If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in it’s place,
but have not love-I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
but have not love- my children learn of cleanliness, not godliness.
Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
Love is present through trials.
Love reprimands, reproves and is responsive.
As a mother there is much I must teach my child,
but the greatest of these is LOVE.
I read this poem in a book I have been reading recently. (okay I will admit to it here, I have been reading the book by the Duggars, but that doesn’t mean we are going to have 19 kids, although by this point I am sure some of you think so) It really made me think, do I really spend time each day loving my kids? I do a lot of things for them, laundry, cooking, cleaning, ect. But do I really spend time loving them? I tend to get so caught up in my to do list that I don’t take time to appreciate the little things as I should. I know I also get so concerned with disciplining them correctly that I neglect the love part. There is love in discipline but I don’t often take as much time as I should to spend time with them. Sometimes I take my parenting too seriously. I feel like if I let my guard down that somehow I will lose my control in the house. Like if I sit and play legos for a while I am showing weakness and they might not take me seriously when it’s time for correction. I don’t know if that makes any sense. It doesn’t really make sense as I write it, but that’s how I feel. In our house, Glenn is the one who is good at playing with the kids. And I am the one who disciplines them, for the most part. But I don’t want that to always be the case. In reading this book by the Duggars I have realized something. No, it’s not that birth control is bad and that I should have a million kids. I know what ya’ll are thinking. But what I have realized is that no matter what you think about the Duggars they have really well-behaved kids. One of the things that surprises me about them is the mom. One of her kids said they have never heard her yell. She says in her book that she decided one day not to yell anymore but to speak in a soft voice. The BIble says “a gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger”. She took that seriously and began speaking softly. But yet, her children listen to her and behave, no yelling necessary. And she spends time having fun and loving her children and they still obey her. This goes against my ideas of discipline. But what if I could do that? What if finding the right discipline model is not the answer to well-behaved kids, what if it’s loving them? That would be revolutionary. I have been really mulling over this lately and trying it out at my house. I am slowly trying to spend more time with my kids and less time worrying about my house and my to do list. It’s a freeing thing. And I sure do have less mommy guilt over the fact that maybe my kids don’t have clean clothes right when they need them (oops) but it’s because I was playing a game with them and I forgot the laundry. Which do you think will matter more in 20 years? They will look back and remember the times I played with them, not the laundry I forgot.