Today I have a devotion on Crosswalk and at Proverbs 31 about the day I almost quit being a mom. It was a really hard day. But it really was the day I started “becoming” the mom I always wanted to be. One thing I learned is that I couldn't become that kind of mom until I understood God's perspective of me as His child.
When I finished writing in my journal that day, I sat down to do some work and happened upon a story about Andrew Carnegie that completely changed my perspective as a mom and as a child of God. Andrew Carnegie was the wealthiest man in America in the early 1900s, so wealthy that he employed over 42 millionaires. When asked how he developed these men to become so valuable that he would pay them that much money, Carnegie explained that “men are developed the same way gold is mined. When gold is mined, several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold, but one doesn’t go into the mine looking for dirt — one goes in looking for gold.”
Zig Ziglar tells this story in his book, Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World, and then challenges moms and dads to look past their children’s mistakes and mine for gold in them, fully convinced that every child has gold hidden in their hearts just waiting to be discovered.
I was buried in the dirt that day. I felt like a failure as a mom. I was discouraged and so disappointed in myself. And I was convinced that God felt the same way about me. Then I started wishing I had a "gold-miner" in my life who would see beyond my mistakes and mishaps and find the gold in me. I almost inflated some black balloons and threw a little pity-party.
It was then that I sensed God whisper to my heart, "I am that Gold-miner." He reminded me that I was the one who was being so critical of myself. I was the one who was so focused on what I didn't do right. I felt like He whispered, "Renee, I see the gold of My image in you, and I want to bring it to the surface in your heart so that your kids could see Me in you."
He also reminded me of stories and verses in the Bible that tell me He sees beyond who I am to who I can become. I knew this was God speaking because I didn't think like that 10 years ago. I didn't believe Him in an instant, either. No, it would take time for me to really let those truths sink in. But that day He used His thoughts to give me a new perspective of Him, and of myself. Then He challenged me to look for ways to have that same perspective with my children.
As a mom, it’ so easy to get buried in the dirt of discontentment, disobedience and mommy discouragement. That day I wondered: where is the gold in it all?
But after reading Ziglar’s challenge and hearing God challenge my heart, I thought about the difference it could make for my children to know I was intent on finding the gold within them. I wasn’t sure what the gold would look like but I figured if it was there, God could help me find it. So, I asked Him to show me and then I started writing down my thoughts. Two things came to mind - golden attitudes and golden actions.
I made a column for each and listed character traits like kindness, obedience, honesty, thankfulness, and compassion. I decided to look up Bible verses that tied in with the traits and wrote them down beside each one. Those not-so-golden traits needed to be addressed too, so I made a column for the dirt that buries the gold - anger, selfishness, whining, arguing, jealousy, pride, etc.
That night I went to bed thinking about what happened that day. For the first time in months, I was excited about my role as a mom. I felt like God was telling me to take my eyes off of my children’s habits and focus on their hearts. Finally I felt like there may be some meaning in the monotony! I had a goal and hope for some progress as a parent. Tomorrow I'll share more. For now, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Copyright 2009, Renee Swope - All rights reserved.
Today's Mom Give-Aways
Today we are choosing winners from the comments and giving away two D6 mom resources - a copy of my "Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child Chart and CD and George Barna's "Revolutionary Parenting". We'll be giving away gifts every weekday, so be sure to come back for more mom encouragement and resources from D6 and Proverbs 31 Ministries!
To be part of today's give-aways, click on the words "comments" below this post. I'd love to know how old your kids are, and PLEASE include your email in your comment so we can get in touch if you win!