Today, we'll go to Day #10's Dare which was:
Love is Unconditional!
God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.- Romans 5.8
Do something out of the ordinary today for your children- something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash the car. Clean the kitchen. Buy a favorite dessert. Fold the Laundry. Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their Mom.
This was easy for some of my children, and not so easy for one of them. I'll share how I showed that I made the choice to love my children on this day:
My son: My son lives with me. One of his jobs around our home is to take care of the kitty litter box. Oh, I know--yuck!! But, it is his job, and it is a daily job that definitely needs to be done. I leave for work very early in the morning, and he doesn't leave until the afternoon.
So, I cleaned the litter box--completely emptied, scrubbed it out, and fresh litter put in before he even got up!!
He called me later and said that he thought something was wrong with Scout and Miles--they hadn't used the litter box for an entire day!! I told him that I did this for him before I left for work. He asked me why I did his job for him. My answer: "Because I love you, and I decided to do something for you today."
Surprise, surprise to me!! When I came home from work, my dishes from the night before (which I hadn't had time to do--dinner, rush out the door to a meeting, so they were still waiting for me!) were done!!
And just a quick aside: He still has the note from Day 2 that I wrote to him and put in his car. He told me he wanted to keep it, and he is carrying this in his wallet.
Daughter #2: When she was visiting from Texas, she wanted me to make hot pads for some the girls at her work. She works in a restaurant, and hot plates are being taken out of the oven and carried to their customers. I've made her hot pads in the past to use at her work, and apparently others have commented that they like these. She wanted to take some back to give to her coworkers.
As usual, time got away from us during her visit, and these weren't ready for her to take home on Monday. So, last night, I put aside my other projects that I'm working on for Christmas, and made her 5 hot pads which will be taken to the post office and mailed to her today.
She'll be surprised because I think she thought I just either didn't have the time or completely forgot.
Daughter #1: She was the most difficult one for me to do something for--not because I didn't want to do something for her--it was just very hard for me to think of something!! She is always busy--working 60-70 hours a week, never at home in between--always out in her free time visiting friends, shopping--what could I do?
What would be very special for her? I know that she needs to know that I love her just because she is herself. In fact, as I'm going along in these dares, I'm remembering how many times she has actually said to me that I love the other two children more than her!! And, unfortunately, she really means this--this is not just something that she is saying. She has felt this way for a long time and has expressed this to me many times.
What to do?? What to do??
Now, you must realize that this daughter and I are not in communication very often. Between her life and my life, we don't speak nearly as often as we should--mainly because neither of us just take the time to pick up the phone and even say hello to each other, much less how are you and really want to know how are you--tell me really!!
So, I just picked up the phone and called her to ask! A simple thing really which didn' t take any physical effort on my part--only my time.
She was so surprised to hear from me because I had just talked with her only the day before--totally out of the ordinary for us!! We talked for a while about usual everyday things--and then she let the question drop: "Why are you calling me?"
I told her that I loved her, just wanted to see how she was doing and if there was anything that I could do for her. Now, she knows my financial situation--knows that I am basically dependent upon myself--so whatever I could do for her would not involve much in the way of money.
She thought about this for a while--complete silence on the other end of the phone until I finally asked if she was still there!! And then she said, "You know those hot pads you make? I could really use some of them at my work, too!"
So, back to my scrap cotton yarn and back to crocheting 5 more of these!! And, I loved doing this for her!! I'm going to drop them off at her work on my way home from work today--a surprise drop in visit for her!!
As I'm thinking about this, I'm realizing that the phone call to her was more important to her than anything I could physically do for her--my reaching out and touching her in this way--her knowing that I'm thinking about her.
My children do not know and realize that God loves them, that He has chosen them as His own even though they do not know Him. They know of Him but do not have a relationship with Him.
I am the first one to admit that I have not shown or demonstrated God's love for them through my actions for many, many years.
Now that I have experienced God's love for me, His love and provision for me, even when I was so far from Him, I want them to have this same feeling within themselves.
I know my children well. If I were to "preach" God's word to them, they would completely turn off, go further away. I can just see them shaking their heads, putting their hands up in the air and walking away from me--not wanting to hear what I am saying. They're not ready to "hear".
The only way I can show that God loves them, even though they are still far from them, is through me. I want my children to know Jesus, to know of His unconditional love for them. The only way to do this is through my actions, my choices, my own life--just as God brought me to Him through someone else--just as God showed His love for me through Jesus, while I was still far away, still deep in sin.
This is something that I need to continue to do, on a daily basis--even if this involves just reaching out and touching each of them in some way--maybe an e-mail to the daughter in Texas, dropping a note in the mail to her (I know she loves to get something in the mail other than bills and junk!), picking up the phone and calling the daughter who only lives 5 miles from me, inviting her to eat with my son and I--something everyday so that they know that I love them, I choose to show them my love always.
I know that you love and care for me. Help me, through your love and strength, to continue to show my love for my own children--just as You show Your love for me every moment of my life.
I haven't always done this to the best of my ability. I have sometimes turned away from them when the going has gotten what I've felt to be too tough for me to handle.
Whenever I feel that way, please place Your Word into my mind--how You loved me even when I was far from you, and help me to show this to my own children--that I love them no matter what--just as they are--seeing them as You see them.
Fill me with Your hope and love, Lord, so that it will spill over onto my children.
In Jesus' most precious name (THANK YOU, JESUS!!!).........Amen
And this brings us to Day 11:
Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.- Ephesians 5.28
I'm going to have to change this verse a little--"Mothers ought also to love their own children as their own bodies.....Ephesians 5:28
What need do your children have that you could meet today? Can you run an errand? Is there housework you could help with? Choose a gesture that says, "I cherish you" and do it with a smile.
Please make sure and visit Chelle'. She has excerpts written from each chapter of the book which will help you along in your challenges, helping you to see how to show your love for whomever you are doing this dare for--your spouse, your children, a friend.