Love is an emotion that wells up inside my heart when I watch my children sleeping, see them win an award, listen to them. or hear them talk about the Lord. So often, I am proud of them, not just for their achievements, but for who they are and who they are becoming.
Love, of course, is more than an emotion; love is a choice to do good for someone else at cost to your own personal comfort. Love is all about the other person, giving them your best, trusting God to take care of your own needs. We are commanded by God to love one another deeply from our hearts, to seek their good, to lay down our lives, to care about their interests, to honor them above ourselves.
So, we experience love as a daily decision and we experience love as a delightful emotion.
But, of course, there are those times, when it is hard to sing the songs of love and devotion, when I must cry out to the Lord....
Teach me to love when my son walks around the house in his socks, wearing them out and getting them filthy dirty, after telling him at least 877 times to put his socks on or go barefoot. After all, we live in Florida. We really don't need to wear socks and shoes.
Teach me to love when my baby throws up on my brand new dress at the wedding two hours from home when I don't have anything else to wear and everyone who can lend me clothes is a size 2.
Teach me to love when my son has taken up the drums as his instrument and he is pounding them with all his strength to a very loud CD, especially when he is just a tiny bit off-beat.
Teach me to love when my husband says, "You didn't get to the laundry and shopping at all today? What did you do?"
Teach me to love when my daughter tells me that I just wouldn't understand how she feels because things are so different now than when I was her age. Smile.
Teach me to love when my son throws a baseball in the house (which is forbidden!) and breaks an antique china tea cup...the one I always chose when I had tea with my grandmother.
Teach me to love when I'm tired, cranky, and behind in every single one of my responsibilities because I dropped everything to type a paper, help with a project, or shop for a last-minute gift.
Teach me to love when I'm washing a sink full of dishes alone, after throwing in the fourteenth load of laundry, and wondering why I left my career for THIS.
Teach me to love when my children forget to say "Thank you," "I'm sorry," or "You are so good to me."
Teach me to love when my children sing the praises of another mom and it makes me feel like a failure.
Teach me to love when my children blow it again, after promising that they will change.
Teach me to love when I am sick, lonely, late, left out, or sad.
Teach me to love when my children try my last bit of patience, without noticing or apologizing.
Teach me to love when my son wrecks my car the very day that he gets his license, after demonstrating a cocky attitude about his driving to the entire family.
Teach me to love when my daughter is caught doing something she's not allowed to do, talking to someone she's not supposed to talk to, or watching something that is forbidden.
St. Francis, a monk from the Middle Ages, must have been thinking of moms when he wrote this prayer.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life." (St. Francis of Assisi 1182-1226)
Love more deeply!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)