February 26, 2016
Painting Memories With My Child
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed …” Proverbs 31:27-28a (NIV)
When I was young the hardest years for me were in middle school.
I can remember 7th grade being the absolute worst. Wearing glasses certainly wasn’t trendy back then and waking up to a new candy-apple-red blemish on my face had become a common occurrence.
I dreamed of having beautiful soft curls like my best friend, Kerry, but the poker straight hair growing from my roots refused to bounce like hers. Instead, each strand hung limp and lifeless, while my bangs clumped together in an oily mess on my forehead.
Let’s just say I wasn’t feeling like Miss Congeniality.
To make matters worse, my sister was a few years older and I would constantly compare her accomplishments to my failures.
She was a popular high school cheerleader … and I had nothing to cheer about. In my eyes, she did everything right. In my thoughts, I couldn’t do anything right.
Although I figured no one noticed my frustration, my momma did and one day she said to me, “Why don’t we start a new hobby together.” I was reluctant at first, but with a little prompting Momma persuaded me to consider the idea.
A couple weeks later we went to our very first painting class at a local artist’s home.
The combined odor of acrylics, oil-based paint and turpentine would later become a scent I’d learn to love over the years as Momma and I kept our weekly date — every Tuesday night — to paint together.
We’d sit side-by-side with paintbrushes in hand, as Momma would encourage me by pointing out what she loved about my paintings. Months passed and my confidence slowly grew as our relationship deepened to a whole new level.
Looking back, I realize the tremendous investment Momma chose to make during that awkward middle school year when I was struggling.
She could have simply signed me up to take the classes on my own or suggested I spend more time with friends, which would have been a lot cheaper. Instead, Momma set aside other priorities and rearranged her schedule to devote time with me.
Just like the Proverbs 31 woman in today’s key verse: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed … ”
My mother was keenly aware of what was going on in our home and took notice of her little girl who was hurting inside.
Her attention to detail, and effort in making a difference, afforded me the wonderful privilege to “arise and call her blessed.”
To this day, every time I look at one of Momma’s oil paintings, my eyes swell with tears as I’m reminded of her devotion and love for me. I’m also challenged in the best way to be keenly aware of what’s going on in my own home and take notice if one of my kids seems to be struggling.
I aspire to be like my mother. To always be willing to set aside other priorities and rearrange my schedule to devote time with my children and relationally invest in them.
As I make these small deposits of love, I trust and pray that God will dispense a beautiful return as my kids arise and one day call me blessed.
Heavenly Father, help me every day to be the kind of momma who invests in her children by encouraging, loving and dedicating time to do special things with them. Knit our hearts together as we share simple moments that will create beautiful memories — not only for me, but also for my children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (ESV)
Isaiah 66:13a, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you …” (NIV)
Could you or someone you know use some practical wisdom and a little less guilt in parenting? You might appreciate Lysa TerKeurst's, Am I Messing Up My Kids?...and Other Questions Every Mom Asks. Stop by Lisa DiPascal's blog today for more encouragement on parenting and sign up for this week's giveaway!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Calling all moms! How about taking your child or teenager on a date this month? Keep it simple and don’t feel pressured into spending a lot of money. Time together is what matters the most.
Consider making deposits of love toward your child today by spending more time alone with them. Be attentive, offer encouraging words or simply listen as they share a story or a dream they hope will one day come true. These special moments are worth the investment and will make a difference in your child’s life.
© 2016 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105