"Listen.Have you ever heard that saying about mothers? You know the one that goes something like this: "Mothers hold their children's hands for a while, but their hearts forever."
Can you spare me your eardrum?
Keep your change.
I don't want your money.
Just your heart."
by Voices Rising (DreamYard Prep Slam
Team - a school in the Bronx in NYC)
That isn't always true.
There are many children, and by children I mean anywhere from the early childhood years to middle-age, that never have that kind of bond with their mother.
Sure, they love her; she's their mother. But they don't have much of a connection with her beyond that.
Maybe she was always busy. Or it could have been she was too critical or a harsh disciplinarian. Maybe she was so self-absorbed that she missed the point entirely.
Lately I've found myself doing a lot of those things I hoped I would never do as a mom.
And this past week I've been convicted.
It started first when I heard someone talk about his early years as a father. The man, a pastor, was telling of a time God got his attention when his children were young and how he got so choked up about it in a moment before he was to preach that he had to step away from the pulpit to collect himself. He mentioned that years later a lady in the congregation was talking to him about that day and that her young son had asked why he was crying. Her well-spoken response struck me, as it did him, hard: "Sometimes when the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin, all you can do is cry."
I've been pondering the statement for days.
Then earlier this week I read the stanza from the poem at the beginning of this post. I knew in an instant the reason for my guilty conscience.
It's a heart issue
I've been so busy correcting, scolding and marking off each day's to-do list that I haven't taken time to truly listen and hear what is on the hearts of my young children.
It's a pattern that needs to break because if it keeps up, I will lose those hearts during the teenage years. I know because that's when my mom lost mine.
This sentiment was reinforced yet again on Wednesday when I decided to listen to the radio program Revive our Hearts.
If you're a mom and have a few extra minutes, take some time to listen to Stepping Into Your Child's World.
It was the part about our children's need for unconditional acceptance that resonated with me most.
We all desire to be accepted for who and what we are. Our children are no different. And they crave this acceptance from us, their parents, the most.