A new year brings new excitement, especially as I think about choosing a new word. It has been amazing to see how God has used each word I've chosen in a unique way over these past several years. In 2014, My Hero and I are teaming up to gain more wisdom on parenting. While we rely most heavily on the Bible and promptings from the Holy Spirit as our guide, we are making the time to read several books this year (which will be quite the accomplishment as there is little time in our schedules to actually sit down and read a book!).
So, my word for 2014: Parent (as in the verb, not the noun)
Here is our bookshelf for the year (we will each read 6-7 books):
How To Really Love Your Child
Discipline that Connects with Your Child's Heart
The 5 Love Languages of Children
Parenting Your Powerful Child
Give Them Grace
The New Strong-Willed Child
The Ministry of Motherhood OR The Mission of Motherhood
You Can't Make Me but I Can Be Persuaded
Parenting Isn't for Cowards
Journey of a Strong-Willed Child
Parenting by the Book
Loving Our Kids On Purpose
That's My Girl
We plan to read these in the future:
Shepherding a Child's Heart
Bringing Up Boys
Bringing Up Girls
That's My Son
A Man in the Making
I've started off the year reading "How to Really Love Your Child" by Ross Campbell. My mom gave me her 1977 copy shortly after My Hero and I became parents. I enjoyed reading it then, but now that our daughter is 4 I'm finding it much more applicable than it was when she was under 6 months!
Campbell explains, "By our behavior does a child see our love for him. Our love for a child is conveyed by our behavior toward that child, by what we say and what we do. ...But what we do carries more weight."
I've been thinking about this statement. I love my children with a love that I never knew was possible until they were born. I can't even come close to putting into words how much I adore them and am grateful for them. Of course they know that I love them because I tell them all of the time and my days are spent loving, serving, and playing with them. But what things do I DO on a daily basis make THEM feel loved? I am sure my answer to this question is often different than their response.
Is there a disconnect between how I'm showing them love and whether or not they feel unconditionally loved?
In light of this, I've started asking my 4 year old daughter this simple question at the end of each day,
"What did Mommy do today that made you feel loved?"
Her responses have given me a glimpse into her precious heart. More often than not she has said exactly what I thought she would say, or what I hoped I did that day to convey my love. I will be reading "The 5 Love Languages of Children" next and I'm anxious to learn even more ways I can communicate my love to each of my children most effectively.