The Art of Being a Mother
Part 5 of 7
Seizing Teachable Moments
Dave and I were walking along Main street in my hometown when he suddenly stopped and moved to the other side of me on the sidewalk.
“What was that about?” I asked him.
“My mom told me that a gentleman always walks on the side toward the traffic when he’s with a girl, so he can protect her. I wasn’t nearly as tall as she was when she told me that, but I’ve never forgotten.”
I didn’t know a lot about this man I was dating yet, but I knew I wanted to learn to know more!
Mom Slabach was awesome at seizing teachable moments. We called it “having Sunday school with Mom.” She had a way of turning a conversation the direction she wanted it to go so that she could give encouragement, affirmation, or a reprimand. Oh she could give the reprimands, but you always knew you were loved!
As a mom and an artist, you are given many opportunities to write on the canvas of your children’s hearts. Take every opportunity you can to teach them about life. Seize those moments when they come to you and make them count!
The idea isn’t original with me. It comes from a message to the Children of Israel from God Himself. After those 40 years of traversing in the wilderness, He wanted them never to forget their past and His faithfulness. He told them they needed to pass on the memories to their children.
“Take every opportunity you have,” He told them, “and do it every day. No matter where you go or what you are doing, don’t forget to talk about Me to your children.”
This is the quote from the book of Deuteronomy, and you can read the entire chapter there.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
“Do this,” God said, “so that your children will not forget.”
Do it when you’re walking, when you’re sitting, when you’re lying down, and keep my words in front of you all of the time. Keep reminding yourself by putting them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. In other words, this is to be a moment by moment way to live. Everything we do gives us an opportunity to seize moments and use them to teach our children.
When we fail to mention His faithfulness, we fail to remember -and then we quickly forget.
It has to become a way of life. If we’re serious about making an eternal impact on our children, then our living has to be more than just a Sunday-go-to-meetin’-Christian. Our faith needs to be expressed in the way we live, every day of the week.
Splashes of color and texture are all around us. All we need to do is seize those colors and use them to write on the doorposts of our children’s hearts.
Seize the life lessons in the daily of life.
- when you see a spider web, talk about the dangers of getting tangled up in what seems innocent
- when you’re weeding a garden or flower bed, talk about how weeds can take over our hearts if we are not diligent; how important it is to tend the garden of our hearts so that weeds cannot take over.
- when a child shares unexpectedly and without expectation, share your delight in the vibrancy that was just displayed in your family. If it pleases you this much as a mom, how much more is our Father pleased when we display those same qualities? Express that to your kids.
- when Walmart doesn’t charge you for an item, talk about honesty and how God wants us to be honest – and that’s why you’re taking the item back and paying for it even when it takes your time and is a pain.
- when you plant tulip bulbs, talk about how the bulb needs to die so it can produce a flower – just like a Christian needs to die to self.
- when sexual questions come up, explain the wonder of a God who had this awesome idea; don’t embarrass the Creator by being embarrassed.
- when popcorn is popping, talk about the heat (though uncomfortable) that brings something delightful to enjoy
When life is dealing difficulty for one of your kids, plan an event where you can spin the cocoon of God’s goodness throughout the situation, and watch your child delight in the possibility of a butterfly on the horizon. Sometimes a special outing, or a tea party, or a special time at home can give you the moment you need to weave into the heart of your child the faithfulness of God.
Above all else, model your faith in the way you live. Practice recounting the faithfulness of God and watch the kaleidoscope of color transform your canvass.
You, the mom, are the Artist. When a moment comes your way, seize those brushes and use them to teach the goodness and faithfulness of God. Don’t waste the moments. Grab hold, and use them to savor and teach in those important moments of life. Seize the moments and make them count for eternity.
The song We Have This Moment, written by Bill and Gloria Gaither, teaches the essence of capturing the moments of life and making them special. You can listen to this song here . Or, if you want to hear Gloria Gaither share a poem she wrote in the middle of this song, you can listen here.
Here are the words to the song:
We Have This Moment
Hold tight to the sounds of the music of living,
Happy songs of the laughter of children at play
Hold my hand as we run through the sweet, fragrant meadows,
Making memories of what was today.
For we have this moment to hold in our hands,
And to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand.
Yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow may never come, but we
But we have this moment today.
You hear that tiny voice? That’s my little girl
She’s calling for mommy just to hear what she has to say
And my little son running there down the hillside
Will never be quite like today.
Tender words, gentle touch, and a good cup of coffee
And someone who loves me and wants me to stay
Hold them near, while they’re here and don’t wait for tomorrow
And look back and wish for today.
Take the blue of the sky, and the green of the forest,
The gold and the brown of the freshly-mown hay
And the pale shades of spring, and the circus of autumn,
And my friend, just go out and weave you a lovely today.
For we have this moment to hold in our hands
And to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand
Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow may never come,
But we have this moment today.