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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Words to live by

This week has been one of those crazy schedule weeks with each kid coming and going to different places at different times. In the early afternoon, I have a period of about 90 minutes that I have to kill and Charlie's basketball camp is too far from home and my office to justify going all the way to either place and then coming back to get him.

So being the outgoing (read: pushy) person that I am, I invited myself over to a friend's house for those 90 minutes yesterday. She's got the most awesome front porch and a whole slew of rocking chairs on it just asking to be sat in and enjoyed.

Being the sweet (read: sweet, really) person she is, she said "come on over!" and even had homemade chocolate frosted brownies for Robbie and I to enjoy.

One of the great things about hanging out at Ann's house is that it is totally kid-tested and kid- approved. She and her husband have raised 10 children, ranging in age from 35 to almost 11. So I don't worry (much) about my kids leaving fingerprints or dropping crumbs or whatever.

Yesterday while we were visiting, one of Ann's daughters -- who happened to be my kids' summer sitter for the past couple of years -- came home on her lunch break.

"Did you fix me lunch?," she asked her mom.

"Yep," said Ann. "Open the fridge. There's some cottage cheese in there. Lunch."

LOVE it!

But when the same daughter was leaving to go back to work, Ann called to her "Make good choices! Be a blessing!"

I thought that was a great send off and told Ann I thought so. When I was growing up, my dad would drop us off at school and always tell us "Say a prayer for me, I'll say one for you." I still remember that and I'm sure Ann's kids will remember her admonitions as well.

She said she's always said that to the kids, along with "Be a gentleman," when the boys would go off on a date. (Her son apparently hated that because he said he always had to think of her saying that while he was out with his girlfriend. My friend is no dummy!).

After we'd left her house, I posted a message on Ann's Facebook page, thanking her for her hospitality. She replied:

"You are welcome to come and rock anytime! Make good choices. Be a blessing."

Now, whether she said that to me tongue-in-cheek, I'm not sure. But it did give me a bit of pause.

"Make good choices. Be a blessing."

Certainly they are good words of guidance from a mother to her children. But as I thought about them, they are equally -- and maybe more -- powerful from one friend to another, from wife to her husband (or vice versa). We all ought to be about encouraging one another to choose good over evil, to live our lives so that our actions are a blessing to those around us.

Besides, who I am to argue with a woman who has 10 kids?


Beth said...

That friend has certainly been a blessing in this life, 10 kids! What a woman!

My dad always said to me "don't take any wooden nickels" as I was leaving for school.

I don't really have anything I say to them other than "have a great day" and now I feel like I should have something better and more guiding to say! I'm definately stealing the "be a gentleman" for when my boys begin dating!!!!

Momza said...

Being LDS, we have a few things we say to our kiddos when they leave the house, among which:
"Choose The Right"
"Return With Honor"
"Be Wise"
and because I'm Southern,
"Use Your Good Manners"
"Show Your Best!"
My mom was the poster child of what not to say,
"Don't take any wooden nickels" was in there, as well as "Get What You Can"--not exactly inspiring, but I can laugh about it now.
Mothers' words, for good or bad, are remembered.

Beth Zimmerman said...

My dad always told us to be a blessing too and my sister tells her children to make good choices. I probably do some of both. And someone I once knew always told their children to remember whose child they were (God's). All beautiful admonitions!

cathy said...

"...This day,
You set life, You set death right before us,
This day, every blessing and curse is a choice now,
And we will choose to be a blessing for life..."
That is the chorus from a song by John Waller called "The Blessing"...goes through my mind alot during the day. The rest of the song is really good too if you ever get a chance - I make my kids listen to it (but then they actually like it also)!
Cathy ♥

Annie said...

I L.O.V.E. Love this post!! I tell my little guy to be a gentleman. Not that he knows what that means at his ripe old age of four, but I figure if I start now he'll learn and won't forget. I love "Be a blessing" and it is one I won't forget to strive to be myself. Great post, Amy!

Sharon said...

Thank you so much for sharing these wise words/practices.
I love them.
I often tell Aidan that he is a blessing, but don't very often say "Be a blessing".
I will definitely adopt these practices, too.

Thanks again, Amy. LOVE this post, too.

Eternal Lizdom said...

We tell our kids "make good choices" at each parting... and now I want to add "be a blessing!"

Anonymous said...

We always said a family prayer before leaving for school/work. School was difficult for me and if my mom drove me to school she would always give me the thumbs up sign, that meant I love you. Years later when school wasn't so difficult and my dad was teaching at the same high school I would walk by his room and give him the thumbs up sign.
I always hate it when parents drop off their kids after having a bad morning. It brings back feelings of rushed mornings and making my parents feel like crap.
I remember helping one the students in my room open her lunch this year and her dad wrote make good choices, be a good friend and God Bless. I just about lost it.
I am an emotional wreck LOL