Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Caught or Taught?

I woke wrangling with the terrible question that plagues every mother for almost as long as she’s a mother………Have I taught my children the right things?
Some of you will find it odd that I still struggle with that even though all my children are gainfully employed; spiritually grounded; voting citizens.  (In other words – ADULTS.)

But it’s true.  Nothing causes my stomach to churn quite like this singular moment of introspection. 

These children came into my life as almost a blank canvas.  It has been my responsibility to teach manners, perspective, love for God, responsibility, HYGENE! 

And when you serve as both home school teacher AND church leader?!  (Which I did for the better part of my girls’ lives.)  Let me tell you, the potential for feeling like a failure skyrockets! 

If they struggle in life, if they feel poorly equipped in any area, there’s no one to blame but Mom!

(Of course, the enemy of our souls knows our vulnerable points and he hammers them ruthlessly.) 

That’s why I woke at 5:11 this morning and immediately started praying!
  • I prayed for the three girls that were originally placed in our care.
  • I prayed for the two men in our realm of influence - their husbands.
  • I prayed for the precious grandchildren we want to spoil.
  • I prayed that God would forgive my short comings and bless them all anyway!

As I finally poured a cup of coffee to accompany my rambling thoughts/prayers/concerns, my phone signaled that I had a text message coming in.

It was from Amanda who spent five years working/living very closely with us.  At 6:00 AM she wrote from her home in NC:

“This morning I got up for quiet time as silently as possible. (One of her youth girls had spent the night.)  I eased the door of her room closed, turned on the living room lamp, got my favorite blanket and sat down with my Bible; warming my cheek with my coffee cup.  I’m thankful for the habits I caught from you.  Strange to be the one in the living room…..”

Such timely words for my concerned mind. 

It’s true.  In this life journey, more is caught than taught!  That’s why it’s so important that we spend more time living the life we want imitated than crafting arguments against behaviors we don’t like.

It’s also true that even though we're "The MOM," we're still just like our children – imperfect human beings!  Our only hope for improvement there is to request help daily from the God who made us in the first place.  (And I, for one, am very appreciative of all the help He gives!!)

Gotta run now.  I really need some time with the favorite blanket, a cheek-warming cup of coffee and my Bible. 

Hope your day is blessed!


  1. I always wonder those things as well and then my son will make a comment that shows he was watching, listening and learning behavior all those years. I asked him recently what he thoughts he had on me possibly dating (yes, I said that Sheri). He pondered it for a moment and said, "Mom, you were never a mother who dragged men in and out of my life. So I'm good though it feels a bit weird. Oh, and Mom? Take it slow." I chose to stay single for all of his years (almost 24 now) to be the Mom that would make him proud. To hear him acknowledge that touched my heart deeply. They learned, Sheri, they learned.

  2. In the words of Paul, "I thank the Lord upon every remembrance of you." :)