First things First

i just get so lost. i make it harder. i think i fail when there is no one testing. i'm all bent up with this parenting thing. i knew how to be a working mom. it was imperfect but we had our gig, all were well. i want to learn this new place and the many facets of my expanding purpose, not just as a mom, but as a woman, wife, sister, cousin, friend, mom and daughter. so i am going back to the basics.

i picked up a devotional called Parenting with Purpose and Grace last year from the Regent bookstore. its been on the shelf all year and yesterday i opened it. She says "Every parent can testify to the longing for more energy, more patience, and less selfishness. A how-to book cannot change us or satisfy our longings." (okay so i am normal and SHOOT once again there is no manual). She goes on to say, "The Bible, however, promises to be a living and active to penetrate soul and spirit... and a place to look when desirous to reflect the love, wisdom, and grace of God himself. (oh, right, the Bible, i have heard this before). i read the other day about spiritual amnesia and i got it.

So the first devotion is an exercise to read through Mark 12:28-34 and 1 Corinthians 13. It's about God offering to us the MOST important thing we can do in any relationship, is to love. To love. Love God with it all, Love Neighbors as self. And He offers this beautiful clear definition of love which the author asks me to read and write down which qualities are most manifested in my home. I am not shamed but moved, hopeful even. i can live simpler, back to the basics without the clutter and love with all i got.

Right, so the bad manners, slammed doors, pooping trauma really aren't the things to get in perfect order - important i know  - but am i communicating to Hannah as much about kindness, patience, slowness to anger, lack of envy, hope, and trust? How does my love play out for Stephen now, just about 11 years in, am i actively hoping, trusting, protecting, persevering? Again, this wasn't a slap on the wrist today for what any household isn't or a checklist for improvement, my heart was encouraged that i may suck at crafts and pretend, but i freaking love the girl to the ends of the world, how can that play out in our home? how can i be encouraged towards patience with all those around me?

I want at the end of her days that she learned more than the health benefits of blueberries or good manners but that she learned about loving God and loving her neighbors. i needed so badly that reminder, i got lost.