Yesterday I met up with an old friend from college. We laughed and talked over an early dinner and came across the subject of children. Specifically the way we each raise our own kids. This handsome gentleman and I found out that we each have a daughter with eclectic fashion sense and have had days where we wondered if they should be seen in public wearing their new designs or not. But what made this conversation even more interesting is that we both revealed our mothers are way too similar in their reactions to their respective divas. We both believe that our mothers would most definitely try and "fix" the outfit for public viewing. Where we both viewed the outfit as not harming anyone and therefore not worth making the child feel bad about themselves or their creativity by trying to change it.
We laughed a bit at this coincidence and then it triggered a thought that led me to stand upon my soap box for a moment and talk about how I handle such situations in my household. Two weeks ago was Stake Conference in my home ward. It was such a wonderful conference. My Stake President spoke about his family and the ways of the world and such and he said something that stuck with me so much that it has become my new motto. He talked about how kids today have a hard time because in a nutshell, they don't feel very loved. And even in times of trial or stress, he would always tell his kids "because I love you the most!" That stuck with me so much. Almost hauntingly.
I realized that more often than I'd like to admit, I have a hard time with my own mother. We tend to clash with our parenting styles and with the way we view the world around us. Now, I love my mother, so very much. But I do feel that way sometimes. That thought made me fear that my own girls might at some point, think that way about me. So I decided to take that lovely quote, "because I love you the most!" and put it to good use.
There are times in everyone's life when we question. We question the way we were raised, the way our lives are going. We question the ones who love us and have led us along the pathways of life. And because of those questions, we make choices. Some are better than others and some leave us feeling less than a worthy person. I having made many choices in my life know the affects, good or bad, it can have on a person. So when I see my daughters struggle and rely upon my love, all I can do is hope I have invested enough of it in them for them to feel the security it offers. The more love I give them, the more secure they will feel. The more love I give them, the more accepted they will feel. The more love I give them, the more loved they will feel. The more love I give them, the more they will trust it and me.
I hope that every time I praise my beautiful daughters, a small sheet of batting is layered around them. I hope that over time there will be a thick, warm blanket of love protecting them from the storms of life. I want my love to be what protects them. I want them to know that I love them more than a clean room. I want them to know that I love them more than an A+ paper. I want them to know I love them more than what other people think because I love them the most. Out of everyone else in this entire world, I am the one who loves them the most! I want those words to encompass them daily so that if their choices leave them feeling low or struggling, they will believe that I STILL love them, because I love them the most.
This small little quote, this small little concept has ultimately changed the way I think for the better. I have come to realize that nothing in the world is more important than my girls. Not my needs, not my desires, not my dreams because no matter what I want my future to look like, if I don't invest in my girls' lives today, my future will not be so bright.
So I ask you this, What have you loved the most today?