Thursday, May 23, 2013

Learn to Love

Grace had just awoken from her nap, and she's not the type of toddler who always wakens with a smile and lots of energy to face her next adventure. She came out to the living room with a scowl and climbed up onto my lap. I just snuggled and talked to her for a while. And I thought, "I have the opportunity to teach my children how to love."

Teaching anyone how to love is sacred ground. And it's something our world is desperately in need of. Headlines, bumper stickers, billboards, and tee shirts everywhere are full of rude, arrogant statements or discouraging news. Has our world forgotten how to extend mercy, compassion, forgiveness, love, and respect? Have we forgotten how to give the benefit of the doubt, assume the best of someone, and remember that we are all stumbling through this life the best we can? Sometimes it seems we have. We live in a world obsessed with serving and fighting for number one at all costs.

But motherhood? Ahhh, God made mothers with a few goals in mind, and one of those goals is to teach women how to love unconditionally, when it's not convenient, when it requires great sacrifice--to give their lives for others. And if mothers can learn these lessons, they can inherently instill them in their children one smile, one hug, one teaching moment at a time.
Truthfully, I often feel woefully inadequate in this role. Do I respond to my kids with enough gentleness and patience? Do I hug them enough, look in their precious little faces, and fill them with the love that overflows for them in my heart? Such are the questions that fill the heart of any deliberate mother.

No mother is perfect. But when Grace wakes up from her nap with a scowl I can cuddle her and fill her with love. When Abby comes to me with an owie I can hug and kiss her. And when Jake has a tad more little-boy exuberance than is really in order at any given moment, I can remember that a little encouragement goes a long way.
I love my children with all of my soul. They are God's gift to me. And mine is the privilege to fill the world with love one beautiful, sweet child at a time.

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