Monday, August 5, 2013

Cutting paper hearts

We are all harshness, demanding tones, warning looks around here. Ugly mess. The big people keep looking at each other with sympathetic war time faces. This cannot be the new norm for our family.

This momma is exhausted, feet up, dishes stacking because I've tried to pull love up from my toes only to find I have none. Just clanging words squeezing through taut lips. Reflexive hugs after irritated gestures. But I still ask where did this attitude come from when Gwennan commands her sister to action.

Break to pray. Plead for love to come from him because my grace bank is broke.

Broke because I've forgotten the source of the love. We love because he first loved us, right. We are capable of love, servant, godly love because the God who is love have himself. We have that love poured into our hearts. Ahh, I see. Holy Spirit let your love flow through me to them. Where my attempts fail, Your love overpowers to bring peace.

My attempt to teach love ended with girls separated by a baby gate. Conflict avoided. And sometimes that artificial quiet is needed so momma can quiet her heart before her Father.

Beg forgiveness for believing I could fix this mess by trying harder to love

Beg for a feast of the first fruit of the Spirit

Beg for a way to show love for God's glory

{And what seemed like a silly gesture to a God directing the universe,}

Beg for an idea

A simple idea for a tired momma to engage her girls in encouraging them to love through the Spirit. A heart orientation not merely managed behavior.

I settle on Valentine's in August. Break out the glitter glue and stickers, the after-holiday clearance stamps and construction paper. We cut and color and paint a gallery of love reminders. Small one points to the blackboard we our memory verse is kept, Da fruit of da Spirit {holds up her index finger to count off the nineis love,

She stops there, smiling. Injection of encouragement. We carry on making gifts for each other.

When Big one shrills, Mother, I want juice now. Sounds just like Veruca Salt.

I didn't expect paper hearts to change real ones. My day is not shattered. The craft was a segue to family prayer. We bow heads and pray. Say our amens.

I sit back still thinking about where this horrible voice is coming from when the veil is pulled back to reveal a mirror. Foolish me has forgotten what my face looks like when I'm annoyed, forgotten what my voice sounds like when I'm ignored. Until a three year old mimics my tactics right back to me. Raises her voice and commands my attention. And what am I going to say? You may not talk to me like that! Echo her own tone right back? Do as I say, not as I speak.

Do you ever hear the Spirit say, Now you see it. Ugly, huh.

Love is behind this revelation. If I don't have love, I don't care. I settle for behavior modification. Enough correction and control to mask hypocrisy for a long time.

Only love opens the heart's eye wide enough to see the ugly.

Only love wipes that ugly clean. Not my love. His. His love changes my heart's beat.

Time for me to beg again.

Beg forgiveness from my children for abandoning the speech I teach

Beg a soft voice and face, the teaching of kindness on my tongue

We've made it to naps.

The girls responded instantly. They cleaned their room without incident, gratefully received their lunch, quietly hopped in bed, and politely requested a story.


Not at all.

The baby wasn't quiet either.

Lots of opportunities for me to practice a new heart beat. With more to come, I have no doubt.

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