Tag Archives: love

Believing the best

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I have this daughter. She is the most loving person I know. She insists on loving people, on believing the best about them. Even when they hurt her, she is quick to forgive, quick to want to give the benefit of the doubt. I’m learning a lot from her. What I find intriguing is that she is not like this to a fault. She is no doormat and she is learning to stand up for herself. I watch her and am fascinated by the way she will set aside her own preference to allow another to have theirs. I used to think this sort of thing was a weakness. I used to see it as a bad character trait-a pushover. But in truth, she is not a pushover. She has her priorities in line. She knows it’s better to love, to give, to help, to share. She knows that a mistake is just that. It’s a mistake and not the truth of a person, their heart.

I, on the other hand, am the complete opposite. In meeting people, I am simply waiting for the novelty to wear off, for people to show their true selves. And a mistake is the first sign of “Oh I see-this is the real you.” I am not generally disposed to seeing the best in others, to loving despite injury. It’s takes a lot of effort to not write people off. There is this one person who, through repeated injury, I had basically put in a box with a “crazy, do not trust label.” But recently I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I see much more good. There’s a generosity and overall good-natured quality that exists. So, I’m learning to be willing to hold off judgement, to trust God with my heart so that I can love more freely. My daughter is a walking example. We help each other that way-I help her not get taken in and she helps me see the true, the good. 

Dear Parents

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This letter is a reminder. Not just to everyone else, but to myself as well.

Dear Parents,

Please ask yourself the following questions. Do you have a range of emotions on any particular day? Do you always get enough rest or food? Do you always behave and act appropriately in each and every situation you encounter? Do you always have a good attitude? Even about things you’d rather not do? Do you say things you wish you could take back? Do you always exercise self-control? Always? Especially when it’s something you really want? Do you make bad decisions sometimes? Do you give of your things selflessly? To people you don’t know? Do you greet each and every person pleasantly? Do you ever spill things or break things accidentally? Do you make mistakes?

So, now that you’ve answered these questions? Are you asking too much of your children? Are your expectations for their actions and behavior unreasonable? I mean, if you as a grown adult can’t act perfectly all of the time, in front of everyone in every situation-then why on earth do we expect this of our children? They are young-they haven’t been in the world that long and they are learning. Learning means that they are not going to do things perfectly every time, they aren’t going to always do it the way you want on the first time. And to expect them to is ridiculous.

It is OK if your child has a bad day, gets grumpy, doesn’t want to do something, forgets, has an accident, makes a mess, is inefficient, is not always articulate, gets angry, cries, throws a fit, has a meltdown, etc. Children are human beings and have the whole range of emotions that adults have-they just don’t understand it as well. Not all adults understand their emotions either. Give your child the opportunity to just be. To have their feelings, wants, needs, space, time, etc without having to structure and monitor every single second. It’s not a reflection on you as a parent if your 4 year-old doesn’t like the lunch you made and proceeds to cry. It’s really ok. This parenting thing isn’t really all about you anyway. You have the job of being selfless, sacrificial, laying your life down and no longer being a selfish narcissist. It’s not about your magazine-worthy or pinterest-worthy living room or their neatly organized perfect little room. Life is messy, people are messy and children are especially messy. Learn to laugh-especially at yourself, especially when you are acting like an ogre because YOU are not getting YOUR way. I think if we are honest with ourselves-there is very little difference between the parent and the 4 year-old. Quit expecting your children to be convenient. If parenting has taught you anything, it’s that children are not convenient. Ever. At all. Neither should they be. They are people. Parenting is not about how you look to other parents, how your children make you look in public or at the play group. Parenting is not about you. It’s about helping these children blossom, helping to show them about the joy and the good in life, about living what we want them to be, about appreciating who they already are. Parenting is one of the most humbling adventures. It is holy work. Often thankless. But let’s not make it harder than it has to be. Be kind. Be warm. Be the parent you would want to have. Show love. Always show love. Ask yourself what love looks like in the moments when your inner ogre shows itself. As a guide-love is patient, kind, not boastful or proud, not envious, not slanderous, doesn’t rejoice in evil, takes delight in the good, doesn’t get angry easily, keeps no track of wrong, believes the best, hopes, trusts, protects, perseveres. Because if you don’t live out that love for your child to feel…all the words you have will be meaningless.

Sincerely,

a mom who needs to be reminded too 🙂

Growth and life

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Lovely morning…..sunlight peering through rainclouds, dandelion tea in my favorite Van Gogh mug, Beatles  playing in the background and a plate of coconut flour pancakes with strawberries and yogurt.

My family has started calling me “Farmer Sara”. I am not much of one, but it’s a cute name. Watching things grow and develop this spring into summer is so fascinating. The tiny peach buds I posted a month ago are huge now. My tiny baby chicks (which have a monstrous learning curve) are getting quite large and live in their coop now. And my children-they are growing and changing so fast it can make my head spin at times. My oldest has learned to swim with the help of a friend. And then conquered her fear and went under water yesterday. My baby is now speaking with intelligible words and is very independent. It’s beautiful to see this much growth so closely.

Last week I went to visit my family “back home”. It had been 3 years since my last visit and I was long overdue. Bittersweet. Beautiful. Warming right down to my toes. There’s something about connecting with the people who have known you the longest that makes me feel right at home. I think even my soul took a deep breath and let out a long-held sigh. I learned a little more family history and story, with the pictures to go along. There is something about knowing where you come from-the good and the bad. My sweet aunt took me to the family cemetery. My family lost a baby sister at birth. I was so little, just 3, and was not at the funeral, nor had I ever been to the site. I did not expect the tears. There really aren’t the right words to do justice to that moment for me, but it was profound and healing.

I have this feeling that life will move so quickly this summer, but my intention is to slow down, enjoy the moments, soak it in, and refuse to over schedule. Life is too important to speed through it. The secret lies in the everyday. In the ordinary and routine, we become who we are as all the little things add up. I am here to love well.