When I was Primary president we had a boy in one of our classes who was adept at trying people's patience. On more than one Sunday I would sigh as I climbed into the car after church and exclaim to Cameron, "That boy needs a flashing neon sign above his head that says 'love me'!" His behavior issues stemmed from his background, and he was silently crying out for love, acceptance, and approval. If he had a sign reminding those around him of what his real goal was, it might have been easier to remember why he was misbehaving.
Now sometimes I think of that boy and when one of my kids misbehaves or a loved one disappoints me, I can almost hear them whispering, "Love me." When people aren't at their best they are silently, probably unconsciously, crying out for us to love them anyway, love them unconditionally, and not get too frustrated or impatient.
When I am feeling tired of little people's constant needs and acting rather grumpily...love me.
When Cameron comes home late from work feeling tired and worn out...love me.
When Jake misbehaves and tries my patience...love me.
When Abby is overtired and whiny...love me.
When Grace wakes up at night craving closeness...love me.