Starting Your Day Out Right!
I Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Isn't that the truth? We can do so much including service in the church, "self-sacrificing" work in the home, extra credit soccer mom work on the weekends. . . . But if we do not do it out of love, we're gonna get gonged. The might hold up for a while, but eventually people will see that it doesn't ring true. I know that when I make an effort (in my own goodness), to do good things, I don't last long. Even though I know that what I'm doing is the right thing to do--taking care of my family, serving in my church, trying to cast aside my selfish desires--motive is everything. How are your motives? I know that when I try to do better, I fail pretty quickly. When I am motivated by love, it seems easier. Sometimes it doesn't even feel like a sacrifice.
Is Your House in Order?
Cleaning, parenting, marriage tips, etc.
Some ideas for showing love to your kids and/or husband this week:
Greet them with a favorite snack. When I did this last week, my daughter was overjoyed. It was very simple. All I did was make her some hot chocolate and a cinnamon sugar tortilla (spread a little butter on a flour tortilla, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and heat in the oven for just a couple of minutes) and serve it to her when she got off the bus.
Do what they want to do. My husband is a big sports fan. I could care less, but he does like it if I hang out in the same room as he is in while he's watching. So he roots, and I sit nearby and read or blog. Taking twenty minutes to play a game with my daughter makes her feel like she's important to me. Singing or dancing with my toddler son while he's watching TV makes him (and me) laugh.
Affirm them. Put a note in your husband's car or lunch. Leave a funny or sweet note in your child's bathroom or under her pillow. Say thanks.
Do something for them. Instead of continuing to nag your child about cleaning out their closet, do it for her. I've found that this can sometimes give my daughter a jumpstart on tackling other areas on her own. Is there a task that your husband has been dreading? Even if it's a typically male chore around your household (changing lightbulbs, weeding the garden, fixing something, cleaning the garage), think about making his day by doing it for him, or setting aside some time to do it together.
Afternoon Pick Me Up
Write about someone you have loved. What do you love about him or her? What is that person doing now? Is it someone you see daily, or someone with whom you've lost contact, and you can only wonder? How did that person make you a better person--more "you" than you had been before? Did you first love this person for the similarities you saw or the differences you craved?
What's For Dinner?
Breakfast for Dinner
I think that most of us have this trick up our sleeves--it's easy, you don't have to think ahead, and everyone likes it. It's usually veggie free (although you can sometimes sneak some fruit in), so we can't play this card all the time. Try pancakes or eggs and biscuits or toast. I recently tried this great breakfast casserole (which does not require refrigerating overnight). It was delicious, and simple, especially if you are feeding a crowd. I found the recipe here at the Nerd Family blog.
If you think your kids would appreciate it, go the extra mile and get everyone dressed in PJs before you eat, and say "Good morning" instead of "Good night."
A Restful Night's Sleep
Scripture for a good night
I Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
We can't live up to all of these on our own, but we can call on the One who can. Love never fails, but we do. Even though it's beyond understanding, I've come to accept the unconditional love and forgiveness of my Lord. However, I'm still amazed at the sweet human love and acceptance that I receive from my husband and my children each day. Where have you failed in these areas? Ask for forgiveness. Your children have probably forgiven you already, but by asking, you can show them that it's a side of yourself you're not proud of. When your earthly relationships are squared up, ask your Father to forgive. He's waiting to grant it, but hopefully the asking will remind you that you can do better, and want to do better, and will purpose to do better tomorrow.
Jennifer, who blogs at Snapshot, lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children. She has gotten her feet wet with concentrated blogging over these last six months and now has her sights set on publication.