Sunday, January 13, 2013

What Momma Said

We woke up to much colder temperatures today and an icy/snowy kind of mix falling from the sky.  It is not my favorite kind of weather, but it is Sunday, which is my favorite day of the week, so I didn't have much trouble maintaining a Rosie Outlook even if it was fairly icky outside.

I did venture down to the cool basement to walk today and once again, that inspired what I wrote.

Exercise and Write Something
This afternoon, I sat down to enjoy working through the Bible study I am currently doing.  It is a study on the book Deuteronomy.  I had watched the video lesson presented by Beth Moore several days ago when I walked on the treadmill, but I had not sat down to fill in my "listening guide" that came with it. 

I settled into the Hug Chair and went over all that I had learned that day.  As usual, when I watch or hear something again, I took in even more the second time through it. 

After finishing up the first week of the study, I went downstairs to walk on the treadmill and watch part of the next lesson.  As always, Beth's excitement and presentation kept my attention and kept me at a fast pace.  I think I walked those two miles at my fastest time yet. 

This lesson focused on Deuteronomy 6.  God has given Moses and the Israelites the 10 Commandments.  In chapter 6, Moses tells his people what God has directed him to say:

 "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." ~Deuteronomy 6: 4-7

Three instructions stand out to me when I hear these verses.  Three very important instructions: love God deeply, obey the 10 Commandments, and teach both of these to your children.

This reminded me of a time when, as a young mother, I realized how my words, what I said to my child, could really stick with him.  Our little two year old Scientist was a pretty well-behaved child.  People even commented on it from time to time.  But, of course, he was two and sometimes he got into things he shouldn't. 

At the home we lived in at the time, I had my own closet and it had a built in shelf for shoes.  One of the Scientist's favorite little "misdeeds" was to go into my closet and pull all of my shoes off the shelf.  I remember going into my bedroom and finding my shoes in a pile on the floor of my closest. 

I had gently scolded our little guy about it several times, but he just loved pulling those shoes off the shelf even though he knew he wasn't supposed to do it.  One day I came into the bedroom as he was in the middle of pulling the shoes off the shelf.  I raised my voice, calling him by name, telling him to stop, and to get out of my closet! 

He took off like a shot out of our bedroom and ran right into Hubby.  His dad looked down at him and asked him what momma had said.  His answer?  "Momma said ROAR"!

My heart sank.  He was so little.  Most moments of those days were not going to stay in his memory.  My first thought was, "What if that is his first childhood memory of me?"  I realized that raising my voice was not the way to teach him what I wanted him to learn. 

It was a harsh life lesson for a young momma.  Over the years I have worked hard to change my approach.  I wish I could say that I never raised my voice again.  Of course, I can still be guilty of it from time to time, but when I do, I am immediately reminded of that day when my words - and the way I used them - hit me smack in the face.  

Over the years I have learned other ways to teach and train my children.  Those approaches come straight from these verses.  I try to use a quieter method by sharing God's words as it applies to their lives when we are sitting at home talking.  Sometimes I might bring something up while taking a walk or driving in the car.  There have been times in the hushed moments before bedtime when I have been able to remind them of God's love and care.  And for many years, we started our days off with reading the Bible together - the very best way to add God's word to their lives.  

I do believe the best way I can be a good momma to our boys is to love the Lord, our God, with all my heart , with all my soul, and with all my strength.  And to live my life with those commandments on my heart as an example to them.

Someday, as they think back to their memories with me, I sincerely hope it's not momma saying ROAR, but momma sharing God's words of love to them as we went throughout our days together.

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