Thursday, October 15, 2015

This Would Be Easier if I Trusted You Less

It happened on a Saturday morning.

         After a long season of trusting God and praying for His help and interceding for a loved one and leaning hard into the living Word of God, I was singing and praying on a random Saturday morning.  If you've ever been in a season like mine, where you're like the "midnight friend" in Luke chapter 11, and you have a need so pressing on your heart that you don't know how to do anything but knock until the Lord meets your need, then you know what I mean when I say that sometimes you grow weary of praying and asking and knocking and never seeing the door swing wide with your Father's welcoming smile awaiting you. Well, I was weary.  I was tired on this Saturday morning.  And I'll be honest.  I prayed for just about everything under the stars except what was on my heart, except what I wanted, except what I desperately needed. But the Lord wouldn't let me off the hook.  Even while I was praying for other things, He drew it out of me. He wouldn't let me come so close and not be real.  So, I encouraged myself in the Lord and decided I wasn't going to "go through the motions" after all.
        Press in, Sue.  Focus on your Lord.  Don't lose sight of Him now.  Your enemy wants you distracted.  The Word says to DEDICATE yourself.  The Word says DEVOTE yourself.  Jesus prayed all night.  Be like Jesus.
      So, I got up and started pacing the floors.  I got real with God.  My friends laugh when I "get real" with God.  But God doesn't.  He gets me.  And on this particular Saturday morning, God "got me" real quick.  I poured my heart out to him about my loved one, like I always do, like I always did, like I always have.  I lined up the reasons this person so needs my Father to intervene.  I reminded God why this person is so vulnerable to the enemy, and then I told the enemy why he couldn't have him.  And then I started asking my loving Father to move.  Move heaven.  Move earth.  Move people.  Move hearts.  Move dreams.  Move plans. 
      I pray you can hear my heart here.  I wasn't making casual requests.  I was begging.  Bawling.  Snotting.  On my knees.  My face was on the floor.  Incoherent.  Heart-raw. All-my-eggs-in-His-Basket.  As if lives depended on Him. Because they do.
      And then it hit me.  In a wave of pure love and absolute honesty, I picked my head up and told God with a smile on my teary, snotty face, "This would be so much easier if I trusted You less." And instantly, in a picture of what was happening in my heart, I had to stand up.
  Actually, I had to stand up and laugh.  Because I realized, right then, I had been on a journey.  A LONG JOURNEY.  I may not have covered much geographical ground, but, oh the places I had been with my Father!  You see, two years ago, I remember laying in the same floor, pouring myself out before the same Father, but it didn't start from a place of faith.  My journey started from a place of fear and of torment and of terror.  I was young and afraid and shaky and scared.  I was on bended knees, but they were wobbly.  I was face to the floor, but that floor wasn't solid beneath me.  I was crying out, but I wasn't all too sure of the Father that would let me cry in the first place.  I was questioning.  I was angry.  I was indignant.  I was proud.  And when I would pray, I was throwing words in all kinds of directions, just hoping against hope that I would say the right thing on the right day and hit the right target with the right attitude on the right Temple beside the right angel uttered with just the right verse at just the right tone and the right inflection...  You get the idea. 
         I had been on a journey alright.  Two years ago, I showed up to the exact same battle and said, "God, this would be so much easier if I trusted you more."  And now, two years later, on this same battle ground, the war hasn't changed. The enemy hasn't changed. The person God and I are fighting for hasn't changed.   I HAVE.  Back then, I looked at my mess and it looked impossible.  And I looked at God and it seemed like He was nowhere to be found.  On Saturday, I looked at my mess and it looked like it simply ISN'T POSSIBLE THAT GOD CAN'T FIX IT  And I looked at God and I said, "This would be so much easier if I trusted You less.  If I had one ounce less confidence in Your goodness, one fiber less faith in Your power to rescue, to redeem, to restore, to tear the veil, to show Yourself strong, to raise Your banner of Salvation, to make good of what my enemy meant for harm, then I could walk away from this season of intercession that feels like tearing of actual flesh.   I could get up from this spiritual place and pretend that it doesn't exist, Lord- that would truly be easier than this."

But I don't want to.  Not even a little. 

From:  "God, this would be so much easier if I trusted you more," while weeping, terrified,

to
            "This would be so much easier if I trusted you less," while smiling, hands held high, confident in my Father, even though He hasn't opened the door yet.

Oh, what a beautiful journey.

And so, I'm able to live 1 Thessalonians 5:18.  (Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.)  Thank You, Father for this season that I thought might break me.  Thank you for allowing me to question my faith in You.  Thank you for taking me to deep, deep places in prayer, so deep that I found You, my faithful Friend, my faithful Father! 









Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I'm the Worst Mom Ever!



It happened again today.

There I was, running stringers for my pole beans, minding my own business, when that familiar unfriendly voice crept into my spirit.

"If you were a better Mom..."

Oh, how I hate that voice.  It creeps in at the best and worst times, undermining everything I do, forcing me to face my fears of parenthood and draining me of the faith that gets me through the day without coming unglued.

"If you were a better Mom, your kids wouldn't sin."

"If you were a better Mom, your kids would know more Scripture."

If you were a better Mom, your kids wouldn't fight."

"If you were a better Mom, your son would use proper punctuation when he posts on Facebook."

"If you were a better Mom..."

You get the idea.  I have a feeling we've all been there.  And if I'm right, the conversation continues the same way for each of us.

"If only you had..."

Now this little doozy is a kick in the gut every time.  It doesn't even matter what you finish the sentence with, because no matter what you blame your failing parenthood on, you can't go back and fix it.

Just a few months ago, my husband called me from work and shared his "If only" with me.  He was tired and we had been digging weeds in a rough parenting patch for about a year.  I could hear in his voice that the enemy had done a number on him, and my heart broke when he finished his sentence.

"If only I had taken my son on that mission trip before he graduated high school."

And there it was.  Guilt.  Fear.  Sorrow.  Shame.  Regret.  And because his "failure" happened in the past, there wasn't a single thing he could do to make all that emotion go away.  And so the enemy had him exactly where he wanted him.  Slipping down into a pit for which the only rescue had expired about two years prior.

"If only I had been tougher on sin..."

"If only I had shown more grace..."

"If only I had spoken more openly..."

"If only I had shut my mouth..."

We've all entertained this stranger's voice.  And sometimes, he really gets us because he makes a lot of sense, but let's be honest; sometimes he's a foolish enemy spouting foolish lies, and yet we still buckle beneath the accusations.

"If only I had bought that __________."

"If only I had let them play ball."

"If only I had taken them to the beach."

Or, God forbid, the dreaded "If only I had sprung for the iPhone."

He's a rascal, for sure- that enemy that whispers lies and makes us feel like failures, but I hate to tell you- we gave him permission.  The minute we decided that parenthood was pass or fail, we opened the door to a spiritual warfare that would keep us pacing the floors, accusing ourselves and passing the buck in the mirror 'til the end of time.

We give him permission to wreak havoc on our faith when we say things that make us believe that we are either perfect parents or complete failures.

"Mom of the year..."

"Failure as a mom..."

"Worst dad in the world..."

"Unfit dad..."

I hate to be the bearer of hard news, but until we change our vocabulary, our enemy ain't about to change his.  Until we look at parenthood through the lens of Biblical truth and take a stand against the culture that tries to speak louder than the Word of God when it comes to parenting advice, we will always fall in those pits with antique shovels for rescue tools.  Until we "faith" the facts, we'll always be dreading the next onslaught of accusations of failure.

It's time we were honest with ourselves, our spouses and our children.  It's time to speak the truth into empty rooms and empty hearts.

Parenthood isn't pass or fail.  It's simply trust and obey, or not.  


We're not perfect.  We weren't meant to be.  And yet God blessed us with babies that grew into kids that kept us up at night with their antics, anger, and addictions.  We have to quit trying to become a perfect parent and tell the truth!  We'll never be perfect.  That's why we are daily in need of the precious Holy Spirit to speak through us, make us strong, increase our faith and open our eyes and hearts to the spiritual needs of our children.  If I'm looking at life through the light of the Word of God, and I truly want to be a better mom, then I'll focus all my heart and attention on becoming a better daughter.  The more I try in my own strength and wisdom to be the "perfect mom," the more clearly I tell my Creator that I think I can handle this task without His help.

The only thing we can withhold from our children that has any merit or value on their futures is the opportunity to love Jesus, know God and obey the Holy Spirit. 

That's it.  It's that simple.  Forget sleepless nights worrying about whether your child is going to grow up to hate you because you didn't buy them a trumpet and sign them up for band.  Forget the hundreds of dollars we rob from our budget to make sure they get a better tag on their blue jeans than the kids they sit near in school just so we can feel better about ourselves.  No more asking our spouses for the thousandth time, "Do you think this is a good idea?"  How about instead of driving ourselves crazy worrying about the right curriculum, the right dating strategy, the right discipline plan, the right devotional, the right floor plan, the right short length, the right social life, the right tone of voice or the right percentage of non-gmo foods, we worry about what really matters.

The questions we should be asking and the answers we should be worrying about:


Do I have an opportunity to allow my child to learn God's Word?

Do I have an opportunity to help my child choose right over easy?

Do I have an opportunity to teach my child how to repent of sin?

Do I have an opportunity to show my child how to place others above themselves?

Do I have an opportunity to help my child fall in love with the Body of Christ?

Do I have an opportunity to let my child learn how the Holy Spirit works in the life of a Believer?

Do I have an opportunity to help my child walk away from sinful relationships? 

Do I have an opportunity to prophesy the Word of God over my child's life?

Do I have an opportunity to tell my child what I love so much about Jesus?

Do I have an opportunity to show my child that I'm willing to do whatever it takes to fight for their spiritual journey?

Do I have an opportunity to let my child sacrifice in order to take care of a widow or an orphan?

Do I have an opportunity to show my child how to lean into the presence of God as their help in time of trouble?

Suddenly, all my worries and accusations seem pitifully off the mark.  

Could it be that yours are, too?  Could it be that we've all gotten caught up in the world's way of parenting and that we're punishing ourselves for "mistakes" that have no merit and "botches" that bear no weight?  And in doing so, we've completely distracted ourselves from the questions that really matter?  Could it be that every time we hear the enemy whisper some accusation of failure, that he's really just making sure our hearts don't wake up to the real battle?  

Tell the enemy he doesn't have permission to speak into your life.  But use more than words to tell him.  Ask yourselves the questions that matter today.  Then do it again tomorrow.  Share the questions with a friend and challenge them to do the same.  Do it until the voice you hear in the garden isn't your enemy accusing you, but your Helper motivating, encouraging and empowering you.  


...and when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.

...forgetting what is behind and pressing forward.

...growing in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man.






Friday, March 28, 2014

Parenting in FAITH not FEAR (Teach Them Diligently Blog)

   I recently had the privilege of attending the Teach Them Diligently Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  While I was there, God transformed my heart.  I was able to let go of old habits, throw away old fears, break old strongholds and bust old standards. 
     Nearly the entire time we were there, Holy Spirit worked on us, challenged us, transformed us, enlightened us and changed us.  From the way I teach history to the way I cook dinner, every aspect of homeschooling and homemaking was challenged.  God opened doors, closets and treasure chests for us and we are so grateful and overwhelmed by His goodness and His plan for our family that we’ve almost been unable to communicate it. 
     In an effort to share a little of what God taught me, I want to share a few notes, quotes and scribbles that my Father wrote on my heart.  I’ll share from one speaker or theme at a time, so make sure you read them all!

 

 

Parenting by Faith, Not Fear


Fear is a spirit that will torment you, manipulate you and drain you.

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear.”

Worry is the opposite of faith.  It’s a choice.  You can’t choose them both.

Take authority over the spirit of fear.  Don’t be afraid to release your children to God!

Be a WARRIOR. Not a WORRIER.

Don’t forget it’s a spiritual battle. 

Let go of your fear of man.

There’s a difference in being alive and living.  (Francis Chan/Balance Beam video)

THE ENEMY RESPONDS TO FEAR.

Job 3:25 “What I had feared has come upon me.”

Trust God’s Word to preserve your children.  (But you have to give it to them!)

THE RIGHTEOUS ARE BOLD AS A LION!

Hebrews 11:6 “He who comes to God MUST BELIEVE that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who DILIGENTLY seek Him!”

Jude 1:24 “Now all glory to God, who IS ABLE to keep you from falling away and WILL bring you with great joy into His glorious presence!”

God’s Word is SOLID ROCK.  When fear starts creeping in, go to the Word and stand in faith, boldly proclaiming the truth!

Replace the world’s lies.  Constantly remind yourself that God’s Word will preserve your children.  Release them, daily, into God’s hand. 

Let your kids see you trust God. 

Freebie:  21% of family income in the Old Testament was spent on PARTIES.  Relax.  Enjoy life.  Quit being a baby.  LIVE!

-Ann and Jon Dunagan ‘Parenting by FAITH not FEAR!’

Mission-Minded Family (Teach Them Diligently Blog)

     I recently had the privilege of attending the Teach Them Diligently Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  While I was there, God transformed my heart.  I was able to let go of old habits, throw away old fears, break old strongholds and bust old standards. 

     Nearly the entire time we were there, Holy Spirit worked on us, challenged us, transformed us, enlightened us and changed us.  From the way I teach history to the way I cook dinner, every aspect of homeschooling and homemaking was challenged.  God opened doors, closets and treasure chests for us and we are so grateful and overwhelmed by His goodness and His plan for our family that we’ve almost been unable to communicate it. 

     In an effort to share a little of what God taught me, I want to share a few notes, quotes and scribbles that my Father wrote on my heart.  I’ll share from one speaker or theme at a time, so make sure you read them all!



Mission-Minded Families


Goal:  Grow a heart for the nations at home. 


The Great Commission is in every Gospel, as well as the Book of Acts. 
Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47-48, John 20:21
Acts 1:8 “YOU shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem…and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
Jerusalem AND the uttermost parts of the earth, not THEN.  Don’t wait until you’ve shared the Gospel with every person in your city to move to the next.  You can share the Gospel with your neighbor, the homeless downtown, the cashier at the grocery store, and an unreached group in a jungle near the equator all in the same month. 

“You can only export what you grow at home.”
Be diligent about building the Kingdom at your kitchen table. 

“Peter left his nets on the most prosperous day of his life.” 
Don’t let blessings (“I have a really good job right now”) be the reason you don’t go. 

Read the Book of Acts.
Acts:  Church in ACTION.
Be aggressive in expanding the Kingdom of God!

www.harvestministry.org
www.daringdaughters.com



Don’t mistake “MISSIONS” for “AMERICANIZING” or “WESTERNIZING” the world. 
We are called to change culture, but not for changing’s sake.
Don’t just change the culture.  REDEEM IT.
Help humanity extract the bad and magnify the good for the GLORY of GOD. 

The righteous are bold as a lion. 
PREACH.
Like Gideon, it’s time to bust our clay pots and SHINE.
Preach.  Speak.  Shout.  Sing.  Publish.  Advance. 

“God’s mission is for YOUR family to expand HIS family.”

“You can only export what you grow at home.”

     Be intentional about growing hearts that care.  Talk about orphans at home.  Read books about missionaries and unreached people groups.  Take up offerings for projects.  Help a family in the community.  Sponsor an orphan.  Support a missionary overseas.  Open your home to missionaries at home.  “We have full closets and kids with empty hearts.” 

~Jon and Ann Dunagan, Harvest Ministry


Kingdom Builders (Teach Them Diligently Blog)

     I recently had the privilege of attending the Teach Them Diligently Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  While I was there, God transformed my heart.  I was able to let go of old habits, throw away old fears, break old strongholds and bust old standards. 
     Nearly the entire time we were there, Holy Spirit worked on us, challenged us, transformed us, enlightened us and changed us.  From the way I teach history to the way I cook dinner, every aspect of homeschooling and homemaking was challenged.  God opened doors, closets and treasure chests for us and we are so grateful and overwhelmed by His goodness and His plan for our family that we’ve almost been unable to communicate it. 
     In an effort to share a little of what God taught me, I want to share a few notes, quotes and scribbles that my Father wrote on my heart.  I’ll share from one speaker or theme at a time, so make sure you read them all!



Kingdom Builder


*I am a “Kingdom Builder,” a “Room Preparer,” and an “Ark Builder.”*

     Culture has spent the last century trying to rob parents of their ability and authority to build the Kingdom of Heaven in their own homes. We live in a world where schools tell us when we can have our children, governments tell us what we can do with our children and society tells us how we should dress and treat our children.  Everything has changed  EXCEPT the power, call and provision of God.  If we’re still breathing, we still have the ability to build the Kingdom at our kitchen tables. Allow the Word of God to revive your spirit and renew your calling! Be diligent about marrying education and religion in your home.  Purpose in your heart to prepare your children, not just for the workplace or a college education, but to lead a life that satisfies their souls, glorifies God, and builds the Kingdom!

     Jesus told Believers that he was going to “prepare a room for them.”  I have been given the same ability here at home.  Each day, I get a chance to “prepare a room” for my kids and for my husband.  Every morning, my children wake up to a room that I have prepared (decorated, organized, cleaned, prayed over, enjoyed.)  Every afternoon, my husband comes home to a room that I have prepared for him (lived in, loved in, organized, raised his kids, cleaned, prayed in, spoken truth in, cooked in.)




     When given information by God that his family was at risk, Noah didn’t just pack a survival bag and make a few preparations.  He “diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of his family.”  I believe that God has given us information that our family is at risk.  It’s time we look to Noah.  He discounted the wisdom of the world and put tools in his hand.  He was diligent.  He was reverent.  He constructed.  He prepared. 

-My notes from Zan Tyler’s ‘Mothers Are Kingdom Builders’



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

She's Only a Figment of Your Vain Imaginations



She's not real, you know?  She doesn't exist.  You continue, day after day, to measure yourself by her standard, but she's a fraud.  A lie.  A misrepresentation.  A vain imagination.

There are no perfect mothers.

There are no perfect wives.

There are no perfect homes.

Every mother goes through ups and downs with her children.  Every mother has deep fears that her kids won't "turn out" right.  Every mother wonders if she's doing as much good as she is damage.  Every mother worries that her kid is going to do something, someday that will be put on a public display, and effectively communicate to the world that the truth is, no matter how often she tries to prove otherwise, she just really isn't a good mom.

It's sad, because while each and every one of us are "that" mom, we simply refuse to say so.  Our Facebooks, accountability groups, Twitter feeds and Instagrams tell beautiful stories of God-honoring children that respect their elders and have grand visions for their futures.  And while those stories are probably very true, we only share half of the truth.  We run to social media when we're on a parental high, but I don't see anyone posting from the other pages in their books.

If we were honest, half of our posts would look like this:

"If my teenager stomps out of the living room mumbling under his breath one more time..."

"I was totally humiliated by the clothes my teenage daughter chose to wear out in public today!"

"Some days, I feel like my kids would rather be ANYWHERE on the planet than at home with their family."

"I don't like my children today.  I am sick to death of the rebellion and disrespect."

"When it comes to their Spiritual walk, my kids are all talk and no action.  It scares me to think of what kind of adults I'm breeding over here."


But that's not what our feeds look like at all, is it?  And because they don't, we do two very dangerous things.

First of all, we rob ourselves of the joy of having sisters come alongside us and hold us up until the good times come.

Second, and probably worst of all, we alienate every single mother on the planet.  We, by only sharing the good stuff, effectively write "failure" onto the mirrors of every mother that reads our version of "life" that we choose to share.

Have you been there?  Have you read  one more post from a super mom with beautiful, passionate, artistic, sensitive, benevolent, prudent, wise children and thought, "Lord, why can't I be more like her?"

Well, dear mother who believes that what goes on behind your doors never happens in other homes, I think you are more like her than you think.

We're in a pickle.  And we're in it together.  We live in a culture where our children's lives are on display (whether we display them or not.)  Gone are the days that "sin" could be handled within the quiet wisdom of a family.  Now sins, failures and shortcomings are on such display that mothers feel more like agents than shepherds or stewards of souls.  Culture tries to tell us that our real jobs are to cover up the failures of our offspring until they are "good" enough to unveil.  Culture tells us that our real job is to parade the accomplishments of our children so that our audiences are effectively distracted from the fact that our kids don't pray, give or say no to sin.  Culture says that it's okay if, after reading of the blatant rebellion of another kid in the community, you sigh a big sigh of relief because, after all, your kid is still okay.

Well, why?  Why do we do it?  Why do we continue to put our children on shaky pedestals and then let it destroy us when they totter?  Why do we say we love and support other mothers, but then only share enough of our lives to make sure that they feel like total and complete failures?  Why do we refuse to be vulnerable enough to help a neighbor with their kid, even when it means that their kid will ultimately influence our own? Why do we continue to believe that what people believe about us trumps what God knows about us?  Why do we read in the Bible that the confession of sin is the beginning of a changed life, and then do EVERYTHING in our power to make sure that our children do NOT confess sin?

Why?  Because we are our second worst enemy.  Our first-place enemy tempts us with a deep, thick, ugly pride that whispers, "You're only as good as they think you are," and we swallow his venom.  And we enjoy it.  Don't kid yourselves.  We enjoy those posts that make us believe our children are safe from the apples in the garden.  We enjoy that smug feeling when people tell us how good our kids are.  We even secretly enjoy that sick, slick confidence that creeps in when we're watching another mother wallow in the shame of her child's sin.

We love it.  If we didn't, we wouldn't do it.  If it didn't make us feel so good, we'd probably be spending our time searching the Scriptures to see what God says to do about our troubles.  If it didn't make us feel so smug, we'd probably be knocking on the door of a humiliated mom to give her a hug.  If it didn't let us off the hook for the things we know but don't show, we would probably be planning community meetings in an effort to save our children from one trap or another.  If it didn't make us feel so superior, we'd probably be on our knees, begging the All-knowing, All-seeing Father to break us and mold us into the people He wants us to be.

I will close with a confession.



I don't want to be the mom that uses the humiliations and failures of other moms to fortify my self-esteem.  I don't want to be the kind of mom that cares so much about what you think of me that I refuse to take an honest look at the relationships my children have with their Creator.  I don't want to be the kind of mom that has a terribly bad day with my children but tells you that everything is amazing.  I don't want to be the reason you feel like a failure.  I don't want to sacrifice the depth of my family's understanding of confession and repentance just so I get an invite to your party.  I, personally, want to be done with the pride that ensures our self-fulfilling prophesy of failure and destruction.

Lord, help me.




Friday, August 30, 2013

Today, LOVE.

You are at your wit’s end. You’re hanging on by a thread. You’re questioning everything. Gone is that great confidence you once had about raising and schooling your children without professional help. The house is a mess. Your oldest has developed an attitude problem the size of Texas. Your toddlers woke up believing they were trying out for a mixed martial arts bit in the town talent competition. You watched your middle kid purposefully knock over his drink just so he can hear you say his name. When your husband left for work, you almost asked him if he was planning on coming home. You can’t remember the last time you crossed off your to-do list, the doorbell is ringing and you’re not sure if you brushed your hair today. 

What do you do on the days you simply don’t enjoy being locked in the house with your children?

Where does your strength and conviction come from when the warm and fuzzies wear off?

How do you do the right thing for one more day when you’re mad at those you’re doing the right thing for?

I could give you volumes of “tricks” to try that might help you schedule your day, clean your house, tend to each child, grant immediate consequence for disrespect, build family morale, please your husband, lower your stress level, and check off that to-do list, but that’s not what our hearts need to hear. We’ve had it with good advice. What we need is someone to speak to that woman inside us who worries that she’s “messing up” her family. To that woman, I want to speak a gentle reminder:
LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS.

You can clean the house later. You can address the disobedience when your head is on straight. You can sit down with a notebook and a pencil with your husband and make some necessary changes tonight. You can treat yourself to a blow out at the salon tomorrow. Plan your family meeting, but not today.
Today, let that truth settle in your heart. LOVE covers a multitude of sins. Love, not rules, covers a multitude, not just a couple, of sins. 
Remember the last time you were in full blown rebellion? Tell me, was it yelling and screaming that brought you back? Was it threats? Was it a set of bold-faced rules plastered to the fridge? Or was it love? Was it the gentle love of the Father that broke through your spirit and called you back? Was it the sweet love of an honest friend who hugged you and cried with you and talked with you until you remembered your first love? Was it the faithful, loving prayers of your husband who didn’t know what you needed, but was intimate with who you needed? 

I am not saying ignore what you see. And I am not saying that your oldest, youngest, middle, husband and self don’t need to make changes before the actions get better. But I am saying, for today, go hug that teenager when he rolls his eyes at you. Today, run your fingers through your ten year-old’s hair and laugh about the spilled milk. Get in the floor and wrestle with those preschoolers. Clean the living room. Cook your man’s favorite dinner. Just for today, LOVE. Remind your family what they’re fighting for before you make them fight. 

Love.