Ask any mother any day of the week and she’s likely to tell you she has “a hundred things to do!”
Every day we do countless small things. We get out of bed, make coffee, cuddle our infant, feed the toddler, read to the bigger kids. If your children are older, as mine are, you take a child to work, pick up an item for another, stay up to make sure everyone makes curfew, (and text them when they don’t). We scrub toilets, make meals, run errands, weed the yard. And hopefully every day we pray, read the Bible and worship.
It’s easy to count the big things. It’s what we report at the end of the day. Today I got groceries, made supper, paid the bills. Sometimes we forget how much the little things matter. How do you answer the phone or respond to the unwanted interruption in the day? What words do you say underneath your breath? How do you talk about the neighbor or relative behind closed doors? And what do you say about those who hurt you, go out of their way to annoy you, or blatantly hate you?
While the big things, like how our child behaves at bedtime or in church or when people are over, are important and learned, equally important is what is going on in their heart. How they react to friends who’ve hurt them or want to borrow something from them reveals what is inside. But it is also learned. They see how we respond to someone cutting us off in traffic, and the person who budges in front of us in line at the grocery store. When we get the phone call with worrisome news they see how we worry and stress, making the whole house tense, or how we gather our kids to pray. And when something good happens they see how we celebrate our good fortune, how we boast and put others down, or how we give glory to God. Our word choices become our children's word choices; the little things we do each day become their way of life.
Next time you answer you have a hundred things to do, think about the way you do the hundred things you do each day. Think of what you do when no one but your family is watching. Consider your music and entertainment choices. And consider what you could do better. Here’s my list: spend time in the word. Let His praise be on your lips. Make prayer your first resort. Invite your children into the dilemmas and point out how God is working. Tell them when you are waiting and trusting the Lord for answers you aren’t yet seeing. Watch your tone. Think before you speak. Apologize. Forgive.
These are the things that mold our children into who they will be and determine if they will be of the world or in the world but set apart.
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