Tonight we went to Ben's company Christmas party and had a couple friends of ours babysit the boys. They really love our children and offered to babysit anytime we needed. It is such a blessing to know people who truly care for our children; it is rare that I've met someone (not related) who actually takes the time to get to know each one like this couple has.
When they left they actually thanked us for letting them spend time with the kids! How awesome, to be able to raise kids to be a blessing to the people they meet! You know, some kids make you never want to have any-- ever. I think that is the way it is most times these days, and it's just so sad. Children should be a delight! They should be innocent, inquisitive, cheerful, trusting, and energetic. They should make you remember how great it was to be a child yourself. And they should make you want to have children of your own one day.
I don't claim to know the perfect way to raise children so they turn out this way. God knows how much I mess up and have to ask forgiveness from Him and my children. But what I know for sure is that it takes a parent truly caring about every aspect of a child's life to do a pretty good job. Past that, it's God's mercy that makes the child become a delight. And I also know that some kids go through rough patches or even years, but turn into wonderful little rays of sunshine in their own time.
Which brings me to a pet peeve of mine. Our children, no matter how trying they are right now, no matter how much trouble they put us through, are a blessing from God. I think it is important that we always, always, let that be known first and foremost when talking about our children. It is very easy to complain about our kids. We sacrifice and put up with so much for them and hardly ever get appreciation for it. Find another parent who you know well and talk to them about it-- vent all you want. But in general, let your words about your children be positive. If all people ever hear about children is how little sleep they let you get, or how they whine all the time, or how you can't go anywhere anymore, or how expensive they are to raise, what kind of testimony is that to people who don't have kids? You might affect their attitude forever toward wanting a child. And don't think for a minute that your children don't pick up on this negative attitude. Let them and everyone else know what blessings they are, and how they have lit up your life with happiness. Let them shine with the joy of their parents' love! Let them walk through life knowing deep down they are a blessing, not a burden. They haven't interrupted your life; they are your life.
See how that affects them. And you.
"God grant me the grace to love these little ones as you have called me. Amen."