Monday, February 4, 2013

Following Jesus on the Ski Slopes

Today was my ski day with all 6 kids!  At the rental counter, the young girl helping asked me,  "Do you have any advice on motherhood for someone who just found out she's pregnant?"

Surprised by the question, I must have looked at her strangely, but she quickly continued, "That person is me... I'm 13 weeks pregnant."

I congratulated her and gave her the best advice I could think of at that moment.  I really didn't know what to tell her.  

How do you sum up everything in just a quick answer?

Motherhood is my life!  I pray daily to be a better mother.

I homeschool all my children, so that means that I have a LOT of influence on how they respond to the world.  That is a very scary thought to me!!  

What if I don't teach them enough?  What if they don't get into a good college?  What if they can't ever get a good job?  What if... what if... what if...

I put a lot pressure on myself as the teacher for their math, reading, writing, spelling, geography, English, Spanish, typing, science, social studies, piano, trumpet, guitar, drums, cooking, cleaning, sewing, physical fitness, and of course for their spiritual well-being.

I want them to be the very best they can be; but there is so much to teach them and so many things of great value that there just isn't enough time to teach it all before they're on their own!!

Despite all my good intentions, God opened my eyes on the ski slopes today.

He started with my cute little Jordan, my 7 yr. old.  Jordan reached the bottom of the hill after his first ski run of the day and shouted excitedly, "Mommy!!  I prayed that I wouldn't fall, and I didn't!!"  He fell a lot later on; but on that first run, he knew God had answered his prayers.  His excitement was so great, I couldn't help but smile.

Then, a few moments later, a really sweet, older gentleman-probably in his late 70's- approached me and asked, "Would you mind if I took a picture of your ski family?"  "SURE!" I said.  The older kids were just sliding in, and we all posed for his camera.  I decided to have him take a picture with my camera too! 

A little while later, the same older gentleman approached me again and said, "I just love watching that older brother help his younger sister."  

I looked up and saw that Tyson was helping Mariah back up onto her skis after a big fall.  The moment he would help her up, her legs would split and she would collapse again.  He helped her like this several times.  I suddenly saw these children in an even brighter light; they were interacting with so much love... and lots of giggles.

Then, this same older gentleman approached me a third time and asked, "Are you a Jesus follower?"

I just about burst into tears and exclaimed, "Oh yes I am!"  

He responded so sweetly with his hands towards the sky and said, "Oh I knew it!  I could just tell.  Praise God!"

That was the last time I saw this sweet gentleman.  He will never know that he was an answer to my prayers... my miracle.  He will never know that those were the exact words I needed to hear.  I knew at that moment that Jesus had sent him to remind me that the most important part of being a mother was about teaching them to love.

What joy filled my heart that he could see the love in our family. 

Maybe I'll get a second chance to answer that young girl's question about motherhood.  This time my answer would be clear and certain...

Teach your child to love.  The message of love is the message of Jesus.

While all those other subjects I'm teaching my children are very important; if they truly know how to love, they will have the passion necessary to do great things wherever they are.