As many of you know, I have always been a Little House on the Prairie girl at heart. I idealize the simple life on the prairie. Living in small quarters always brought the family closer together. The struggles always made the family seem more tight knit. The simple life- growing food, keeping animals, and the hustle and bustle are far off in the city. Life on the prairie was simple and beautiful.
I know I completely have a picture in my head that isn’t quite real. I know life was anything but simple on the prairie. Yet, the idea of having just enough without modern day distractions is appealing.
One of my favorite moments on the show was Laura said this about her Ma:
“Her smile is the first thing I want to see each morning, and the last thing I see each night.”
Wow. Every time I see that episode and hear those words, I tear up. My eyes well up mostly because it is just so sweet and because that truly epitomizes Ma on the show–gentle and loving, yet we all know she is firm and strong when needed.
The tears also come because I wonder if my own kids would say that about me.
Do I give them that smile before bed and when they wake up?
Do I choose gentle?
Or do I (in my own flesh) frown all too often, complain, or even yell? What are my children seeing first thing in the morning and last thing before bed?
Do I display humility and most of all reliance on the Lord? Because the truth is, in my own strength there are days I do not feel like smiling. There are days I just want to scream. There are days I am anything but gentle.
Yet, we are told to DIE to self. We are not called to seek after our own comfort and then smile. We are not told to treat others depending on our moods or circumstances.
We are told to put others needs above our own, be gentle and meek, and to seek Him above all else. Not to put my fleshy wants first, but His desires.
My children are living their only childhood right now. There are no do-overs. I am shaping their memories that they didn’t even ask to make. God brought them into this world as a complete blessing to me, and my job is to die to self as a disciple and as a mother. My kids don’t always care that I am tired or having my own “issues.” They need to be raised and cared for in a way that honors the Lord and points to Him.
When I am having a bad day I need to take that to the Lord and let His strength get me through. My children should not suffer because I struggle.
I know this sounds harsh, but I have been convicted lately to truly let them yearn for their Mama’s smile first thing in the morning and the last thing before bed…
So that in Ma’s smile they can see Jesus.
His love, His strength, and His provision…even when I don’t feel like it.
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