Late post tonight. And it might be a short one just because I'm so tired. We shall see where it takes us...
The book says that to love as Jesus loves us we must fellowship, forgive, accept, and sacrifice. Yesterday focused on fellowship and forgiveness. Today was all about acceptance and sacrifice. I think I will write a little tidbit about how I need to refine each quality in my own life...yep, that sounds good. (Did I mention that I'm pretty tired?)
What I have taken from this section of the reading came from this sentence: "When someone's personality causes her to deal with a situation in a different way from how I would handle it, I need to accept her..."
I will be the first to admit (over and over again) that I am not the perfect mom. But as soon as I read this, I immediately thought of all the times I am quick to judge other mothers when I see them dealing with their own children. I know we all do it...
Depending on how we assess the situation as an outsider, we quietly critique the other mom in our minds. They were either too leniant or too harsh. They are too involved or too passive. They are clueless and frazzled. And most importantly, we believe that whatever it is they are doing, they are doing it wrong and we would have done it right.
What I need to work on is understanding that it is not my place to judge them. I do not understand their current situation and I am not living their life, therefore, I could never possibly take into account all of the different elements impacting the decisions they make. As one of my friends likes to say, "You don't know my story!"
But I also need to understand that I do have a place in these situations: love them. Offer advice if it is asked of me. Show support if it seems necessary. Love anyway--even if they do things differently than me. I don't know their story...they could easily be right, and I could be wrong. (Wouldn't be the first time!)
Big sentence that struck a chord with me here is this one: "The greatest sacrifices may not be the the once-in-a-lifetime sacrifices; they may well be the daily sacrifices."
I read another book a while back entitled "Legacy of a Packrat" where the author mentions that the biggest help she's received in her life was from people who likely don't even know they've helped her. That is the story of my life! Sure, there are plenty of people who do big and beautiful things for me, too, but I am especially touched by the small gestures. A phone call or a quick email to check on me. A hug when they can tell I need it. A random invite somewhere when I am feeling lonely. Whoever that nice person is that takes the piles of newspapers from my driveway and disposes of them in the recycle bin. The way my husband used to get my coffee ready to brew every morning...I am a lover of the little things! And it is because the little things stack up.
I need to remember how blessed I am by these little things and make it a point to spread a little love around. Taking five minutes out of my day to shoot a quick email to a friend is a little gesture that could make a big difference. Offering a ride. Giving a compliment. Smiling at a stranger and looking them in the eye and saying 'Hi.' Noticing other people's needs and serving them--whether it be holding open a door or picking up something they have dropped or helping them corral a kid that is trying to escape. (Boy, have I been there!)
Big bonus here: There is no act of kindness so small that it is not noticed by God.
That's it for today...good night all!