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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Not just any card

I think it goes without saying that a mom wears a multitude of hats throughout her day. She is the morning drill sargent, taxi driver, errand runner, maid, taxi driver (again), chef, homework helper, kitchen cleaner, argument settler, bath giver, story reader, kisses and hugs giver. But some days require an extra hat or two, like referee, nurse, or therapist. Well Monday was one such day. I got a phone call from my very sad 9 yr old. He had stayed at Grandma's house the night before and she was taking him to school. "What's wrong?" I asked. "I don't want to go to school." was the reply (which I already knew was coming). This has gotten to be a common part of our morning routine-convincing Logan that he is going to school. Now I know that most kids don't want to go to school and look for ways of getting out of it from time to time. But Logan has always loved school. He looks forward to being with his friends and yes, he even enjoys learning. But this year is different. This is one of those years that stays with you. Remember? Remember the year you had the teacher you couldn't stand or the worst class ever? I do...mine was in 3rd grade; and Logan's is too. He is in an undisciplined class that is out of control, led by a teacher who gave up trying months ago. At this point, she has begun taking her frustrations out on the good kids, while those who don't listen are allowed to continue being rude and disrespectful. It's so sad to watch your child go from an excited kid who loves school, to being defeated and frustrated. So after doing my best to encourage him, he went off to school and I headed out to do some shopping. Although I was enjoying my alone time at Target, I couldn't get my mind off my baby boy-wishing (like a mom) that I could just snap my fingers and make it all better for him. So I decided to get him a card. Now I know this sounds like a strange thing to get for your 9 year old son. But seriously, cards mean more to him than just about anything. He is very sensitive and loves them. He keeps them in his room and can tell you who gave them to him and for what reason. As I look through the encouragement cards, I quickly see they don't have anything for kids. So I go for a blank one. And there in front of me is this perfect card with smiley faces all over the front. Before I went to pick him up, I sat down and wrote a little note in his card; nothing profound, just how much we love him, how proud we are of him, and that I understand it's been a tough year, but keep your chin up. I left it on the counter next to a Hersey bar so I was sure he would see it. Sure enough, he walked through the door and saw the candy bar immediately. I told him to look at his card. He read it and began to cry. He came over and gave me the tightest hug. "Thanks, Mom! I love you so much!" All I wanted to do was make his day a little brighter, but I didn't expect this reaction. Through my own tears, I held my son. In that brief moment, all the exhaustion, frustration, heartache of the past several weeks melted into what I can only describe as "a moment" . I was so thankful that I had listened to that still-small voice that said "get him a card" and that I understood his "love language". Sometime I fear that we, as Christians, spend so much time at church and trying to minister to others, that we fail to see the ministry opportunities God gives us everyday to our own family. Too often, the ones we love the most only get our leftovers. It is my prayer that my eyes stay open and alert not only to the needs of others, but to the needs of my husband and children. Because I wouldn't want to miss a moment like this one. ♥

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