Friday, October 24, 2008

Love Dare Day 7

Going back a few steps in my Love Dare-- My son is very curious about what I'm doing because I haven't shared with him the reasons I am asking him questions like "What are 3 things about me that irritate you?"

And then, since I asked him, he decided to ask my eldest daughter the same question--"What are three things about Mutti that irritate you?" Her answer--"EVERYTHING!!"

Now, I just found this very curious since my son said he could find nothing!! But, my relationship with this daughter has always been a cautious one. We tend to dance around issues rather than discussing them, and then she usually just gets angry and leaves. She tends to pout and throw tantrums until she gets her own way. And just so you know, she is 25, and still she throws tantrums!!

Then she decided not to speak to me for two days!! However, with the arrival of her younger sister from Texas yesterday, she knew she would have to see me in order to see her!! So, last night, she came to pick up the youngest, and I questioned her about this (very carefully, of course!)

She said that she didn't really mean it--she just has a lot on her mind with her job right now, and she was taking this out on me. But, I do know for a fact that there are things about me that bother her, and she just isn't telling me.

I asked the youngest on the way home from the airport. She said that sometimes I'm a little "guilt-trippy". And, yes, I know that I can do that--it's just never been presented to me before like this. I know that I can lay on the guilt (SELFISHNESS, PRIDE, IMPATIENCE!!) with all of my children.

So, this is something I really need to work on--thinking before I speak, thinking about what I am going to say and how it will make them feel.

As for the oldest daughter--she and I have been doing this dance she was 12, and it's high time this stopped. I don't know exactly what I do that bothers her, but I do know that she and I can irritate each other to the point of saying things to each other that we really don't mean--ANGER!! Mean, nasty, feeling-hurting things.

I read somewhere (I don't remember where) that you may forget the exact words that someone has said to you, but it's just not that easy to forget the way those words made you feel.

All of this said--I'm ready to move on to Day 7 which was:

Love Believes the BEST!

...(Love) believes all things, hopes all things. -I Corinthians 13:7

Today's Dare

For Today's Dare, get two sheets of paper. On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your children. Then do the same with negative things on the second piece. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day. There is a different purpose and plan for each. At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and think your children for having this characteristic.

My day being spent yesterday in Baltimore, I didn't have time to do this yesterday. So, I spent my lunch at work making these lists.

I started with my oldest, my son. It was very easy to list his positive attributes. He is giving, caring of other people, usually very easy going, willing to help me and others in any way. He works very hard at his job, and he is very dedicated. He usually exhibits patience.

However, his negative attributes I found a little harder to list because as I examined them I found that they were so insignificant that I really didn't want to list them! The main thing that I know is negative about him that is very significant is that he doesn't let go of things and doesn't forgive easily. Also, even though he is mainly patient, when things get to be too much for him, he tends to explode into anger in appropriate ways. The fact that sometimes he doesn't pick up after himself and can basically be rather messy just didn't seem so important right now.

Then, I moved on to my youngest daughter. Again, her positive attributes were easy to list--a good sense of humor, understanding of others, truly listening to others, a caring attitude and again willing to help others. She has been my mainstay here on earth through many a storm. She does let go of things and forgives others. She works hard at her job and in her schooling, and she also is very dedicated..

Her negative attributes were also rather difficult. She does have them--she gets upset easily over small, insignificant things and tends to make bigger than they really are. When she gets angry, she screams!! She also has a tendency to belittle people sometimes, not much, just enough that when I thought about it it came to my mind.

Now, my oldest daughter--my middle child. She also has positive attributes--she can be very loving, very caring. When I was sick this past summer, she was the one who was there for me--taking me to appointments, running errands. She, too, has a good sense of humor and is a hard worker at her job.

Her negative attributes, however, were much easier to list than her positives. This kind of upset me because I found it difficult in the other two. As I mentioned earlier, she has temper tantrums when she doesn't get her own way--in anything!! She doesn't budget her money properly, is constantly borrowing from others and not paying them back!! She tends to drink a little more than I would like.

She is very strong willed, and I can see this as a positive and also a negative.

In reading over what I just wrote, I can see that I need to spend more time in the Appreciation Room rather than the Depreciation Room.

I, too, have many faults, and haven't they been covered over with the love of God? Hasn't He been able to look beyond these faults and see me for the person I will and can become as a result of His love? And didn't He send His only Son to earth so that I could see Him in human form?

And, above all else--didn't He sacrifice His only Son so that I could have forgiveness of all my sins, all my faults--looking beyond these things to seek me and see me only with His unconditional love.

This is what I need to do--spend more time appreciating my children for their good attributes, praising them when they exhibit these good attributes and downplaying the negatives--instead of
focusing on the negatives.

I know I wouldn't like it someone only focused on my negative qualities, and yes, there are quite a few as I examine myself. So why would they even like me focusing only on their negative qualities.

Yes, I definitely need to spend more time in the Appreciation Room!!

The Dare for tomorrow--Day 8:

Love Is Not Jealous

Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire. - Song of Solomon 8.6

Today's Dare

Determine to become your children's biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. To help you set your heart on your children and focus on their achievements, take Yesterday's list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it. Then share with your children how glad you are about a success he/she recently enjoyed.

1 comment:

Denise said...

May you be blessed.