"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23)
Growing up my mom use to say "Diane always be on your best, you never know who's watching you." Over the course of my life I have found those simple words of wisdom to be true. However my best is constantly changing based on my personal and spiritual growth.
There's an old saying that goes, "If you know better you must do better" that saying is a reminder for me to do my best. Although, there were times when I have taken short cuts in doing something; knowing that it was not the best way. For instance I was taught to cook a pot roast at 350 degrees for 3-4 hours . When I follow those instructions my pot roast turns out tender and delicious. I have on occasion tried to rush the process by cooking my roast at 400 degrees for two hours, needless to say my roast was not as tender nor was it as tasty.
Growing up I was blessed to be surrounded by wise strong women, such as my mom, both of my grandmothers , a host of aunts and many older female cousins. As a result of these strong women figures, I received many tips on how to navigate through life as a respectable young lady. For the most part I adhered to want I was taught, based on my respect and fear of these women.
Of course some things I had to learn my way and one of those things was becoming a mom at
17 years old. Although my mom and grandmothers were disappointed with my actions, they supported and loved me through my pregnancy. There were nay-sayers who counted me out for being a teen mom. Thankfully, the encouragement and support from my mom and grandmothers allowed me to find my new normal.
Although I took a shortcut to starting my family, by becoming a mom before a wife; I still continued to pursue my goals. I graduated high school, married my daughter's father and after a few years we had a son. Raising my children taught me many lessons and allowed me to better understand my mom's perspectives on a lot of things.
I often laughed when I heard myself talking to my children because I was speaking the same words that my mom and grandmothers had spoken to me. "Gary, Nyesha, always do your best, because you never know who's watching"
My children are now adults and parents, the joy of watching them with their children is priceless. One of my favorite moments was watching my son say bedtime prayers with his children. I was momentarily transported back in time seeing myself saying bedtime prayers with him and his sister, in the exact way.
Our children are watching us and it's important that we input the right values by always doing our best. This will give them a strong foundation. Of course this will not guarantee a successful life but it will keep them grounded in turbulent times.
The gift of witnessing love and positive lessons being passed down from generation to generation is a sure sign of "Right Input."