Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday's Devotion: Being the Perfect Valentine for Your Family

"A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds..." Proverbs 31: 10-31

I sat at the kitchen table two weeks before Valentine's Day researching easy and unique Valentines for my children to make to take to their friends. I compiled a list of ones I thought would be easy enough to make and asked the boys to decide from that list. I then shopped around trying to find the items I needed to make the Valentines, scouring the discount racks, dollar stores, and using coupons at the craft store to make sure we got the biggest bang for our buck. Two days before Valentine's, I was back at that kitchen table crafting those little Valentine's, only to get a little pre-frustrated. That's right, pre-frustrated. I had worked myself up in a tizzy anticipating the children's disregard for all the hard work I put into making something different, unique, and fun for their classmates and friends.

What I didn't anticipate, though, was my children's fascination with the completed products. They kept running into the kitchen counting the Valentine's, and saying, "Mom! These look cool!" At first I brushed off their compliments, thinking maybe their father has prompted them to be thankful. I then realized, as they hovered over my shoulder, as I cut, glued, taped, and attached tootsie rolls, they were thankful. My children recognized the hard work I had put into making Valentine's Day special for them.

It is so easy for us mothers to not feel appreciated. We work hard to make sure they have decent clothes on (if you have boys, you know why I use the word "decent"), to fill their bellies with delicious healthy food, and to provide for them educational activities to strengthen their brains. There's so much we do that goes unnoticed. But every once in a while, your hard works get recognized and praised. If you haven't read Proverbs 31: 10-31, do it NOW. I'll wait. Do you notice how she never takes the time to wallow in self-pity? Notice how she never gets pre-frustrated? Her family rejoices in the work she does. "Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise" Proverbs 31: 28. This particular verse is mentioned near the end of the set of scripture, after listing all the things she does. She shops for the best priced supplies; she sews and knits; she brings back special treats for her household; she gets up early to make breakfast and organize her day; she makes investments; she gardens; she is eager to work and work hard; she is a good homemaker; she assists the poor; she clothes and repairs clothes of her family; she makes her own clothes (and they are beautiful!!); she sells the things she makes (she's a working mom!); and she has activities planned for her household. AFTER all of that, it is mentioned how much her family appreciates her. She does it all. She doesn't do it so she can get praise, but because she loves her family. And, really, so can you!

Your kids and husband aren't looking for you to be perfect. They aren't looking for SuperMom. But if you are working hard at doing the best you can with what you have, then you are SuperMom! The best Valentine you can give your family is to work hard; to love hard; and to love the Lord. "Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God." (v. 30). So as you are gluing conversation hearts to a red doily for your kids' teachers, remember, your family sees what you are doing. They may never say anything or they may say it years later. But what you do daily for your family is making a lasting impression by setting a good example for your daughters, setting the standard high for your sons, and giving your husband reason to look forward to coming home every day.

May God bless your Valentine's Day!

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