I have to say, growing up my mother often went unrecognized, unappreciated and overworked. She did so much for me and often without receiving any gratitude and looking back I wonder how she didn’t just give up and say, “Forget this, figure it out on your own. I’m done!” Although I’m sure there are days where she wanted to do this, I can assure you she never did. But why? Because that is NOT what a mother does! A mother works 24/7,365, day or night, sunshine or downpour. Most importantly a mother carries on and continues to provide for their children’s needs regardless if it is met with an attitude of gratitude or taken for granted. I know this, because my mother showed me this for the 20 years I lived at home.
There were times where I was just a downright brat and took her for granted. I was downright mean and had an attitude of entitlement; as if she had been placed on this earth to meet my every want and need.
I think that if I had to pick one thing that my mother showed me that has impacted me the most and encouraged me in my walk as a mother it would be her selfless attitude and how she extended grace and mercy to me over and over again even when I was so undeserving.
Stepping outside of the personal impact my mother has had on me, I am going to take a minute to write in a more general sense on this topic. The impact that mothers have on their children are lifelong. From the moment they are born they look to their mother for EVERYTHING, this is especially true for the newborn and toddler stages. As soon as they are old enough they move from needing us for everything to looking up to us on everything.
Think about it, when children get a little older and can do some things for themselves and are learning how to do other things for themselves they often will mimic us. They want to do what we do, and in some ways are like a mirror reflecting back to us behaviors, attitudes and actions.
For instance, lately my son is kind of starting the terrible twos a little early and can be defiant at times. Sometimes I will get down and in his face and will point at him saying, “No sir”, or something like that and sometimes he will come to me and will point at me and adamantly talk at me . Notice how I said at me and not to me, because he is mimicking how his mommy was admonishing him for his bad behavior. I also have a bad habit of tossing toys into a basket and now when we clean up he tosses his toys into the basket…..which would be fine if we were never out in public and he never went into the nursery. However, he does go into the nursery and he does go out into the public where throwing your toys isn’t really ideal. As small and insignificant of an action, like tossing a toy into a basket, made an impact on my son, probably not a long lasting or lifetime impact, but nevertheless an impact.
Is it just me or the thought that what you say, do and how you act have the power to impact another human beings life??? It really makes me pause and think about the impact that I want to have on my children and what I want them to remember about me when they are grown. So, I think I am going to make a list of ways I want to impact my children.
•I want to impact my children with the words that I speak.
Might I think before I speak at all times and use my words to build up those around me, especially my husband and my children
•I want to impact my children with a Christ centered marriage that, being constantly on display for those to see, might bring God all the glory and honor that He deserves
Might my marriage be one that is fully centered upon God and His word. Might I teach my daughters to be under the submission of her husband, who is the head of the home just as Christ is the head of church. Might my husband help our sons to learn how to be the head of the home, being the leader of the family.
•I want to impact my children by showing them what it means to have a servants heart, placing other peoples needs before my own.
Might I be the example for my children of what it looks like to be self-sacrificing and giving in all that I do. Might I teach them at a young age how to do the same by giving them opportunities to serve in the soup kitchen, homeless shelters, or nursing homes and mission trips when they are old enough.
•I want to impact my children by having a strong prayer life and encouraging them to do the same
Might I always be in a Spirit of prayer and lead my children to prayer daily. Might they know that prayer is essential in their walk with God. Might I pray with and for them daily and teach them to do the same.
•I want to impact my children by reading the Word of God each and every day.
Might I be well versed in God’s word and quick to use it when teaching, rebuking, and correcting my children. Might they, in hearing the Word of God read to them each and every day, come to love the Word and desire to read the word on their own as well.
•I want to impact my children in the way that I love others unconditionally, regardless of who they are or where they are in their walk with God (or not even walking with God)
Might I mirror God’s unconditional love for His children by loving those who are placed in my path unconditionally. Might I show my children how to love their brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as those who are not believers.
•I want to impact my children by the way that I fellowship with the body of believers in the Church that we attend.
Might I show them what true fellowship looks like and the importance of not just attending church, but being a part of the body. Might they understand at a young age that God has given each and everyone of us a special talent or gift in which we can use to honor and glorify God. Might they learn their talents and utilize them to the utmost for His honor and glory.
In conclusion, as I said before the impact that mothers have on their children can be so powerful and last a lifetime, so regardless of where you are in your journey of motherhood (newlywed with no children, the middle of raising children newborn-18, or done “raising” children who are out of the house) think about a way, or ways in which you want to impact your children and do it! It is never too late to make an impact on your children, or on anyone for that matter.