To prepare for this, we had to fill out a form all about our favorite things to do as a family. We also had to write down just one character trait for each person. Hubby got described as "creative," Primus is "responsible," Secundus is "smart," Tertius is "energetic," and Quartus is "playful."
When it was time to decide on a character trait for me, I'll admit, I was pretty worried about what the kids would come up with. Without any hesitation, though, they yelled out things like, "loving" and "nice."
Even with the craziness in the room with everyone being rowdy, yelling over the top of each other, lots of joyful laughter, and the confusing words coming from their father (Hubby gave me a great boost by calling out suggestions like, "sexy" and "PHAT." Oh, I love that man!), the girls kept coming back to "loving."
Despite my flaws and bad days/hours/minutes, when it comes down to it my kids remember me as being "loving." I must be doing something right!
This morning I read "The Words We Speak" by Rosemary M. Wixom. She shared some wonderfully wise and inspired words. When I got to the section, "Pray to Know a Child's Needs," I felt the Holy Spirit so strong and I almost cried.
"To speak to a child’s heart, we must know a child’s needs. If we pray to know those needs, the very words we say may have the power to reach into their hearts. Our efforts are magnified when we seek the direction of the Holy Ghost. The Lord said:"'Speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, …For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.' (D&C 100: 5-6)"
This really struck me. Each morning I kneel in prayer and ask my Heavenly Father to help me to be patient, kind, and loving that day. And just as Sis. Wixom counsels, I also frequently pray to know the needs of my children and ask to be guided to know what, when, and how to teach them. The scriptures promise that He will guide me.
I know that these little ones aren't just mine. They are children of their Heavenly Father and have been put in my temporary care. I know that no one knows their needs, desires, talents, trials, and future better than God. The charge to raise and teach them is a heavy burden and responsibility, but also a great blessing and privilege.
I know that if I ask, Heavenly Father will give me the words to say in a loving way to "reach into their hearts" and teach them all He would have them know.