A kindness is like a flower that has bloomed upon you unawares, and to be on the watch for such flowers adds very much to our joy in other people, as well as to the happy sense of being loved and cared for. ~Charlotte Mason, Vol. 4, p.109For all the books we've read to the kids, it seems mostly what comes out of our mouths as parents and what lives in the air about our home is what affects our children most.
The reason I know this is because I have seen my very own selfish attitudes come right back at me from little persons I know I have taught otherwise!
In light of the economic woes we see affecting so many, this is something worth considering.
Wives, Mothers... let us not pollute the atmosphere.
Wives - when there isn't enough, do we make our husband feel worse than he already does by pointing out what all he doesn't provide? Are we wise stewards or do we fall prey to impulse, adding to his burden? Are we needy and pestering around him when he is detached, trying to work out whatever it is he needs to work out, or do we give him space and find contentment in our own space? What are we teaching our daughters - future wives - by how we treat our spouse in the midst of difficulty? What are we teaching our sons - future husbands - about a man's worth?
Mothers - when our children have to go without, do we shed tears for all they have not, or do we rejoice in the character God is forging in their souls? What are we teaching our children about our faith when we are fearful? What do we teach our children when we allow ourselves to lose control, complaining, worrying, raising the tone of our voices, reacting in anger? What of humility and receiving grace?
Let's 'be on the watch for such flowers' - the soft pillow, the warm sunlight, the hug, the new seedling, the smile, God's word, the poem, the story, the music, the truth, the grace we have just for today... there is so much, always.
Not being able to provide them with every good thing under the sun can weigh heavy on a good mother's heart, I know. And yet, this is the time when it counts the most; it is a time of great opportunity in educating our children. Don't miss it.
That he should take direction and inspiration from all the casual life about him, should make our poor words and ways the starting-point from which, and in the direction of which, he develops––this is a thought which makes the best of us hold our breath. There is no way of escape for parents; they must needs be as 'inspirers' to their children, because about them hangs, as its atmosphere about a planet the thought-environment of the child, from which he derives those enduring ideas which express themselves as a life-long 'appetency' towards things sordid or things lovely, things earthly or divine. ~Charlotte Mason, Vol. 2, p. 37