Let's be honest here. The source is always me.
Last week I learned it yet one more time. Sadly, I know it is a lesson I will have to relearn over and over. When my kids are "naughty", it's almost always signals something I need to change in myself.
Am I praising more than I am reprimanding?
Am I taking the time to enjoy them? Am I being present for those little moments that happen throughout our busy day? Am I laughing with them?
Am I kind in my response?
Do I treat them the way I would wish to be treated? Even when I am tired, busy, or just plain grouchy?
Because, you see. If I am not doing these things, why will they?
When I do remember, I see things change. It never takes long. . .and I can sense the transformation almost instantaneously. A miracle, almost- right before my very eyes. Never perfection, mind you. (That would be silly of me to expect.) But a change for the better, nonetheless.
"The values of the world wrongly teach that "it's all about me." That corrupting attitude produces no change and no growth. It is contrary to eternal progress toward the destiny God has identified in His great plan for his children. The plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ lifts us above our selfish desires and teaches us that life is all about what we can become.As a mother, I am learning that the direction of my family often depends upon the course of my own life. So often it is the seemingly insignificant, daily interactions that make the biggest difference. A big responsibility, yes. The little things, such as the way I speak to my children, can do much to alter the feeling that we have in our home. I know that in the scheme of things, I am only one person, doing a "small thing". However, I can do this with greater love. I can be kinder and more unselfish as I serve the people who I care about so much.
A great example of unselfish service is the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta. . .She taught that "one thing will always secure heaven for us- the acts of charity and kindness with with we have filled our lives." "We can do no great things," Mother Teresa maintained, "only small things with great love." Dallin H. Oaks, May 2009. (read more here.)
Because this small thing that I find myself in the midst of? It happens to be the most important thing I will ever do. One really good guy and four sweet girls. They are my whole world.
And as such, they are worth changing for.