Friday, December 4, 2015

Does Mama Still love you?

I’m not going to lie; I don’t like putting my boys to bed. I know that sounds horrible, but it is what it is. All the talks of snuggles and sweet moments before bed have eluded me. I usually get the grasshopper impressions, fake fart noises and incessant laughter that won’t quit. Running around wild with or without undies is the usual around here. After a long day, my patient way of handling things goes out the window and I become someone I don’t like. Hubby has taken over night time routines and I think we’re all a little better off. One night when hubby wasn’t home I was trying to wrangle the monkeys into bed and I unfortunately lost my cool with my middle one. I managed to pray over them and tell them that I loved them before turning off the light. Then I hear the middle one. In his quiet mumbling voice he whispers, “No you don’t.” My heart sank a little that night. All the feelings of inadequacy, guilt and failure flooded over me in one enormous wave. I said, “Yes, I do.” He said, “Then why do you yell at me?” I apologized and said, “I shouldn’t do that, I’m just tired and no one is listening.” He said it again, “I still don’t believe you. I’ll never believe you.” With that I said, ‘Well, I do.” I closed the door.

Not one of my finest moments as a mom. It got me thinking though, “I wonder if they know that my love for them is not dependent on what they do or how angry I get?”  Obviously my middle one doesn’t think so. The next day I asked my other two boys, “When mommy is mad at you, do you think I still love you?” The moment of truth came in one simultaneous answer, “no.” I thought well, let’s figure out why and make it right.

It took some conversations but the greatest impact usually hits right in the heat of the moment when I am delivering their consequence. I’ll tell them, I am not happy with what you just did but even now I love you just the same.” After another infraction or a disappointing event at school, “I’m disappointed in your choices, but I’ll never stop loving you.” After one brother whacks another one, “That is unacceptable, you’ll need to apologize, but even right now I love you.” I’ll tell them when emotions are flying and when they’re not. If I have another moment, I’ll apologize and tell them, “Even when I’m so upset that I can’t see straight, even then I love you.” I’m not letting them think for even a split second otherwise. I won’t let them believe a lie. I’ll say, “Even if you pull all your tickets at school, say a thousand mean words, start a thousand fights or light a match and burn our whole house down. I’ll be so upset with you, they’ll be lots of consequences, but I’ll love you the same. I know you can’t understand but there is absolutely nothing you can do that will take my love away from you. Even if everyone doesn’t like you and you can’t find one friend in the whole world, you can always count on me loving you the same as the day you were born.”

I mess up a lot (see example above) and make tons of mistakes. I feel so out of my league being a parent. If I didn’t know better I would think that God’s heart would break when He sees me messing up, but I know the truth. He already forgave me when He said, “It is finished,” I’m in the process of forgiving myself and trusting in His finished work. I’m in a state of thankfulness for what He has already done at the cross. I’m so grateful His love is agape. Is there anything more wonderful? The best news in the world is His love can’t change. Even when He was dying on the cross the world was shouting hateful words at Him and telling Him to ‘die’ and mocking Him- the creator and savior of the world. You know what He chose to say at that exact moment?  He says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Even in the depths of our human depravity, He loves. He can’t stop loving. Son, he IS love. In His kindness He gives us love to give away. He gives us forgiveness to forgive those that don’t deserve it. He gives us every good thing. He is the master gift giver. Without Him we try and muster these things up all on our own but it always falls short. The way mommy and daddy loves you is a small imperfect reminder of the way God loves us. Don’t ever say that I don’t love you but even if you’re really mad and you say it anyway, guess what? I’ll still love you- even then.

These boys of mine, they bring me to the cross. I thank God that even in the ugly moments He shows me opportunities to grow. I thank God that in all my imperfections He is still loving me, refining me and teaching me how to be more like Him.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing God's wisdom with me friend. Love, Angie W.