When I became a mom, I wasn’t thinking about virtues or character traits within my child. I was overcome with the magnitude of love for my baby. Then, as I watched my first son grow, I saw a strong virtue present itself within him. That has happened to my other two children as well. The character trait that I witnessed and studied within my kids became their life words. And I began praying each child’s life word over them.
With my first kiddo, my guinea pig baby (you know, the one that I learned how to be a mom on), feelings of being overwhelmed and inadequate were a constant voice in my mind. Everything was new and exhausting. I demanded tummy time like a drill sergeant. Every day I read to him at least 30 minutes. I took him for walks, talked to him about life, and fed him homemade baby food. Overall, I was a ball of anxiety about being a first-time mom to this sweet baby boy.
Over the years, my first-born son has taught me much about hope. We’ve had our challenges and I’ve made many mistakes and mom-fails with him, but he always has an attitude of hope. I’ve learned so much about what hope means and looks like. As I watch my now eight-year-old son figure out math, tree climbing, kindness to his siblings, conjunctions, bike stunts, and how to be a good friend, I see so much hope in his eyes. And that’s why my word for him is HOPE.
My second son came out with a bang. He was almost born in a hallway at the hospital because we were locked out of the delivery wing. And he was a tough baby. He always wanted to be held and rocked. If he wasn’t held, he was crying. I struggled with extreme mom guilt because baby #2 came 14 months after baby #1. But kiddo #2 just wanted to be loved. He didn’t require vast amounts of effort to keep him entertained…he just wanted to be in my arms.
And seven years later, not much has changed. The most wonderful thing about my second son is his ability to love. He loves others so well. He’s kind, forgiving, and he genuinely cares about others more than himself. Being his mom has taught me so much about loving others. His ability to forgive and move on is something I’ve been working on my whole life. He teaches me to love anyone no matter how difficult and frustrating that person may be. His word is LOVE.
My third kiddo delighted us when my husband announced she was a girl after she was born (we never found out the gender for any of our kids). I was ecstatic to have a little girl to bookend our sweet boys. I had dreams of tea parties, pedicures and shopping sprees the moment I laid eyes on her. Her presence filled our home with a perfect amount of joy, loudness, and the color pink.
Joy exudes from my daughter. She loves life, unicorns, talking, and her family. She narrates her life, usually in song form, and constantly checks on every family member to make sure their day is going well. People love her because of her personality and excitement for life. She has taught me to slow down, seek joy, and not let anxiety overwhelm me. Her goal is to be happy and make others happy, and she does it well. Her word is JOY.
I love having a word for each of my kids to pray over them and use as a learning opportunity for me. It’s made parenting more challenging and rewarding. And that’s a wonderful thing.
Tell us! Do you have life words for your kids? If so, what are they?