A friend of ours is a writer. He is doing a piece on Love and asked Toby and I to contribute our own perspectives on: What is Love? Getting this question posed to us at this season of Christmas has been a true blessing because it has allowed us to see the connections between the love we have as parents and the love shown by God at Christmas. So here goes my shot at the question… summing it up in two main truths.
LOVE IS… Saying Yes to the Mess
Do you remember the Velveteen Rabbit? When the worn and torn up plush bunny realizes that being loved means being a little shabby. Well, in the story of Christmas, God shows up with Love in Hand the shabbiest of places. He chooses a simple young girl to be his vessel to house His Saving Son. This child arrives into a sticky and messy situation with a confused husband-to-be and questions all around. And of course that manger scene… It couldn’t be more messy. All these things were God’s version of true love. It was one giant mess of a situation, but Mary said YES to it. I wonder sometimes: How did she do it? She must have turned her focus on the little bundle of LOVE that sat right smack dab in the middle of it in order to get through. She did not focus on the dirt and the crowded stable, she had to focus on what mattered most and that was the LOVE and her faith in God’s support along the way.
Raising children is a messy business. Sticky table tops, crunched up pieces of cookie on the floor of your car. Just think about what your Christmas morning living room will look like… not to mention all the messy sibling squabbles you are going to have to deal with over the next few weeks of break and what about all the sick kids at your house…
OH THE MESS!!!
But here’s the deal: You’ve said YES to all this. You’ve made the choice to enter into the messiest of lives and if you can do it with joy and peace and understanding it can be the greatest version of love. Hang tight through the mess letting it go a little. Try focussing on the love that sits right smack dab in the middle of it… and keep in mind they are growing and learning and need your support along the way.
LOVE IS … A Constant that cannot be undone
Just like the Veleteen Rabbit learned once your real you will always be real. Once Love shows up it does not shift or change. God again shows us this through Christmas. There is no give and take of HIS love… it is all give and we continue to be the recipient of this love year after year no matter what… NO MATTER WHAT! That little phrase means so much and helps to show LOVE in that steady constant stream that does not ebb or flow with negative or positive emotion but stays the course and never ends.
This kind of love is the same we have for our own children. Yes of course there are behaviors and situations surrounding our children that we cannot stand but the LOVE part… it stays steady. You cannot change it. It isn’t an emotion that runs high or low depending on the moment. It is long living, never changing and just there… NO MATTER WHAT. Knowing this helps us keep our emotions at bay and helps us to deal more matter of factly with the ups and downs that come our way.
So that’s it…Love is a Constant and Love is a Mess…
You might be saying… “Love is a Constant Mess”.
I say, “I’ll take it!”
Although things will shift from toddlers with sticky fingers to teen-agers with sticky situations the mess goes on. I will keep steady keeping my emotions in check and knowing that I love them no matter what just as God has shown me His LOVE through the gifts of Christmas that go on and on.
Through my family’s growing years, my house will not be perfectly clean, my bank account will not be overflowing, and my nights will be a little more sleepless. These things shall pass and I will survive. But the steady stream of LOVE and LEARNING that we pass on to our children will go on and on reaching into the far depths of our family’s future.
Know that Child in Bloom is constantly here to help you as you work through your family’s growing years. Don’t go it alone… contact Child in Bloom to get the support you need and make the most of your mess 🙂