As my own children were growing up, I did everything I could to make sure that I demonstrated being genuinely proud of their accomplishments, genuinely concerned about their problems, genuinely loving towards them in every situation.
I’ll admit, that as a working parent, it’s a struggle to manage your emotions in front of your children when things are going awry at work. And in the busyness of managing a household too, the two can often come to a chaotic collision.
There were times that I found myself becoming clouded with outside stuff that my children were not even aware of ~~ and acting out in response to that bothersome stuff ~~ and not giving a thought to what my children were seeing in me.
For those times, yes, I am embarrassed. For the anger that they witnessed when my day was anything but “pleasant,” I wish I could roll back and fix.
Because for a child, what they see is what they believe to be true.
Children are taught to be suspicious, jealous, resentful, angry, etc. They learn by watching ~~ watching us.
Encountering adults that demonstrated these negative traits, I wanted to protect my children; it was bad enough that they would see me during my “bad hair days.”
So I made a vow to myself to live a life that showed authentic and genuine love and concern. Note: this is ONLY possible if you have the Spirit of the Living God dwelling within you. Trust me, no amount of human effort could ever rise to the top of anyone’s game to be truly authentic and genuine all the time.
I prayed that God would SLOW ME DOWN enough to recognize “the moment” that He wanted me to see ~~ and respond to ~~ in love and affection. And you know what I learned from this life long “practice,” Girlfriend? There is NO end to it ~~ the woman of God has NO “limit” to when she ceases to practice genuine love and affection.
There is no “switch” that selects for this situation but not that one ~~ it’s all or nothing. God’s love doesn’t cease because we sin ~~ but it is more clearer and evident to us when we do! (Think about that!)
So how should that reflect outward from our own lives? Seriously, it’s a deep reality check ~~ when we look at that image in the mirror ~~ can we honestly say that we love authentically? Without reserve ~~ without favoritism ~~ without expecting reciprocation?
Transparency ~~ now, there’s a word that I’ve shied away from until the recent decade ~~ because it’s a vulnerable word ~~ it causes me to be …
Open to seeing myself the way others see me ~~ open to the way I behave towards others ~~ open to seeing the need for correction ~~ open to being hurt.
But God …
He knows that openness that He asks of us ~~ He experienced those open wounds of being hurt by others ~~ He feels our embarrassment when we realize our need to apologize for improper behavior because He is there with us in it.
Girlfriend, there’s something very freeing in this authentic transparency. You find your true friends ~~ you see the real you ~~ and you become more humble in your pursuit of God.
I have found that as I slow down and interact authentically with my family and friends, I do experience moments of having to admit I don’t have it all together. And that’s “ok.” All the more they will see The Savior in me as I cling to Him for my every need.
That’s the mother I want to be ~~ the one who loves unconditionally, authentically, and without reserve.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~