Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Made for love.

"There is only one happiness in life ~ to love and to be loved."
~ George Sand ~
1804-1876, French Novelist

I have been pondering love much of late. Seemingly appropo for the month of love, chocolates and Valentines, don't ya think?!

I've been pondering how I can become a more loving mommy to my girls. I do their laundry, feed them, fix their hair, read to them... naturally, they should know I love them, right?! But I think they don't. They may feel secure in this family, but do they know, really know that I love them?

I sought out a book, "Love in the House", a couple days ago, vaguely remembering the author's thoughts on the subject of love and words that touched me, convicted me, haunted me...

I quote: "A couple years ago I began to view my children in a unique way. I envisioned them with a sign around their neck that read, 'I don't know that you love me.' This is the truth: they don't know for sure. It is very easy for parents to take for granted that their children know their love for them... My parenting changed for the better when I recognized that I needed to verbally show my love for my children...

I also see my kids - especially when they grow into teenagers - each with an emotional cup. He or she brings me the cup daily as if to say, 'Please fill my cup today, Mom.'... If I don't pour my love into the cup the child will eventually turn away and seek other avenues for the love for which they hope."

I think this author has come to understand what is truly important, especially after having 13 children! I appreciated this book, not just for the peek into the dynamics of running a large family, but because of the vulnerability they show as they explain where they went wrong with their firstborn. They valued a moral sense of right and wrong and holiness and perfection in their spiritual walks above love. In their quest for those things, they failed at loving their children. They write out of the pain of their experience when they write these words: "Without it [love], life is a dank, empty room - cut off completely from the glories of the world outside."

Now, I can do one of two things: 1. Make excuses for myself, saying that I'm a quiet person, not ostentatious, not good at showing love, etc., or 2. Choose to be deliberate and creative. I would hate for my children to remember me as the aloof mother who only taught them how to clean house. So, I am choosing to change, and maybe as I speak forth loving words, I will begin to believe them and they will too.

"Women wish to be loved not because they are pretty, or good, or well bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves."
~ Henri Fredric Amiel ~
1821-1881, Swiss Philosopher, Poet, Critic

We are made from the fabric of love. Dear God, help me to know it.

~ christa jean


Amy Whalen said...

This is a great post, and an important topic. I also fear my kids won't know they are loved - so I've tried to make that my number one goal of each day in regards to them. However, at the end of the day many days I realize that I've forgotten and our relationship has been seriously lacking. I spent too much time doing all the things you said, feeding them, teaching them the right way to do everything, and scolding them about all the things they did wrong (which unfortunately is a lot most days) and even though I am an affectionate person and tell them I love them everyday and hug them, it was only two minutes compared to the hours I spent with them on the rest of the stuff. I am like you, trying to focus on love. Thank you for reminding me about that idea to visualize that note around their necks.

The Everett Family said...

I am trying to be very demonstrative in my love for my children. Growing up as the oldest child in my family I don't remember being held,hugged, or snuggled with very much. My oldest daughter loves to hold hands. Every morning she likes to sit on the couch and hold my hand while she drinks her morning milk. Honestly, sometimes this a a pain. But, I know this is how I can speak love to her. I can see my children's eyes sparkle with love when I tell them how proud I am of them, or what a good job they did. It's a fine line not to praise or criticize the person vs. the activity. I want them to know that I love them not because of what they do but because they are here. They need to know that I love them because they are a gift from God to this family.

Kally said...

What a beautiful post. Really makes one re-think some things.

Jenny said...

Wilbur in Charlotte's Web told the barn animals: "being in the same barn together doesn't make you friends". This is such a true statement. Being around our children does not equal quality time. Meeting their needs does not let them know we love them. Parents who don't want CSD to take them away do even that.

I admire your braveness to share such a great goal. It's like the kid in the class you asks the simple question everyone is thinking but doesn't want to ask in fear of looking foolish. There is a sigh of relief when it's asked. And here there is the same sigh. Thank you for voicing.

May I remind you that satan is already set against you. He will make GREAT effort to see that you fail from here on out in this adventure. He hates love. He hates your children. But hold fast! You have THE ALMIGHTY! Can I get an amen?!

Love you lots and praying peace over your home. Amen to that, too!

Mica said...

This was a delightful post...made my day !!!! Thanks for that. you are an inspiration. Thinking of you and your fam....hugs, and Valentine wishes, Mica

Kathi said...

Great post Christ Jean. I need to ponder these things and try to do them as well. Hugs, Kathi