Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Love Box

My good friend posted this thought, "Marriage Box" on her wall this morning.  And it was such a perfect lead into some of the thoughts and feelings that have been flooding my heart these last few days that I felt it was inspired and time to try to put them on paper.

First - read it. Important foundation.  Did you do it?  So good, isn't it?

This led me to think about my relationship with my husband, which naturally led me to think about my relationship with my children. 

My son is 3 months old.  When I look at his face, stare into his beautiful deep-blue eyes, do you know what I see?  Acceptance.  Pure love. Love that transcends anything and everything, that buoys you up through any hard day, any trial, any struggle, any tears that may be falling from my eyes and heartache that may be happening in my world.  There is no judgment in his eyes.  I see the way he looks at me and feel cherished.  I feel adored.  I feel like I am the most beautiful person in the world and there is nothing he would rather be doing than staring lovingly into my eyes and laying happily in my arms.

After shedding a few thousand tears as these thoughts washed over me, I realized that those things are EXACTLY what he gets when he stares into MY eyes, when he looks into MY face, when he feels the warmth of MY smile.  Because babies only know what they see in front of them, only know what they have been given.  So I must be giving him what he is giving me, teaching him what he is teaching me. He must look into my eyes and see my love for him, my acceptance of him, my adoration for him, that he is the most precious, beautiful thing in the world to me.

I then looked at my three other children, some days while they were fighting, yelling, ignoring me, making huge messes; and some days while they were playing peacefully together, making me smile with every sentence, pulling my heartstrings with their love, hugs, kisses, "I love you, Mommy" actions and words.  And I was appalled to think that there are moments when they DON'T get from me what my baby does.  Times when they DON'T look in my eyes/face and see and feel all of those beautiful things that he does.  Moments when they receive from me the exact thing I am frustrated with receiving from them.

Does that resonate with you at all?  I know Moms are human, and we CANNOT be "on" all the time!  We are going to make bad choices right along with our children.  We are learning motherhood in WAVES instead of trickles. 

But motherhood is also a box.  Our relationships with our children are also a box.  If we are doing it right, we are putting love in our relationships with our children.  We are putting more love in our children than frustration.  We are putting communication, forgiveness, prayer, priority.  They learn it all first-hand through us.  And because we aren't perfect, they learn forgiveness, humility, persistence, dedication, repentance.  They also learn the art and habits of giving, loving, serving, praising, keeping the box full by constantly contributing TO it. 

On the other hand, if they learn to take more than they put in, they are also learning to live in an empty box. 

There are a lot of empty boxes in this world.  But I truly believe that if our children leave our homes with full boxes, leave full boxes behind them in the relationships they had while at home, our children will create a world of FULL boxes.  They won't know how to do any different!

Truly the hand that rocks the cradle IS the hand that rules the world.  And parenthood is the key that will give this world a lot more FULL boxes!

So that, my friends, is my Deliberate Mom goal for this week.  Fill my children's boxes to overflowing.


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