I don’t know about you, but I feel like I field that statement from strangers at least once a week when I am out and about with my kids.  I have no idea why, but that seems to be the easiest way for someone to start a conversation with us… is to comment on how much work I must encounter as a mom. (Seriously… maybe I should be the one to just start starting the conversations!)

I got signed up for a free trial of Thriving Family magazine by Focus on the Family. I got my second issue today and I am enjoying the material so far.  There was a section focused on little kids and it was titled “Little Ears and Public Places”.  The writer brought up the above statement that she receives from store clerks as well.  However, her response was much different than mine.  My response is usually a short laugh, a shaking of the head, a head nod…. some sort of a way to shrug off their comment.  Because I don’t want to say “Seriously you have no idea the tantrum I just survived in the van!” AND I don’t want them to think I’ve got perfect kids… actually though… no one has asked me that! 🙂 Haha!   Anyway, I usually laugh off the comment and keep going about checking out and getting out to the van in one piece.  This mom in the article though, said that her response was the following “Actually, Seth is my big helper.  I couldn’t do it without him.” They left the store and later in the day her son put his toys away all by himself and said “I’m mommy’s big helper!”

Wow!  I immediately was convicted.  Not that I have done something wrong in this area with my kids (or maybe I am!) but how much more intentional I could be in these situations.  You see, Belle hears a lot of what I say.  In fact, just to make sure, I am spelling several things out to Jason when I don’t want her to grasp what I am saying at a certain time.  And several times she has repeated back to me word for word what I have said to others when I thought “she wasn’t listening”.

Then God brought to mind this verse:

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” – Ephesians 4:29

Building others up… in my mind is other adults.  And yet I have these two wonderful gifts from God living and walking with me each day, I have the opportunity to build them up (or tear them down) at any given time of the day.  Personally, I struggle with praising my kids as much as I correct them.  I fall way to heavy on the correction side.  And this statement that we encounter each week seems like a doable place for me to start to speak the truth about my kids to them and let them know (out loud!) how much I love them!