It is a great thing to always be learning new lessons in life. One great lesson that God has been teaching me lately is to not lose myself in the midst of loving those who mean the most to me. I know that both the title and the first couple sentences of this blog entry may seem strange. After all, as moms and grandmas, aren't our families supposed to be all important to us...next to our faith in God that is ? Well....yes, as long as we remember to value ourselves in the process.

My husband and I love our children and our grandchildren with every fiber of our being. I have often said that I would throw myself in front of a train for any of my kids or grandbabies and I mean it. They are our joy and our love. But hold on a minute...could I be " over loving" them? I know that this concept seems strange yet it is a thought that has been plaguing me lately. I remember once when my one of my kids was a teenager he said something to me that I have never forgotten. He said " Mom, you love us too much !" When I asked him to elaborate he said " You just are so interested in my life, you ask a lot of questions, you care so much." At that time during his teen years. that answer went in one ear and out the other because that was my job then and I knew it. I didn't think that it was possible to care or love too much as a mom. I still feel that way, but now that my kids are all grown and on their own now, I am beginning to understand a very real truth...which is this - THE MORE SECURE OTHERS ARE IN YOUR LOVE FOR THEM , THE MORE CARELESS THEY ARE IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU.

It simply is true. I know grown children who have never been very confident about how their parents feel about them. Never were their parents ever present to cheer them on in their games or recitals while they were growing up. Mom and dad were not involved, not interested, just pretty much wrapped up in their own adult lives and activities. These kids spent oodles of time with babysitters. You would think that when these kids grew up, the tables would now be turned and their now aging elderly parents would be getting paid back by disinterest by their now adult children. Think again. These grown kids are still clamoring for and striving to gain mom and dad's attention and love. They buy their parents lavish gifts, send them on cruises, throw elaborate anniversary parties, for them. They call their parents regularly, are sweet, attentive, and respectful in every way. Simply put, they are devoted and loyal in so many ways. They still want to know that they are important and knock themselves out to still somehow gain their parents love, acceptance and approval. It fascinates me.

And there is always the flip side of the coin....

I am also becoming aware that the opposite is sometimes true. I know parents who have sacrificed everything for their children. They were at every game, every competition cheering from the stands. They lugged signs and gatorade jugs to soccer fields since their kiddos were toddlers. They dropped everything in a moment's notice to support and be there for those kids in every way imaginable. They prayed, they cheered, they did carpools, they helped listened to speeches, helped with Science projects, they were the " Kool Aid " parents on the block. They talked and listened and talked some more to help usher those kids succesfully into adulthood. Those kids knew way back then, know now , and will always know their importance to mom and dad. They have never doubted for one second of their lives how very loved they are. It is a wonderful thing, a beautiful thing, it is how it should be.

Yet ..if we are not careful....there is one result from being loved so completely...we can take it for granted. Human nature is to be so secure in something , that we don't truly appreciate it. We just sort of become casual with it, almost careless with it. Isn't that what we do with God's love towards us? I know that I have. God has so blessed my life so tremendously , in so many ways, yet I can sometimes go through a day not even acknowledging to HIm my gratefulness to Him. I can skip my time talking with Him, or thanking Him, or being respectful of Him. And why am I sometimes that way? I can't help but think I am so utterly secure in His love towards me, that I become careless with it.

As a parent, and grandparent, I am learning that it is crucial to strike a wise balance. Of course I want to always be there and always show love to my children and grandchildren. That goes without saying. However, it is also important to make sure that they are aware that there should be an attitude of respect and gratefulness that should be shown in return. There is a saying that we teach people how to treat us - and there is much truth in that statement. As I move forward into my later years, I want to be smart enough, wise enough to maintain a healthy balance in all of my relationships that mean the most to me. I think all of us do and we will need God's help to do it.

I have been blessed with a wonderful family and my husband and I don't ever want to take that for granted. Yet...our first and foremost blessing is one another and that is paramount. In my heart, God is in first place, my hubby is in second place, the grand babies are in third place, and our grand babies' parents are in fourth place.......way , way behind the third place grands !!!  ( ha ha....just having some fun there .) Seriously though....take stock, re-evaluate and reconsider where you are in terms of balance in your life. Sometimes we can so overly love, and overly sacrifice that we might be doing ourselves a huge disservice. I don't claim to have it all figured out, but I think I am on to something with this line of thinking and I aim to correct it.

Perhaps some of you out there can identify,  maybe others do not at all. To those who understand my thought process here, keep thinking , keep praying and keep working at getting your passions and priorities in balance and in order. I think that we will all be happier if we do.

After all, life is a journey and I want to finish well with a content and happy heart. That will happen only if I make necessary corrections along the way. I am glad to still be learning as I go !