Lavish Love

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions.  I don’t do New Years goals.  I don’t have a bucket list.  Sheesh, I barely have a grocery list.  I keep trying the grocery app on my phone, but here is the problem: I think of an item. Then I have to go find my phone.  However, between my phone and I are countless  distractions including the homeschooling child and the teenage girl,  so by the time I actually retrieve my phone, I have forgotten whatever the item was that I was going to put on the grocery app.

I have a refrigerator in my kitchen, and I have one  in my basement.  Sometimes I walk down the stairs; open the door of the  basement refrigerator and I forget what I was looking for. So I have to go back up the stairs, open the kitchen refrigerator….stare inside and hope that it jogs my memory of why I went to the other refrigerator!

These are ridiculous first world problems, but can you relate?  I wish I could blame it on my mommy brain, but I only have two kids and they are older.  I think my mom brain is full.  So full that I can’t remember what to write on my grocery list or why I went to my basement refrigerator.   Maybe I just need to SLOW down this year.  Start my day by talking to God and reading the Word.   Maybe the first words out of my mouth to my kids each day ought to be words of admiration, delight, abundant love.  Perhaps I need to offer tender affirmation and just be more mentally present.   “See what great love the Father has LAVISHED on us that we should be called the sons of God.” (I John 3:7)  Everyone seems to be posting their word for 2020.  Maybe I will pick one too …LAVISH.. abundance…to pour down profusely.  What if I lavished love on the people I come in contact with…my husband, my kids,  their friends, my friends.  I don’t need to get God’s attention by doing good things….He already NOTICES and LAVISHES love on me.  Who am I taking the time to notice?   I think I want my kids to feel that way…they don’t need to do good things for me to notice them.  I notice them because they are mine.  My mailman is John.  Last year I took the time to notice John.  I even ran into him at Wendy’s and we talked.  I asked him if anyone knew his name.  He said very few people have stopped to ask him his name.   Isn’t that sad?  Maybe we  start noticing people and lavishing them with friendly words and simple kindness.

LAVISH.  The Father has LAVISHED his love on me just because.  “He rejoices over me with singing.” (Zeph 3:17)  The same is for you and for your kiddos.  God LAVISHES his love on you and your kids….for no reason other than He just loves you. (After all the Bible says that GOD IS LOVE) I educate my kids, but in the end, if they don’t feel my love or have love for others, I kinda wasted my time.  They could know their math facts, whip out five paragraph essays, draw the world from memory, pass calculus, chemistry, and biology with flying colors, but if they “have not love” then what’s the point? So I ought to SLOW DOWN, notice them,  speak life… and model kindness… and lavish love on them….. just like it has been lavished on me.

The Reset Button

My daughter is nearly 15 years old.  Just finished classes for driver’s ed, took classes at the local community college that counted for high school and college credit, enjoys all her freedoms on social media, has  great groups of friends….typical teenager which means we don’t exactly see eye to eye some days.   My husband and I have conversations with her and she often says, “You just don’t understand what it’s like to be a teenager these days!”  As if we never were teenagers….ever.

Every generation has its “thing”.  Cell phones and social media are the “thing” of this current generation.  My generation grew up with Walkmans. Remember those? It was the first time kids could go mobile with music, a cassette tape and headphones outside.  No more radio or boom box on your shoulders to listen to music.  You could listen to whatever you wanted without mom and dad knowing what you were listening to.  Back in 1985, it was some serious freedom!  I would sit outside (cuz my mom constantly kicked us outside to play) with my headphones on completely oblivious to her and the rest of the world.  Not much has changed.  Teenagers are still oblivious…..same problem…different device.  Lately social media has become a source of contention perhaps even a wedge for me and my girl  and has led to restricted time.  In fact, social media has gotten under my skin so much that I quit blogging because blogging relates to social media in my mind….and it has such a sour taste. (Plus I need about two hours of uninterrupted time when I am not tired (which never happens) to create a post). Although our conversations  about social media (especially SnapChat) are difficult right now….they are good.  Sometimes they sound like Thor and Odin ( from the first THOR).  Last night we watched THOR.  There was a fight between Odin and Thor…

Odin says to Thor, “You are a vain, greedy, cruel boy!”  And Thor retorts, “And you are an old man and a fool!”     I leaned over to Lauren and said,” I think SnapChat is vain, greedy, and cruel and and a complete waste of time. In fact, I think SnapChat has made you vain!”

Needless to say, our bedtime conversation didn’t go well and there was some apologizing this morning.

But what I am most grateful for is the chance to RESET!  Our biggest reset button are the words, “I am sorry.” ” I am sorry for getting angry and not listening to you.”  I am sorry for interrupting your story.”  “I am sorry for being defiant.”  Imagine if every kid went into marriage with the ability and humility to say “I am sorry for ____________.”  “Will you forgive me?”  Those words…”Will you forgive me?”….reset a relationship.  Walls fall down.  Restoration has a chance to begin.  Forgiveness take root.  Teach your kids to say those words…”I am sorry, will you forgive me?”  Model them to your children.  Learn to apologize to your husband in front of your kids.  Apologize to your friends in front of your kids. I think our pride keeps us from apologizing.  We see an apology as a weakness either on our side or theirs.  But it isn’t a weakness.  It is a powerful tool…it is the reset button of relationships.  Master the sincere apology.

Perhaps there are other ‘reset buttons”.  Taking a break from social media, spending time as a family, taking a day off of work to just have fun. Enjoying life.  Sometimes just a day of fun can reset your family or even yourself.  Where do you need to reset?  Do you need to apologize for an errant word?  Start fresh. Reset.

By Amy in Uncategorized

PS.  I had the joy and privilege of speaking to various MOPS groups around the city this year. Speaking is my forte but I will make a conscious “reset” and try to blog a bit more this summer!