Friday, August 30, 2013

Today, LOVE.

You are at your wit’s end. You’re hanging on by a thread. You’re questioning everything. Gone is that great confidence you once had about raising and schooling your children without professional help. The house is a mess. Your oldest has developed an attitude problem the size of Texas. Your toddlers woke up believing they were trying out for a mixed martial arts bit in the town talent competition. You watched your middle kid purposefully knock over his drink just so he can hear you say his name. When your husband left for work, you almost asked him if he was planning on coming home. You can’t remember the last time you crossed off your to-do list, the doorbell is ringing and you’re not sure if you brushed your hair today. 

What do you do on the days you simply don’t enjoy being locked in the house with your children?

Where does your strength and conviction come from when the warm and fuzzies wear off?

How do you do the right thing for one more day when you’re mad at those you’re doing the right thing for?

I could give you volumes of “tricks” to try that might help you schedule your day, clean your house, tend to each child, grant immediate consequence for disrespect, build family morale, please your husband, lower your stress level, and check off that to-do list, but that’s not what our hearts need to hear. We’ve had it with good advice. What we need is someone to speak to that woman inside us who worries that she’s “messing up” her family. To that woman, I want to speak a gentle reminder:

You can clean the house later. You can address the disobedience when your head is on straight. You can sit down with a notebook and a pencil with your husband and make some necessary changes tonight. You can treat yourself to a blow out at the salon tomorrow. Plan your family meeting, but not today.
Today, let that truth settle in your heart. LOVE covers a multitude of sins. Love, not rules, covers a multitude, not just a couple, of sins. 
Remember the last time you were in full blown rebellion? Tell me, was it yelling and screaming that brought you back? Was it threats? Was it a set of bold-faced rules plastered to the fridge? Or was it love? Was it the gentle love of the Father that broke through your spirit and called you back? Was it the sweet love of an honest friend who hugged you and cried with you and talked with you until you remembered your first love? Was it the faithful, loving prayers of your husband who didn’t know what you needed, but was intimate with who you needed? 

I am not saying ignore what you see. And I am not saying that your oldest, youngest, middle, husband and self don’t need to make changes before the actions get better. But I am saying, for today, go hug that teenager when he rolls his eyes at you. Today, run your fingers through your ten year-old’s hair and laugh about the spilled milk. Get in the floor and wrestle with those preschoolers. Clean the living room. Cook your man’s favorite dinner. Just for today, LOVE. Remind your family what they’re fighting for before you make them fight. 


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