Wednesday, May 09, 2007

1 Corinithians 13 for Moms

Happy Mother's Day!

I can read “Good Night Moon” a hundred times and bring 10 drinks of water at bed time but if I don't have love, I'm as annoying as the “Star Wars” ring tone my 10 year old downloaded on his cell phone.

I can shampoo a kindergartner’s head, while texting my husband and doing a ‘double take’ at the power bill but if I don't have love, I am nothing.

I can figure out a thousand algebra problems (actually… no I can’t) But if I could and didn’t have love I’d be useless.

Love is patient when my youngest says, “Why is it Mothers Day again? When is it ever going to be kids day?” (!)
Love is kind even when my oldest isn't.
It doesn't envy the leisure time of someone with no children.
It doesn't boast about my super cute kids.
It isn’t rude when someone innocently says, “You look tired today.”
It’s not self seeking even when… I actually do feel tired today.

It's not easily angered when everything in the house breaks down at the same time.
It keeps no record of how many times I’ve picked up the dirty towel vs. how many times everyone else has picked up the dirty towel.

Love doesn't delight in evil when I remind my husband to come to a full stop at the stop sign but rejoices in the truth when he attends driving school.

It always protects my children’s self-worth. It always trusts that if I train them well they won’t depart from it. It always hopes the best for them. And in spite of laundry baskets full of un-matching socks, peanut butter on door handles, and pet rodents dying it always perseveres.

Love keeps going… and going… and going…

But where there are memories of sleepless nights with sick children… they will fade away.
Where there is an endless supply of change bouncing in the dryer... it will be gone.
Where there are basketball prints on the ceiling... they'll be painted over.
(And where there's a child who can’t figure out why “Mom never finishes a complete sentence”… there will one day be an adult who says, “Oohh, now I get it.”)

For I know there are times when I just don’t feel like I’m a ‘good’ mom… the thought clings to me like a wet snowflake in late winter… But it won’t be long before the warmth of spring melts the feeling away and I’ll be convinced that I absolutely loved the best I possibly could have.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

(I adapted this idea from an article reproduced in Joyful Noiseletter, May 2004. 1 Corinthians 13 for Moms was apparently first printed as The Story of Encouragement, an e-newsletter.)

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