The Written Word
When my children were just toddlers, I encouraged them to write. Most days my preschoolers had time where we would use our creative juices and let them flow all over a blank canvas. Behind every drawing there was a story and if the kids didn’t have a story to tell about their picture, I would make up one with big and small voices and much expression.
These days, all around us are computers and the smallest of children know how to manipulate them better than most adults. We just need to make sure our technologically savvy children are able to express written love and verbal appreciation because the computer, that our children know so well, doesn’t need to be encouraged. But the people in our lives now and in the years to come will need personal encouragement.
I am reaping the fruits of encouraging my children to write and express. It blesses my heart each evening at dinner when each of my children, sitting around our table, thanks me for making a good meal. This began years ago with my husband taking the lead and thanking me for preparing the food for our family. He did this out loud, at the beginning of each meal or during the prayer for our meal. He never forgot to take the time to say, ‘thanks’. There were so many days that I was tired and weary and knowing there were (usually) grateful hearts around our table gave me the needed boost to make it through the rest of the evening.
It is very refreshing to get a text, voice mail, Facebook message, or email from my children (and husband) letting me know that I am important to them. I love receiving these written messages of love to me. I also make sure that I stay on top of sending them also. Our families need uplifting words from the ones who know them well.
The other morning my husband and I woke to this great poem from our 14 year old daughter:
To Mommy and Daddy,
What makes you so special to me?
Hmmm…Let me see
Could it be how you love so unconditionally?
Or how you forgive so graciously?
Maybe the way you’ve parented so Godly.
Well, I guess it could be all three!
But greater are the things than these
You have dedicated your life to please
None but the one true king!
Your faith so steady,
So plain for everyone to see.
How could I not want to be
Like my precious Mommy and Daddy?
You have taught me love and morality
Given me kindness and stability
Mommy: Nurturing, helping, loving
Daddy: Protecting, leading, loving.
Nothing seems to express my gratefulness fully
But still I wanted you to have something to keep
Though words cannot convey my feelings wholly
And to say it plainly –
I love you my dearest Daddy and Mommy!
I pray that God will bless your every days greatly,
And that He will give to you unsparingly.
I love you, I love you, I love you,
To say it times three
How wonderful you are my beloved Mommy and Daddy!
And thank you for loving me
It is so special to have teens, in this day and age, be outward focused and look for ways to encourage others. Encourage your young children to draw pictures for others, invite your older children to help a friend, encourage your teenagers to look for others who may need encouragement and receive young adult children that are other-focused, other-centered. Begin to teach this in your home; continue to practice it if it is already a value because it is truly more blessed to give than to receive.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11