A long, long time ago..... OK, at the end of 2004, I decided to move forward with adoption. Many of you have followed the story here for some time... (here's the synopsis, in case you haven't) I applied for a singles slot in December 2004 and was accepted the first week of January of 2005. My dossier was complete by September of 2005 and sent to China, where I was logged in on Halloween, Oct 31, 2005. I received my referral of my daughter the first week of May 2007. Flew to get her June 2007, and the adoption was final June 19, 2007. We were home on June 28. Our first holiday was the 4th of July, Independence Day. :)
I guess I'm feeling a little sentimental tonight, for some reason. Maybe it is because my own Mom wrote to me the other day and told me she was proud of me. (i about died of shock)... and that she could tell I was a good Mom. It was one of the nicest things anyone's ever said. And was huge, since it came from my own Mom. (don't get me wrong, people have told me i'm a good mom, but to hear it from your own mother, is just amazing!) She was proud I put myself through school, bought my own house, went to China.
So, it got me thinking... plus I was watching those wife swap shows tonight... about family and about us Moms. Some get a bum rap. Some get put on a pedestal. Some get treated like dirt. Some treat their kids like dirt. ALL of which, makes me terribly sad.
What has this world come to that we are all SO MEAN to each other all the time???? Why should the compliments and proud moments be shocking? Why are the failing/mean/hateful moments always so prominent?
There have been so many times I've felt like a failure, and I know others have and do, too. But why?! Why don't we have the support we need to thrive?
And, more importantly, are we going to repeat history? Are WE going to be the support our children need to THRIVE? Because, I for one, want to be that support. For my daughter, for my sister, for my friends, for my Mom, for my Dad, for my brother...
I want to be able to walk through life knowing I didn't treat people so badly that they only ever felt torn town. I want to build others up. Do you want to build others up?
How do we do that? Well, first, the Word of God helps us build others up. God is our first example of LOVE and kindness. But if you don't want to get too Biblical, then just start looking at your own behavior. It starts with you and me.
Take one week to write down all interactions with people... your co-workers, your friends, your sister, brother, daughter, son, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend. Were you nice? Genuinely nice? Did you poke fun...that wasn't really kind? Did you inadvertently (or on purpose) hurt someone? Did you fix it? Or at least try? Did you use harsh words? Did you yell? Did you cut someone off on the road? Did they yell?
I urge you to take that list of moments and see how you could have handled them differently the next time. The next time someone comes and asks you to do something you don't want to do. Be kind. Really. Be kind. You don't want someone yelling at you, right?
It always comes back to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength and mind. And your neighbor as yourself.
So, if you wouldn't want someone to be snippy, snarky, crappy, crabby, rude, hateful, to you... then please remember to approach them with: LOVE THEM AS YOURSELF, as your guide. We can't fix all relationships (or non-relationships) with people, but we can react out of a place of loving them as we would love ourselves. And in that, I believe, we can help others get out of the hate-hate action-reaction that so permeates our culture.
I wrote the other day that we need to "cherish" our children. And we do. This doesn't mean that I believe that there are no consequences for bad behavior or letting them get away with things they ought not do. But it does mean paying attention, spending time with them, teaching them they way they should go... being present... and LOVE THEM AS YOURSELF. :)
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR
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