Sunday, October 26, 2008

On With the Love Dare!

If you will remember, Day's 8 challenge was to burn the lists I had made of the negative attributes of my children. I did do this, but not until late in the evening. I wanted to wait until they had left to visit a friend. My youngest is visiting from Texas, so there are a lot of comings and goings right now.

I also didn't want them asking me why I was starting a bonfire in the kitchen sink!!

Actually, I thought this was going to be easy, and as it turned out it wasn't easy at all--not because I didn't want to "burn and destroy" their negative lists, but because this brought up a lot of painful memories of doing something similar in the past.

I have mentioned before that I have tried to take my own life. I had been contemplating this for quite some time, and I had written each of my children letters telling them how much they meant to me--going back to the time when they each had been born, the first time I held them. I also told them how I could take no more of what our lives had become, and that was why I was doing what I was planning to do.

This shows exactly what state of mind I was in. If I loved and cared for them so much, why was I planning on leaving them?

Anyway, my children never saw these letters. I took them to my doctor at the time, and when I was feeling better we shredded them together. He told me that while the letters were beautifully written and very eloquent, they had no place in this world--not for my children, not for me, not for anyone.

So, I did burn their negative lists with a lot of emotions from the past tagging right along.

I also realized how many negative attributes of my own that I display towards my children, both now and in the past. I have sought forgiveness from God for things I have said and done to them, but I have never asked forgiveness from them directly.

I have decided to write them each a letter seeking their forgiveness. That is also on today's agenda of things to do.

All of this said, we will move along!

The second part of this dare after burning the lists was to focus on my children's achievements and share with them how happy I am about a success they recently enjoyed. In other words, become their cheerleader.

Since I am doing all three of once now, I'll list them from oldest to youngest:

My son:

The day before we left to go to Baltimore to pick up my daughter from Texas, he
walked to my work to pick up my car. He changed the oil, and "sparkle-cleaned"
my car--inside and out!! I have to say my car looks brand new, and anyone who
knows me knows that I don't even usually think about things like changing the oil!
So, I told him how much I appreciated this--all of his hard work, his thinking of
doing this, his caring about how the car needs to be taken care of when this is
usually the furthest thing from my mind! He was grinning ear to ear!!

#1 daughter:

My oldest daughter takes after her father's family. She is a large person--
standing almost 5'11", wears a size 11 shoe. She has struggled with her
weight for years, and she was recently diagnosed as being diabetic. I haven't
seen her for a while. She doesn't live far from me, we just haven't gotten
together--another thing that has to change!!

When I saw her when she came to pick up the youngest, I just couldn't believe
my eyes!! This girl has lost almost 60 pounds!! I know how difficult this is for
anyone, but especially when she is looking to lose at least almost 175 pounds
to be even near her goal weight.

She looks fantastic!! and I told her so!! I congratulated her on her weight lost,
told her how much better she must feel. She just was talking a mile a minute
about how many sizes she has gone down, how she can buy "almost" regular
clothes now, and also how her asthma has improved with this weight loss!
And, to top it all off--she has been able to stop her diabetic medication and is
diet-controlled now!! A big congratulations and a big hug went to her for all
these accomplishments, and another child grinning from ear to ear!!

#2 daughter:

My youngest lives in Texas--going to school full time, working full time. She
maintains a 3.8 to 4.0 average in school. She even brought some school work
with her to do so she doesn't fall behind while being here for 4 days. She has
decided that living in Texas, she needs to be bilingual, and she is studying
her Spanish diligently. Since she is here for these 4 days, she was going to miss
a test in one of her classes. She talked with the professor and took the test
before leaving so she wouldn't miss doing this. This is my daughter who used
to be afraid to talk to anyone!!

So, a big congratulations to her also!! I told her how proud I am of her, working
and studying so hard, taking matters into her own hands so that she wouldn't
fall behind in her school work. Another child grinning ear to ear!!

This was so easy to do--focusing on their positives and building these children up this way. All I had to do was refocus myself!! I intend to stay in this focus and continue building them up--these 3 of mine that I love dearly and have been beaten down and hurt by too many of life's circumstances.

And so we move on to Day 9:

Love Makes Good Impressions

Greet one another with a kiss of love.- 1 Peter 5.14

Today's Dare

Think of a specific way you'd like to greet your children today. Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm. Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.

I've read in the "Love Dare" book about this, and it has brought a specific couple to my mind already. Be back later with the conclusion of this story (oh, I sound like Paul Harvey, don't I?)


Peggy said...

Blessings Beth~ I know that you are not so suppose to say this but "I'm so proud of YOU!" This is just excellence. Few people can do what you just did...especially with a spouse in the public eye and yet you did it with such LOVE that only a mother could do. First I marveled because you were able to get caught up with all the days and covered it
very well in relatively few words.
Very concise, very objective and very honest & transparent. You did not justify or excuse anyone's actions or negative attributes.

Well done! I can see such fruit!

I only have one question: who's Paul Harvey?
Y para tu hija Lindsey:
¿Cómo estás tú? Me llamo Magi y soy una amiga nueva de tu mamá. Mucho gusto enconocerte. Soy una maestra del español.

Joyfulsister said...

Wow.. you are surely on a journey where I can see such cleansing and growth.
Thank you for allowing us to share this with you, it makes me step back and ponder on a few things I have read. Be blessed as you continue on your journey.

Hugz Lorie

sailorcross said...

In answer to Peggy's question: Paul Harvey was on the radio, and he always had a story--then he would pause before the end and say, "Stay tuned for........the rest of the story".

And my Spanish is not as rusty as I thought since I could read what you wrote to Lindsay!!

Denise said...

Amazing love, that is what I see here.