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Love Dare Challenge: Love is patient, love is kind

I am participating in the "Love Dare Challenge," along with some other great women at OurLoveDare.com. I thought I would share some of my posts here.

I am not a patient person. So it stands to reason that I don't like to be late.

Several weeks ago, we were getting the kids ready for church and, as usual, the morning had slipped away and I was frantically trying to get the little ones ready and out the door so we would not miss any of the service.

I was standing in the foyer barking out orders, as is my usual routine.
"Sophie, put your shoes on!"

"Max--did you brush your teeth?"
"We're going to be late! Carly--where's Carly?"

"Let's go, guys! Come ON!"

"Steve, can you please help me get them ready?
Heavy sigh and overly-dramatic eye roll...

We made it to church, got the kids settled in their classrooms and went in to listen to the service. I was smiling and trying to look the part of Mother of the Year, when the Pastor started talking about how we present ourselves to the public as opposed to how we present ourselves in our own homes. How some people appear to be good Christians, always greeting others with a smile, giving of themselves, going above and beyond to lend a helping hand, and then turn around and are the exact opposite at home.

My heart sank. I realized I was a hypocrite. I was giving the best of myself to the community and saving the worst for home. I love my family, so why would I treat them so poorly? Love is patient, love is kind, yet I realized I violate those core principles on almost a daily basis.
When Steve and I got into the car after church, I apologized to him. I told him that what the Pastor had said really hit home. He, too, had been struck by the message and we both vowed to do better--to treat each other with the love and respect we as family members all deserve.
Over the next few weeks, I did better, but I still did my share of yelling.
So, on this, the first day of the Love Dare Challenge, it seemed only fitting that I had to address one of my biggest demons--impatience.
The day started out beautifully--Valentine's Day and Steve had surprised me with a dozen roses, fresh coffee and a pepperoni roll (my favorite West Virginian delicacy). The kids were bouncing off the walls, excited over their cards and eating way too much candy. The morning went by too fast as usual and pretty soon it was time to go to Sophie's basketball game, which meant getting all three kids ready and out the door.
Gulp.
I didn't know if I was going to be able to hold it together, but I did. I didn't yell or issue commands like a drill sergeant. Instead I was encouraging the kids to get ready, asking them if they needed help getting their shoes and coats on--it was oddly very pleasant.
Even at the game when Carly and Max were off being every bit two and four, I remained calm. If they started to do something wrong, I asked them nicely to stop. They didn't always listen, but at the times they deviated, I re-directed them or took them out of the auditorium so they could calm down.
I did everything the way a loving person should--the way my family deserved.
And it felt really good.
My hope for this challenge is that I will strengthen my already strong marriage and foster true love amongst my children. I'm hoping they will forget all of the times I have yelled at them and that they will feel secure in my love for them--that they will know that love is forgiving, understanding and patient.
It was a good day.
Day 2 -- bring it!
Happy Valentine's Day!

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