One Thing That They Will Remember

Today’s post was written by our monthly contributor, Lara. You can visit her blog at www.ToOverflowing.com.

I don’t know who wrote it, but I’ve never forgotten, “They won’t remember all the things you did with them, but they will remember how you made them feel.”

I think about those wise words especially when I’m feeling a little frustrated or whiny about my mommy tasks. Like during our recent camping trip.

After the rain 2

Flickr photo credit

Gaining Perspective

I admit that I don’t love to camp. Well…reword. I don’t love to tent camp with three young kids when it rains all night and the temperatures drop into the 30s. Not my favorite.

So knowing that our most recent camping trip would include all of these factors, I had to get alone with God before our adventure began. Because I didn’t want my bad attitude to ruin the trip. He graciously met me in my laundry room with true words.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Put To The Test

We arrived at the site around dinner time. So with the clouds looming and rain inevitable I started the grill. The grate wasn’t straight so two hot dogs rolled off into the charcoal. But we live by the 10-second-rule so I just wiped off the crunchy pieces of charred mess and threw the hot dogs back on the fire.

The kids didn’t notice. They ran around making memories with stick-swords.

We roasted smores and sang a couple of songs and got ready for bed. Then we crawled into our sleeping bags just as the rain started — God’s gracious timing. Though I did dream of gunshots all night with the sound of rain tapping on the tarps.

The oldest woke up around 4:30 needing to go potty. In the rain. And cold. So we ran down the trail in our pajamas to the bath house. When we got back into our sleeping bags I couldn’t sleep because all I could hear was the wild animal that found our stray box of Cheez-Its. It kept reaching in and out of the bag, crunching like a hungry child.

I’m pretty sure it was a raccoon but in my sleep deprivation I laid there slightly fearful that it was a baby bear, which meant its mama was somewhere close. And I’m not interested in meeting up with a bear in the woods.

The kids woke up with the sun — cheerful and excited for the day. While I scrounged for some coffee. Then we hiked a short trail. And after we loaded the car to head home, the first thing they asked was, “When can we do that again?!” My man and I just gave each other “the look.”

We were only gone a total of 24 hours but I had to keep battling my attitude. I didn’t feel like being there. I didn’t want to be cold and wet. But there were these three kids who couldn’t wait to get on that mountain.

The Call on a Mama

I don’t love to tent camp with three young kids when it rains all night and the temperatures drop into the 30s. But as moms we sometimes have to do things that we don’t love. And our attitudes will make an impression on the hearts of our kids.

I want them to remember that I laughed with them, that I smiled a lot, that I listened when they had something to say. I want them to remember that I made them feel loved. I want to honor my Lord.

I continually fail which is why I’m desperately thankful for His grace that mends the places I’ve torn. But this day I lay mommyhood before Him again, asking that He love their souls through my imperfect hands — even if I may not like what’s on the agenda.

How do you reign in your own heart when you need to do something that you don’t particularly enjoy?

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Comments

16 Comments

  • Avatar Elizabeth says:

    I just chose a theme verse this morning for the international ministry I am a part of and typed it out then clicked on your blog and here it is again!

  • You have such wise words here. I love how you said “asking that He love their souls through my imperfect hands.” I am going to pray this prayer over my 6 day old baby girl. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

  • Great reminder and encouragement to keep our attitudes in check. Our children are so perceptive and crave our love and approval. At times I need to remind myself to enjoy the kids. I just wrote about that on my blog. Thanks for being so real and reminding us of what’s really important!

  • Avatar Jen says:

    This is SO true! I have a memory of a rainy camping trip…my mom and I were just talking about it last weekend! My mom, brother and I set up camp (I don’t remember that it was hard to set the tent up), played cards, ate dinner (I don’t remember anything being burnt) and laughed…a lot. In the middle of the night, it started raining and we realized that we had pitched the tent in the low spot of the site when we felt like we were sleeping on a water bed. We got in the car and drove around for awhile before parking the car near the horse barn. It was hot and muggy so Mom had to turn the car on every once in awhile so we wouldn’t melt 🙂 When we were talking about that trip, my mom said she felt horrible that our camping weekend was ruined…I looked at her and said that it is one of my favorite memories. I don’t remember a ruined weekend…I remember laughter, no arguments, not getting scolded (which is what happened on camping trips with my dad), learning to play Gin, and walking along a trail…did I mention laughter? We had fun!!! My mom teared up a little when I told her it was one of my fav memories because, as a single mom, she tried to do special things with us…and she succeeded!

  • Avatar Kat says:

    Seriously, Lara. This is SO inspiring…and convicting. Thank you!

  • Avatar Amber Dalton says:

    I definitely needed to hear this today. I’ve been struggling with mommy hood and torturing myself when events and plans don’t come together perfectly for my kids. Thinking back on my childhood, however, some of my favorite memories weren’t the days that were perfect, but the days that I simply had fun with my parents.

  • Avatar Sara says:

    I’ve been struggling with being frustrated and easily irritable with my girls lately. I don’t want that to be the default. Thanks for the encouraging words, you’re making me cry over here, gee! 😉

  • i desperately {yes, desperately} need to hear Him right now in my parenting … thank you for sharing His voice and truth … my mommy heart is soaking it in!

  • Avatar Bethany Humphrey says:

    Last night I had a *hard* conversation with an extended family member, an attempt to reconcile that went quickly south. Still shaking with emotion, I slipped into the room of my 1-year-old son and just gazed at him, fully sprawled in sleep. Jesus whispered in my ear, “This is why you need to learn to love (this person). You don’t want to. But how can you teach your son about love if you refuse to love?” And in the moment, I received grace to keep choosing love.

  • […] I hung out with Kat over at Inspired To Action yesterday. Click here to read the rest of my camping story. […]

  • Just what i needed to hear. I praise God for using your words to gently convict and motivate action!