Many thanks to Susie Walton for this beautiful article on inspiration!
by Susie Walton
When I was asked to write about this topic my first thought was, "Where does my inspiration come from?" Immediately what came to me was, 'my family'.
I then looked up the definition of inspiration: "the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative."
My kids were my catalyst, my inspiration, to begin teaching parenting courses over 25 years ago and once again they were my inspiration to write my book, Key to Personal Freedom: How Myths Affect our Family Lives ...25 years later they are still my source of inspiration as they inspire me to be the best that I can be and when slacking a bit, they challenge me on it.
My favorite quote is: "It Takes A Village To Raise A Child" It has been the source and inspiration for much of my life's work so I decided to turn to my village, my kids, a niece and nephew of mine, to find out what inspires them - what is behind their inspiration when parenting and what are some things that keep them inspired as parents: I am honored to share their words with each of you:
Tuffy and Gina:
Having faith in God that he would not give me more than I can handle.
Parenting is a never-ending work in progress. It's a daily learning experience. I often remind myself that while I teach my kids all about life, in the midst of the crazy, they are actually teaching me what life is all about. The attempt at perfect parenting has been a struggle of mine, yet I find comfort in knowing there are no perfect parents, no perfect children but there are many perfect moments along the way.
I love this quote from C.S. Lewis:
"Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work."
Nate and Ali:
It is the most inspiring thing to be able to wake up everyday and share new memories as a family. We have had the time of our life having all these "firsts" together the past 16 months of Willa's life.
Becoming a parent has really enriched my relationship with my husband. To be able to see Nate interacting with our daughter is completely awe- inspiring and pure magic. I get inspired seeing so much of him in her. As I watch her, I get to imagine what my best friend was like as a child.
Being a mom has given me a greater appreciation and a deeper love for my own parents. I get inspired everyday thinking about the things I can't wait to share with Willa as well as the things my parents shared with me. I get to be a child again!!! I get to rediscover the world again!!! However, my challenge is to not get ahead of myself...it's hard for me to pace myself because there is so much of the world I want to show her right now!!! It's hard to stay in the moment, I find myself getting excited about doing things with her in the future that I miss out on what is happening right now. There is such an excitement of a new day where I get to help her learn new things!!! It has inspired me to educate myself more, as I want to fulfill her physical and developmental needs that are changing by the millisecond!!!! It has made me want to be the best version of myself for her. This is a constant challenge. She reminds me of my values and who I am at my core.
Luke and Bre:
It is the best and without a doubt the HARDEST thing I've ever done. I love the challenge of trying to make everyday fun and stimulating for my kids. Parenting tests my creativity, patience and yet, never amazes me how much love I can feel for another person. To be able to see these little pieces of perfect develop their own personalities and all the while my job is to try and teach them to be good, kind, loving and compassionate people. To hear my kid say "please" and "thank you" to a complete stranger without being prompted feels like such a WIN. The days are long and the months seem to fly by and day in and day out, without fail, I realize that kids are born to LOVE. They are programmed to know nothing other than LOVE. I realize as a mom how many amazing people we have in our lives that love our kids and how lucky I am to be surrounded by so much love and support.
Adam and Tracy:
Things that inspire my parenting:
-Being away from my kids and missing them
-Your Infinite Life classes
-Remembering that the days are long but the years are short
-Remembering that hard work with parenting now will pay off later when my kids are older
-Remembering that everyone deserves everything they want in life
Kam and Jamie:
Knowing that what I do and how I treat other people are teaching my kids a lot more than the words that come out of my mouth inspires my parenting. I know I don't always have the perfect way of saying something or teaching a specific lesson but I always go back to the golden rule. I try my very hardest to lead by example: focusing on giving to, listening to, and loving on others so that my kids will see how one should act. Recognizing that we can only really mess them up as kids (cause they are born so darn perfect) I'm constantly trying to stay aware of being non-judgmental, and try not to influence them with my beliefs but allow each of them to form their own beliefs and be the best person they can be. And to be honest, it also inspires me to know that no matter how hard I try, I'm going to mess up (lose my temper and yell, literally after the 30th Time of asking them to leave their dang muddy shoes outside), but the best part is that kids are the quickest to forgive and love me anyway (thank God).
We had a great speaker in church a few weeks ago that said something that resonated with me - he said, we have no right to be in self-pity when there is so much hurt in the world - and then he quoted the great John Wooden and said, "MAKE EACH DAY YOUR MASTERPIECE". Bottom line, we are all so blessed to have the families that we do, healthy kids, live where we do, and have all the love that surrounds us. That should be inspiring enough to go out and be the GOOD each day and live life to its fullest with no regrets, with kindness and respect for all. And teach our kids those same values along the way.
So there it is... I am so honored, blessed and inspired to call these people my sons, daughter in laws, niece and nephew.
Some Tips on Inspiration:
R. Kay Green wrote a blog, 'What is the true meaning of Inspiration?'
Here are 3 steps to inspiring others:
- Act and Show
- Provide Others with a Blueprint
- Become a Mentor
On a personal note, one way I was able to bring back my inspiration in those days where I found myself overwhelmed, yelling and being grouchy with my kids was at night, when they were finally asleep, I would go into their rooms and look at their angelic faces. Every single time a wave of love, inspiration and joy would make itself known to me again.
I now invite each of you to take a moment to reflect on what inspires you along with what will be your inspiration for 2017.