Last night I attended my second Ladies Night Out (LNO) and had an absolutely wonderful time.
The host, Rhonda, talked about several topics related to parenting and living the life God has planned for us. The funny thing is that the part that made the biggest impression on my heart was not one of her main topics, but rather something she just happened to touch on.
When I was pregnant, I always wondered what Kate would be like as she grew up. My friends and I would talk about how we hoped our children would be smart, talented, beautiful, funny, and every other character trait that the world deems as important. And then I realized that what the world sees as important is not always what God sees as important. Lately God has revealed to me (a lot of it through LNO) that more than any of those things I had hoped for her, I want her to have a deep love for the Lord and an unquenchable desire to serve Him.
Rhonda talked about raising our children to be selfless, putting others first. Now that's not to say that we want our children to be taken advantage of nor do we want them to be a push over, but selfless in a way that they have a desire to put others before themselves and to have a serving spirit. In a world full of "it's all about me" (I've even seen that phrase printed on baby onesies), and the fact that we are all born with a selfish nature, I know it's one of the more difficult traits to develop in a child, much less ourselves. It really made me think of who I am as a person and I was broken at the fact that I haven't always acted in the most selfless of ways. I want to be a role model for Kate in so many different ways and being selfless is one of them. I want her to see me putting others before myself and having a genuine desire to help and serve other people.
Easier said than done, I know. I found myself getting a little upset thinking of how I've failed in this area so many times already. The good news is that God is a forgiving God and that he sees our deepest thoughts and loves us just the same.
Rhonda spoke about the importance of teaching our children to rejoice when others are rejoicing and to mourn when they are mourning. And not to judge people based on our own (or others) benchmarks. The best way for our children to learn this is, of course, by seeing us live it. Nothing like a little pressure, huh?
The Lord has also shown me lately that there is a fine line between sarcasm and being judgemental. Saying something we think is funny and light-hearted may indeed be judgement in disguise. And if I'm going to be the selfless, serving, non-judgemental person that God wants me to be, I need to know the difference between the two. I pray that the Lord will keep me aware of this throughout my days.
The past two LNO's have left me feeling inspired, motivated, blessed and broken, all of which I feel are healthy emotions and necessary if we are to grow in Him. I find myself wanting to praise His name and thank Him and at the same time wanting to fall on my knees before Him and ask for forgiveness for my sins and shortcomings as a parent and as a child of God.
I'm learning as I go, and like the childhood song says, "He's still workin' on me."
13 hours ago