Tag Archives: love

What if?

24 May

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Recently we had the pleasure of visiting home, where our roots have grown deep. It was a pleasure to visit with family and friends, but over the course of many conversations, we came away with heavy hearts. One after another, we heard of couples being divorced, families falling apart and giving up hope – the stresses overwhelming life.

So… if you have wondered what has motivated me to pick back up Not Without Aim – it is not a result of boredom with nothing to do, certainly not a love for writing, and not a love for blogs… It is a passion to encourage families to stick together, press hard, and endure the struggles, knowing it is worth the effort!

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NASB)

What if we kept loving even when the loving was tough?

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praying for myself

13 Apr

But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

Timothy 2:15 (NASB)

Through my child bearing years, this verse always caught my attention.   I read it again the other day, only this time from a different perspective.  I am no longer bearing children, yet I am still to “continue  in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”

Faith: a strong conviction, firm belief,complete trust…

Love: strong affection for another, unselfish, loyal, tenderness…

Sanctity: holiness of life and character…

Self-restraint: to keep under control, to moderate…

This is not only a worthy prayer for ourselves, but also for the other women in our lives.

Lessons in Grace with Great Aunt (part 12)

13 Oct

Have you ever had the sense someone was watching you – even in your sleep?  I don’t think I will ever forget the night I woke with a start to a ninety some year old woman standing at the side of my bed at 3:30 a.m. peering down at me! Did I ever jump!!!

Why was she up in the middle of the night? What was she doing? Where else had she been?

 As time progressed with Great Aunt, one of her most common activities was packing her belongings.  For some reason, she continually thought she was moving. I would walk into her area of the house to find the pictures off the walls, blankets – folded and stacked, books, photo albums, jewelry… absolutely everything she could find piled or stashed away into drawers.  I would unpack each treasure, rehang the pictures, and reassure her that she was not moving. This was her home. This was her family.

Remarkably, by the time I came back to check on her, the process would be repeated! How did she do it? What stamina! She was able to pack all of her things several times a day!

Pack – unpack. Pack – unpack. Pack – unpack.

I may be a bit slow, but it didn’t take too long before I realized we needed to make some changes.  She needed less to pack, and I needed to unpack less!

We converted part of Great Aunt’s living area into a master bedroom accomplishing two things. One, she needed less space and fewer things deal with. Two, we were closer to her, providing better and much needed oversight.

The decision had been a very difficult one for me.  In no way did I want to limit her; or worse, move in to her very own abode.  Would she or the extended family think we were selfishly taking her space?

She adapted so well, we wondered why we hadn’t made the change sooner.  The large amount of space had clearly become too much for her.

In a large family such as ours, seldom was Great Aunt left alone. Although Sunday mornings and a few other occasions, she had the house to herself.  She had done well, until… we started coming home to tissue paper stuffed into the gas fire place (with the gas on), the stove top turned on high, water faucets left running.  She was rapidly loosing the ability to function safely without supervision. It was after the episode in the middle of the night,  it became clear that we needed to install a lock on her bedroom door, on the outside.

If I thought reducing her living space was difficult, the thought of locking Great Aunt’s door was worse!

We could no longer trust her judgement.  We did not want to put Great Aunt or the household at risk. We did not want to send her back to the “home-for-the-elderly”. Our desire was to lovingly care for her as long as we were able.

The lock was installed.  Because it was seldom used, it wasn’t an issue.  She had declined enough that it was not offensive to her.  In fact, when moving about her new more limited space, upon trying the door- she would just politely knock on the door, and close by, we would come to her attention. Once again, I was able to sleep without worrying about what the night might bring.

~lessons in grace~

loving when the loving is tough

pulling back when the desire is to give

restraining for ones own benefit

…all while honoring a life well lived

a contagious love for family

11 Oct

My daughter came home with an all too common description of an attitude about family life.  It wasn’t her view, rather it is one often heard at ones’ work place, waiting in the grocery line,  or talking with a friend.

“My kids are brats!”

“Unfortunately, I have to take care of my kid this weekend.”

“I can’t wait until they grow up and move out!”

Likely, if this is what is spoken of the children, what is said about the spouse is probably just as bad. This kind of comment comes near to guaranteeing an unhappy home!  They are a reflection of the parents bad attitudes and have life long affects on the children and marriage.  Word’s are powerful. They can be used to tear down or build up.Take time to reflect…

What do my words say to  those I love?

What have I said about my spouse to others?

What damage have I done to my family?

How can I begin to rebuild relationships?

~~~~~~

As the sun rises with each day, we are each given a new beginning, a choice.

Like Anne of Green Gables  says, “today is a new day without any mistakes in it!”

~~~~~~

 I choose to not only bear with each person’s  idiosyncrasies, but to take delight in them.

I will take time to whisper words of  appreciation into their ears.

I will let them know I believe in them and encourage them.

I will tell them of my unconditional love.

I will speak highly of them in the presence of others.

I will teach them to measure their own words…

How do they talk to each other?

How do they speak to us, as parents?

How do they portray their siblings to others?

How can they rebuild those fragile relationships they may have damaged?

~~~~~~~~~~

We highly value family life.  

Whether in the work place, in the grocery line,

or talking with a friend may our words portray a contagious love for our family.

the need to practice kindness and patience

30 Sep

Agreeing to watch a friend’s young children for the day, I inquired about sleeping arrangements for nap time. I would need a playpen and their favorite blankets.  In response, the father told me to simply lay the two girls next to each other on a bed, and put a pillow on each side.  Considering their young ages, 15 months and 3 years, I was a little skeptical butI decided to trust him.

After lunch, it was time to find out if the dad knew what he was talking about.

 The 3 year old’s matter of fact view of nap time was impressive.  She was obviously quite used to this routine and eagerly picked her spot on the bed.  Her younger sister was a bit more hesitant and cried for a minute or less, being comforted by the kind touch and gentle words of the elder sibling.

Soon, they were both sound asleep.

How did the parents teach this? I know many parents that would love to experience this nap time routine!

I remembered my last post…

 It is love…  that causes us, as parents, not only be patient and kind with our children,

but to teach them to be patient and speak kindly to each other.

Yesterday, I saw this love in action.

We have this type of love in our home.

I see examples of it every day, but in addition, I also see our lack.

Do we always speak with kindness, in a way that puts the other at ease… ?

Are we patient with each other?

As I was helping my six year old with math, I felt my patience wearing thin.  How many times and different ways does it take to explain the same thing before it actually sinks in?  I felt like saying to him, “Where is your brain?  Think!”

Fortunately, as I looked at my sweet little boy, I remembered what it feels like to not understand.  How often have I had things explained and still felt in the dark.  Patiently, we worked together as he gained understanding.

Hopefully, he felt my patience.

But what if I had blown it?  The situation could have been different.

What happens if I loose my temper?

All is not lost!

The lessons learned from our failures are invaluable.  They provide a unique platform from which to teach.  Obviously we as parents should acknowledge our errors and seek forgiveness, but this is only part of the lesson.  In addition, our goal is to teach the children to be kind even when we are not.

Anyone can be kind when someone is being kind to them.

Only a person of strong character is able to patiently return volatile remarks with kindness.

1. Be an example to your children. Practice speaking with patience and kindness.

2. Praise your children when you see them being patient and kind.

3. Do not allow impatience and harsh words to go unattended.  This means consistent and firm oversight!

4. Failures, whether it be the children’s or our own, should be used as a platform for instruction.

When the parents returned to pick up their little girls, I asked them how they taught their children to be such good little  nappers.  As I suspected, it was out of necessity and practice.

Out of necessity and desire, we will continue in our home to practice…

love and patience.

It is love…

23 Sep

 It is love…  that causes us, as parents, not only be patient and kind with our children,

but to teach them to be patient and speak kindly to each other.

It is love… that does not give way for prideful boasting,

rather looks to build each other up.

It is love…   that motivates  us to instruct the siblings to consider others first,

not demanding their own way.

It is love… that reminds us to humbly recognize our own personal failures

and helps our children see theirs,  seeking forgiveness from each other.

It is love…  that  not only bears,

but learns to appreciate each other’s idiosyncrasies.

It is love… that helps us to believe in and encourage each other

and endures through the difficult times.

True love never fails.

reflections…

31 May

anticipation…  gathering of family and friends we have not seen for so long

overwhelmed… so many much loved faces, old friends and new

spontaneity…  embracing the moment with each person

inspired… little tidbits of ideas shared, new things learned

pain… missing those who longed to have been there

joy… watching the union of two, becoming one

rejoicing… in God’s sovereign plan

trusting… for what is unseen

sadness… the tearing away of those whom I love

thankfulness… for the fullness of life and the provision of God

celebration… of our own union of marriage for thirty years

anticipation… for what is ahead

love… overflowing love