When you’re terrified of holding a baby turtle, but you do it so your 6-year-old will do it, too.
When you’re feeling a little down about your chunky thighs and squishy tummy, but you don that bathing suit and jump into the lake holding hands with your kids because they asked you to.
When you’re frustrated because of the 30 plus pounds you’ve gained over the past few years, but you treat your kids (and yourself) to ice cream and you let your kids see you enjoy every bite.
When you’re exhausted from the day and the stresses of life, but you go outside to toss the ball around with your son because he really wanted to.
When you’re leery of going more than knee deep into the ocean, but you plunge headfirst into a giant wave to make your littles feel brave and your bigs laugh hysterically.
When you’re tapped out and touched out, but you still tousle the 11-year-old’s hair and squeeze the 9-year-old’s hand and you dole out hugs & kisses with zeal because you want them to always feel loved.
When you’re on the brink of losing your temper because someone broke something in the house, but you take a deep breath and remind everyone that “people are more important than things.”
When you’re losing your faith, but you gather your children and head to church anyway because it’s important to show them that God’s love is bigger than one fleeting moment.
Our children are watching us. They are learning about themselves and the world around them by observing what we do, what we say, how we react, and how we treat them and ourselves.
When we step out of our own comfort zone, we give them courage to do the same.
When we face our fears, we give them the strength to face theirs.
When we show patience and grace in moments of frustration, we show them they are more important than the situation.
When we show up through our exhaustion, we show them they matter.
When we embrace the moment, we show them how to find their own joy.
When we stare down our insecurities, we teach them to accept and love themselves for who they are.
When we act silly or make a fool of ourselves, we teach them not to take themselves or life too seriously.
When we share our faith, we lead them to God and open their hearts to peace and hope and a love greater than our own understanding.
It’s both a privilege and a responsibility to be their main point of reference.
Let’s lead them and teach them and show them every last drop of goodness and grace and laughter and love we can find in this world.
Let’s give them life. That means we have to give ourselves life, too.