A few weeks ago, Chris and I were in the bathroom brushing our teeth. Winnie was also in the bathroom hanging out and watching us. As I was brushing my teeth, Winnie reached up and wanted to grab my tooth brush. She seemed very interested in brushing her teeth. So, I pulled out her baby tooth brush and let her go for it. She knew exactly what to do. I didn’t have to teach or instruct her. She knew what to do from watching us do it.
This has been happening quite a bit lately. Winnie will out of the blue start doing things that I haven’t taught her but that I do frequently like mop the floor with her play mop, putting on jewelry, brushing her hair, and using a fork and a spoon. It blows my mind every time.
While this stage of Winnie’s life has been incredible to watch and be a part of, it has forced both Chris and I to really think about the things that we do. Knowing that Winnie is watching us so closely has really made us painfully aware of just how much our actions impact our daughter for better or for worse.
My prayer each and every day is that Winnie will grow to love Jesus as much if not more than her father and I do. And the reality is that the best way for Winnie to learn about Jesus right now is by watching us. That my friends, is a whole lot of pressure.
If Winnie can learn how to brush her teeth just by watching us then she can also learn how to love others well, surrender her fears to God, and how to live a life of integrity by watching us. On the other hand she could also learn how to be selfish, anxious, and to have destructive habits and tendencies. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the first list of possibilities. Which means that I have some work to do in my own life.
I will continue to pray each and every day for Winnie to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and for her to experience the love of God the Father. But I need to add the following prayer, “Heavenly Father, do a work in my heart. Mold me and shape me into an example for my children that radiates Your love. Refine me to look like You in every area of my life. “
“Be the change you want to see in the world” is probably the most popular quote from Ghandi for a reason. We need to be the change we want to see in our children. If we want our babies to someday experience a radical relationship with Jesus then we first need to experience it.
“The future depends on what we do in the present” is another, less popular but just a powerful, quote from Ghandi. As parents, we need to be the change and begin today.
I don’t know what the future holds for Winnie, but I do know this. If I want to raise a Jesus lovin’ babe, I need to live my life as a Jesus lovin’ mama.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 ESV