has the answers and who holds the world in the palm of His hands.  I know they believe in the power of prayer and I know they have compassion for others.  Aren't those the two greatest commandments?  "Love the Lord with all you heart, soul and mind and love others as yourself."  There will be times when the world comes against them and people will say unkind things about them.  There will be times when the enemy comes to steal their joy.  There will be times that they question their faith and question who they are and what their purpose is.  But I hope they will always remember watching their momma with a hand raised high and another hand on their back praising the Lord for who He called them to be.

Jeremiah 1:5

New International Version (NIV)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    before you were born I set you apart;
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.


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