There are three gifts of Motherhood that will never be outgrown and always fit every age and stage of childhood. I'll share the first one with you.

 

The first of these is the blanket of your unconditional love. He needs love not based on his performance or behavior. He needs your love just because he is yours. And there are several ways to give your child this absolute, unreasonable love.

 

First, give your child the gift of time. Take a look at your weekly calendar and carve off a big chunk just to goof off with your children or grandchildren for two or three hours each week. If it goes on the calendar and you guard it as if it were an appointment with the President, you'll find the delight in keeping company with some amazing people...your offspring! Try not to make it legalistic, and just another "good Christian thing to do," but throw yourself into spending time with these precious people in your life just for the fun of it.

 

If you have preschool children or grandchildren, try spending a few hours on the floor coloring and blowing bubbles. Read a few books, sing a few songs, and go outside whenever possible and swing.

 

School-aged kids might enjoy a bike ride and picnic. Or if you're brave you might even play bombardment with them. Most kids LOVE it. It will require a rubber ball, a good pair of tennis shoes, and the ability to move quickly-which will be counted as your aerobic exercise for the week! Bombardment is the game of Tag or It, but with a ball. If the ball hits you, you're It, then you get to try to throw it to someone to make them It. This game is not usually played by adults, and that's the whole point. Play a real kid game. Be sure not to care if your clothes get dirty or torn.

 

For preteens and teens, try a Coke date or Coffee House break. Just sit around and ask about their music or a movie and the conversation will usually take off. Then you can keep listening between the lines to see if they will share something a little more personal. Don't press. Just be still and listen and wait. Being friends with people who are self-conscious and suspicious of adults takes patience, the willingness to be rejected, and a lot of prayerful confidence in what God can do with any and every life.

 

The second gift is the gift of touch. Almost everyone knows little babies need lots of physical hugging, kissing and touching. As kids grow, they don't outgrown needing to feel the warmth of mom's hands. Just a squeeze and hug for some is enough before they go on their way, but others need the physical reassurance of big doses of your Mother presence. From combing their hair, to rubbing sore muscles, or carefully applying Bactine and Band-Aids, children need to sense Mother-love from Mother-touch. Stop and think about the sensory perception your child has of your hands. Even teens and adult kids need the connection to mom through a pat on the back or a gentle embrace.

 

Finally, give your kids unconditional love by talking to them. Time, touch, and now, talk. Sit and listen, Mom. Your kids say some amazingly revealing things as they go about their day. Often these revelations unfold as they are going to bed, and mostly when the lights should have been out long ago. They can sleep another time. Take the time when they start to talk to listen around and between the lines of their chatter. Sift through the wrapping until they finally take off the last layer and expose the precious contents beneath. Be a very good steward of this treasure. Take most of it to your grave in secrecy. But let this unique creation that God entrusted into your care know that you know, you care, and you believe in them. That comes when you take the Time, to Touch their hearts, and really Talk.

 

Denise Glenn is the founder of MotherWise ministries and the author of Freedom for Mothers, Wisdom for Mothers and Restore My Heart. Visit Motherwise at www.motherwise.org