A “Wisdom Bouquet” for Future Moms

bekah Parenting 4 Comments

Dear Future Moms,

I’ve gathered a “wisdom bouquet” from moms of all ages, walks of life, and in various parenting journeys (which appropriately resembles a beautifully imperfect bunch of wildflowers). What’s one “wisdom stem” you want to share with future moms? I asked. As moms, grandmas, creative souls, and down-to-earth women, their advice is real, grace-filled, and, ironically has nothing to do with sleep schedules.

wisdom bouquet

From the beginning, and on through their adulthood, be intentional to pray, say “I love you,” give hugs, listen, then repeat. Open your home to your children’s friends and make it a place they want to be, a place where they feel welcome, loved, and accepted. Unconditionally and passionately love your children’s father, and be his biggest fan.
–  Laurie Harris, “Lil’ Mom,” retired teacher, raised 2 kids, enjoying 4 grandkids

As a mother of grown children with children of their own, I’ve given a lot of thought to raising my children. I was very involved with everything they did; school, church or athletics. Just be there, be the parent that all the kids know and are comfortable with. It’s not always the big or major things that leave an impression on them. Most often it’s the everyday things that leave a lasting impression. Model what you want to most teach them. Let them see you pray, spend time in your Bible, be someone that others know they can depend on, help others when there is a need. Live your life as a testimony to your children.
  Denise Pogue, Mom-in-law, chef and hostess extraordinaire, raised 4 kids, enjoying 7 grandkids

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in recent years is to stop comparing myself to other people (read her incredible comparison post here). I can spend all of my life trying to measure up to someone else. I can fritter away hours of time wishing I had her hair or her figure or her energy or her gifts. But I am not her, I am me. I have unique gifts, talents, and abilities. I can improve upon what God has given me, I can wisely steward what He has given me, but I cannot change who He has created me to be. So instead of living life wishing I were someone else, I’m seeking to embrace my own uniqueness. To not feel guilty if I can’t get up when she gets up, or decorate my home like she decorates hers, or fit into the size of jeans she does, or juggle all the activities and responsibilities she does. My life and goals are going to look different from others — and that is completely okay. In fact, if everyone were a carbon copy of each other, wouldn’t life be dull and colorless? So my encouragement to future moms is: Do the best you can with the energy, gifts, talents, and resources you have in the season of life you are in. And then be free from guilt!
  Crystal Payne, Creator of Money Saving Mom, author, inspiring communicator, raising 3 kids- 10,8,and 6

It’s not easy being the ‘bad guy,’ but it’s more important to be a good mom than to be a good friend to your child.” Lynette tells the story of when Megan was in kindergarten, and in frustration told her mom, “I don’t like you right now. You are not my friend.” Lynette recalls, “Ouch. That hurt. But I can remember exactly what God prompted me to say in response: ‘I’m sorry that you feel that way, Scooter Bug, but God did not send you to me so that we could be friends. I hope that someday we will be friends, but for now, my job is to be your mom.” Today, that daughter is 29 and Lynette considers Megan one of her best friends.
  Lynette Ilertsen, Director of Special Projects at Friends Christian School, raised 1 rockstar daughter

Never take a day for granted, no matter how hard it is, how tired you are, how many things you “should” be doing.  For some, an answered prayer would be to live your “mom life” and we never know what tomorrow holds.
  Allyson Magda, Photographer at Allyson Magda Photography, raising a 3-year old daughter

What a privilege to be a mom. It’s humbling to think that when Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,” He had first entrusted them to moms- to help raise and bring them to Him. In our world, we have been challenged to raise our children to eat right, bathe, brush teeth, be active, and excel in ALL areas. We are aware of their safety -“stay within view of a responsible adult, don’t talk to strangers, hold our hand in crowds”- all important safeguards. My concern is that our spiritual safeguards are not always as well thought out or firmly in place. Protect your children from spiritual kidnapping. Guard their hearts and minds from the subtleties of satan’s input. Introduce them to Jesus, while they can see your devotion to Him. Pray that the Holy Spirit will protect them, and lead them into all truth. Love them. Laugh with them. Trust the Lord each day for wisdom and consistency. With thanksgiving, know that the Lord loves them most of all. Be confident, that that by God’s Spirit, they will be equipped to finish strong as they keep their eyes fixed on Jesus.
–  Joyce Rottschafer, “Mrs. R,” Baker and Creator of Mrs. R’s Cookbook, raised 3 kids, enjoying 9 grandkids

Major on the major. Minor on the minor. We can’t do it all, nor should we expect to. Otherwise we would drive our children (and everyone else around us crazy).
  Cori DeWitt, Marital Counseling Expert, Assistant Professor, College of Education at Hope International University, enjoying her college-aged kids

Getting to be a mom is a privilege. Not everyone gets to be. It also comes with lots of responsibility, self sacrifice, and no rule book. As hard as we try to do it all right and raise our children in the Lord, we are going to miss the target from time to time. In the end, when they drive away from home, to college or to their own home and family, we want them to leave with full knowledge that they are loved, valued and prayed over. We want them to know we are on their team and will never quit. We hope we provided enough opportunities to connect and have fun and grow and learn along the way. I always say,
“Eat meals together as much as possible, even if it’s Del Taco on a bleacher.” Study and learn and worship the Lord together on a regular basis.

–  Pam Lane, Co-Leader for YLFC Mom Connection, raised 3 kids, enjoying her 1st grandbaby

The bravest (scariest) prayer I ever started praying over my kids was, “God, let them become exactly who you created them to be.” Surrender the ideas and plans you have for your kids- that big list you bring to God asking Him to make your kids smart, successful, happy, or whatever else is your hope- throw it out. Our kids were created by God and He knows what they were created for. I’ve had to learn that His list of desires for my kids may be different than my list, and it’s a better list. We have to drop our human plans and expectations and give our kids the freedom to become exactly who God created them to be.
–  Laura, Spiritual Director, running enthusiast, raising kids- 7, 3, and 2

Expectancy. Longing. Desires met. These were words that I thought about for about 20 years before I became a mom. What would it feel like to know you had given birth to a child? To be the one he or she called out to, ran up to hug, or curled in the lap of when tired or sick. At first, I didn’t think it would come at all. Then as I got into my 30s and met “the One” I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to have children. But miraculously, one came after the first one went to Heaven before her birth. After the first, came two at once! I felt indeed blessed and favored by God. I had expected, He knew my longing, and He met the desires of my heart.  Even now I find myself repeating those words: Expectancy, longing, desires met. What do I expect now in life? What are my longings – or do I dare voice them? Are my desires met? Even after you become a mom, I don’t think you ever fully feel like things are complete. Sure, a part of me feels like I got exactly what I wanted in becoming a mom. But part of me realizes in my selfish days of just wanting them to be quiet, not need me, or go cook dinner for all of us, I realize that the ache of wanting to be loved as you are a mom really is the same as the yearning to be loved by God. Not even a husband can come close to the love that God the Father offers. He continually meets our desires but he is the Desire of my heart now. Not just a title of mom or job title doing the work I love to do – but all along I was craving Him. He showed himself to me in the form of a baby and as much as I long to provide for my kids, I know He wants me to find all that I need in Him. It’s a love you never outgrow or say good-bye to as they go off to school. He is always there ready to hand out a backpack full of love, grace, and mercy to me. In becoming a mom, I’ve become closer to the One who gave up His Son so that I could have life.
–  
Blythe Daniel, President, The Blythe Daniel Agency, wise soul, raising kids – 7 and twin 5-year olds

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do everything you did before you had the baby. Let go of the little things that aren’t done. Spend the time and hold them while they sleep. Enjoy them. They are only little for such a little amount of time.
–  Salina, New mama to 3-month old daughter

Put notes in their lunchbox (but not every day, so it’s a fun surprise). Make “goodie bags” with some of their favorite things when they go to camp or travel with friends. Allow them to fail. Don’t think that when they’re grown they don’t need you anymore. Be “in it” with them, but don’t over-involve yourself. Give them space to grow into who God made them to be. There’s no such thing as too many kisses.
–  Donna, Lead Associate at ROCKHARBOR Church, writer, raised 1 daughter, enjoying 4 grandkids

You only have 18 summers with them. 18. When you look at it like that you realize that their little life goes way too fast. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Forgive yourself more and more. Leave the past behind. Dust away the bad moments and behavior. You will encounter them more times than one… It’s getting up and moving forward in love that counts! It’s not what you expect. Sometimes it’s better. Sometimes it’s worse. But you would never trade it for anything else. It reveals the good in you and the bad in you. But that’s how we grow into the image of Christ, right?
–  Natalia Cosa, Photographer at Closer to Love Photography, raising 2 daughters- 3 and 1

Be real with your children. Model a genuine faith and invite them into honest conversations with Jesus including questions, failures, dreams, crazy ideas, and hard days. And for the love, bake with them and get flour all over the counters, have dance parties, ask their opinions, celebrate their imaginations, and learn from their passionate spirits. At the end of the day, I want my kids to know they can talk to me about anything and are unconditionally loved. And more importantly, that they believe the truth that God loves them even more and enjoys them so.dang.much.
– Bekah jane, embracing a house full of men-folk

With love,
– Your village of moms from all over

 {photo credit: Closer to Love Photography}

Comments 4

  1. After a very long week of taking care of my mom who just got out of the hospital, stuffing wedding invitations, going to graduations, weddings and attempting to keep up with laundry , i sat down with a cup of coffee, and a dash of my favorite creamer and went to my favorite bookmark, that i lovingly named ( Jane 😉 ) and what a treat, hearing from all these mommas.. The day before mothers day!!..I love you, I love your heart, I love your honesty and transparency, and the way you connect young mommies and even old grammys like me 🙂 You are truly a Treasure!!!! xoxoxox

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