Sacrificial Love

May 23, 2012

Where have I been?

Well. It would seem that life has taken over.
It feels like I am on a treadmill at times, 
running as fast as my legs will let me,
getting no where, quickly.

I find myself smack dab in the middle of a funky place.
I don't like it here.
Inertia has gotten the better of me,
and I am moving in the wrong direction.

Over the past few weeks,
my kids have chewed up and spit out my patience.
Bit by bit.
I am left depleted, feeling defeated.
Like a failure.

Finally, today, it has all come to a head.
I have had enough.
I am not behaving the way I want to behave.
My reactions are thoughtless and harsh.
I am not being a good example.
The lesson I have been teaching is being learned well by my little students.

How can I expect them to live like Jesus if I don't?

Yes, Lord, forgive me.
I beg You to fill me up with pieces of You.
Cage my angry tongue.
Melt my hardened heart.
Inspire my tired soul.

There are times when we as parents let thing slide.
Against our better judgement, perhaps.
But don't we all get tired of constant discipline?
Sometimes, it's just easier to be Slacker Mom instead of Super Mom.

But then, chaos slowly creeps in.
You find yourself with kids who have become more selfish than ever.
Arguments erupt with ease, and often.
Patience takes an extended vacation.
Grace is no where to be found.

And then you find yourself exactly in this place.
A place where it's very hard to like who you are.
A place where it can be hard to like who your kids are.
A place where it is very difficult to break the cycle.

So what?
Well, here's what.
I absolutely arrived at enough.
Something had to give.
Forced Grace is better than No Grace.

We each wrote our names on a slip of paper and dropped it in a hat.
In turn, we all pulled the name of someone else.
We retreated to our rooms to think of something we could sacrifice of ourselves for the benefit of our chosen.

One of my kids will make the other's bed, even though it's very difficult for him to do.
I will unload the dishwasher for my pick. Something I never do!
The gift of service.
One of my kids will teach her brother how to ride the Ripstick- one on one. 
Another one of my kids will play with his sister, anything she wants. Undivided attention.
The gift of time.

At first, no one wanted to do this.
It was a chore. 
But, as I type these words, they are playing, sharing, giving, loving.
Something that hasn't happened in what feels like a long time.
Maybe the path has been altered.
Maybe there is a place for Grace in our hearts after all.

I think we'll keep on doing our little secret mission for a little while.
It seems to have made an impression on my kids.
And it's kind of even softened my heart and I feel a little more patient.
{At least right now I do.}
What a wonderful legacy it could be to instill in my children a heart for others!
It could happen.

"And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'" Matthew 25:40

"You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord." Leviticus 19:18

"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35 

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