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Our family mantra supports us on the hard days–the many days when I feel like the worst mother ever. My children complain about how unfairly they are being treated. Siblings fight all day. I lose my temper and yell, repeatedly. The house is a disaster. We barely seem to survive the day. And I get the feeling that they, too, think I am the worst mother ever.
But they still remember our mantra.
And I find little sticky notes.
Love notes with misspelled words, special drawings, and precious messages, such as these:
A couple weeks ago Maya left me a card and three notes around my room. Tonight I found a hot pink sticky note on my computer, iPad, door, water cup, and mirror. She is my loving girl who, at nine years old, still gives kisses and cuddles. My heart melts. Her freckle-faced smile is adorable. Maya gives her love generously.
Last week an “I love you” reminder popped up on my iPhone, IMac, & iPad (yes, we are almost entirely a MAC family now and everything syncs nicely). At first I thought it was from my husband, who does send encouraging notes from time to time. When another note popped up the next day, I opened the Reminders App and found this.
“Have you had any Reminders on your iPad?” My twelve year-old Zoe asked me with a smile. Though sweet and loving, she is TWELVE and vividly displays all of the personalities described by Abi in The Multiple Personalities of a Tween Girl. Our days have been particularly emotional lately, and seeing those words of love pop up are especially meaningful from Zoe. In one of her notes I heard the echo of my own words when on rough days I remind her, “I will always love you, no matter what.”
A mantra is an “often repeated, word, formula, or phrase.”
I had never thought of it as a mantra before, but “I will always love you, no matter what” or “even when . . .” is a phrase we use often in our home.
Even when I am mad, even when I yell, even when you do not mind, even when you are in trouble.
I want my children to remember that their behavior, my anger, bad days, nor anything else will EVER change my love for them.
Why? Because I want to love them unconditionally like My Heavenly Father loves me. I am so thankful that my temper or sin or stupid decisions do not diminish His love for me. His love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
When I read the last note on my tablet, I marveled and thought, “Wow, does she really think I’m a good mom after all of the fighting lately?” She must actually love me through those days just as I do her.
Our family mantra, “I will always love you, no matter what,” stuck in her mind and heart. And though I am usually the one repeating it, on her own, my daughter realized it goes both ways.
Thank you, Jesus!
Creating Your Family Mantra
Do you have a family mantra? What words or phrases do you repeat through good and bad times with your family? Constantly repeated words and phrases penetrate the heart and will be remembered during the hard times.
If you don’t have a family mantra, you can start today.
What is the one thing you want your family to remember most now and in the future?
- Make it short and easy to remember.
- Write it on the bathroom mirror.
- Post it on the refrigerator.
- Repeat it often.
- Repeat the first part, then ask your children to finish it.
- Remember to remind them in the good times and on the hard days.
- Be sure to live out the words of your family mantra.
Your family mantra doesn’t have to be original. Use a good cliche like, “The family that prays together stays together, ” Or try completing this sentence: “In our family we . . . (forgive and forget, have a servant’s heart, love like Jesus, etc.).”
Those little notes from my daughters are such humbling reminders that despite all of my failures, God knew what He was doing when He chose me to be the mother of my precious gifts (even though I am tempted to doubt His wisdom in my weakness).
I left sticky love notes on my girls’ pillows in reply, and will try harder to encourage and affirm my love for all of my children, especially on those hard days because I want them to remember, and never, ever question how much I love them. Love can be sticky, but love anyway.Love can be sticky, but love anyway.Click To Tweet
We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
I’d love to read your family mantra! Please comment below and share the special words you share with your family often.