Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LNO: Edition 2

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."

20 comments:

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

Such a great post!!

TheVanzants said...

You, my friend, summed LNO up perfectly. I'm so glad we're going together. And raising our girls together. I, too, have learned so much about not only raising children, but about myself.

Belle of the Ball said...

How fabulous! Thank you for sharing your marvelous revelations!

Katie Lake said...

I think you really bring up a good point. Particularly in current times it is so easy to forget the importance of thinking of others, even when other people need our help. It is important to remember (for me anyway) that God is forgiving if you let him be! Sometimes we just need a little reminder (like your wonderful post) to bring us back!

Stephanie said...

Great post!!! Think I'll go back and read it again :)

Mrs. Cup said...

Great post!

Rebecca Jo said...

Glad you are learning & growing & then passing it onto us because that is an incredible reminder of how we all need to be - so much more selfless than we are....

thank you for this post!

Tabitha (From Single to Married) said...

I appreciate your words - they are very inspirational and a good reminder of what is important and the example we need to set. thanks!

Carolyn said...

I love being inspired and moved in the most unassuming, unexpected ways. Your LNO did it for you and this post did it for me.
Thank you for sharing!

Trina said...

Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. I want the same things for my kids and being an example is the hardest thing sometimes.

Abbi said...

i had such a great time! i can't wait for the next one!!!

SassyEngineer said...

Great post! I appreciated your comment about being sarcastic. I know I need to watch myself sometimes, too. Being witty might not always be the best!

Dana said...

Wow, maybe I can join you guys one night...this sounds like a great time not only to bond with Mothers, but to learn......sometimes I wonder with Darci if it's too late to "correct" some of the "mistakes" we've let happen in raising her...

Thanks for sharing :)

Shea said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Cooper said...

Wow.. I attend LNO thru you my friend. THanks so much for sharing our church has nothing like this group but I wish they did. Rhonda sounds like a great lady. God bless and have a wonderful THanksgiving.

K. said...

Check out my blog.. I left you something! :)

MiMi said...

Sounds like ya'll are having an amazing time at your LNO and I am so glad that you are able to attend. There IS a lot of pressure on moms (and dads) as our children watch us "model" behavior in front of them. I have failed so many times, but God IS a forgiving God and He has worked in my children's lives IN SPITE of my mistakes.

Kate is blessed to have a mom that is attentive to what God, through the Holy Spirit, is saying to her. You have also left me feeling "inspired, motivated, blessed and broken" as a result of reading your post. All of those emotions that you are experiencing are exactly what we all SHOULD be feeling. Thanks for challenging me!

Casey said...

There is a surprise for you on my blog...

Kristy said...

WHERE ARE YOU?? I've missed reading your stories! If you ever want to talk my email is halljk3 at yahoo dot com. Come back soon! I hope everything is okay!!!

Kristen said...

Rhonda sounds like an awesome lady! I love that you share what she speaks on..it's so inspiring to me!

Praise God that He's continuously working on/ in us!

p.s. you're an amazing mom!! :)