I have always known the story of Jacob and Esau in the Old Testament, (I taught a lesson in church today about them), but was totally struck today by how the brothers reunite. Esau could have stayed mad at Jacob, easily, forever. I really loved the realization that Esau's choice and each choice we make every day reflects what we truly value.
My children probably think that I value: having a clean floor, the rare moments when no one is crying, running/exercising, they get enough sleep, chocolate chip cookies, visiting the library/reading books to them, and the computer.
The other day I was trying to explain to my oldest son how we don't always get to do what we really want to do. He asked, "Well, Mom, what do you really want to do and you can't do?" (with the tone of: just try me, and I'll figure out how to make it happen). I immediately blurted out, "I want to go to South America!" He proceeded to ask lots of questions and suggest ideas of how to overcome various obstacles.
But, today I was reminded by Esau's story that, as a mom, I want and need to show my kids what I really want and value, more then dreams, temporary desires, or immediately gratifying activities. As they grow and develop, they analyze everything that I do - even my two-year old. Today, he asked cheerfully but contemplatively, "Mom, you mad because I made a mess?" These minutes every day really are flying by, like so many people have told me they would. I can spend every minute cleaning, and always have more cleaning, but I am going to recommit myself to showing my children, by the choices I make every day, that I value:
...that they know they are children of God
...my knowledge that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live
...increasing my ability to love others
...happiness from serving others
...and so many other things... but this is a good start.