Tomorrow morning I am supposed to be talking to a group of moms about love. Thankfully I just have to fill 10 minutes. I have some ideas and some good quotes to use and can probably wing the rest. I am supposed to be writing something brilliant right now. But the truth is I feel completely inadequate to address this topic, to talk about love. Love does not come easily to me. I have only been in love once. So glad I married that guy!
My heart is completely engrossed with my three boys, though it is really my mind that is usually leading the love train. So much of love it turns out is daily choices to do what is best for the other person, often with disregard to the cost to yourself. Love is making the lunches, doing the laundry, giving the time outs - though only to the kids because giving time outs to the other grown ups in my house does not go over well. Love is so many daily actions and decisions that I find myself often so focused on the daily and the actions, that I forget the feelings. I go through my routines, get annoyed when people are not doing things my way, rebound and get back to taking care of everyone, and miss out on the feelings of love. And just when I start to feel a bit heartless in my care taking, a bit like I am just doing not feeling it, I am hit by a huge wave of overwhelming love that makes my heart full to bursting. These are the moments, I look at my child's smile and cannot stop smiling myself. The moment when, as frustrated as I am that my husband is late for our date, he walks in and my world is right again because he is in it.
I have a friend who I really admire because of the way that she loves her boys. She also has three boys so we are kindred spirits in the moms of all boys club. When you see her with her boys or hear her talk about her boys, you feel the love coming from the very heart of her being. I wanted to be like that, I wanted to delight in my boys very existence. But I was often distracted by my circumstances or frustrated by their behaviors, focused on what they were doing or what I was doing. I decided to take a lesson from my friend. I was going to focus on the good in my kids. I decided to strive really hard to see the best in my kids at all times. To see them through the eyes of God, their maker, their designer, who has a very special plan for their lives. And you know what. It works. I still get frustrated. I still get annoyed. And then I get frustrated and annoyed at myself. But when I started looking for the good in my kids, when I decided to see the best in my kids, to enjoy my kids, to celebrate who my kids are, I began to delight in my kids in a new way. I am falling more deeply in love with my kids each day. They are teaching me to love not just in my head, not just in my choices, not just in my actions, but in the deepest part of my being.
As a mom, I get to spend most of my day loving on my kids. Loving on my friends. Loving on my husband. Like the movie says, love actually is all around us. And I am learning to feel it more each day.