There are many things in life that just aren't easy. Parenting is one of them! Along with loving difficult people. The following words spoke to me, reminding me to be patient and loving, along with giving thanks for having the honor to raise children.
By Mary Southerland (www.girlfriendsingod.com)
you noticed that sandpaper people are usually needy people? I have
discovered that irritating behavior is often nothing more than a plea
for help in disguise. True love - God’s love - looks beyond abrasive
behavior to see and meet the real needs of a difficult person.
Meeting a need in the life of a sandpaper person can be messy and
usually demands a sacrifice of some kind on our part. It is easier to
simply placate or avoid difficult people than it is to love them the way
they need to be loved. It makes our life easier. For example, when we
see that sandpaper person coming, we turn around and head in the
opposite direction. When the caller ID identifies our sandpaper person
as the caller, we do not answer. Hurried conversations replace a
listening heart. We offer tolerance instead of acceptance. And God is
not pleased. He is committed to our character - not to our comfort.
God wants us to love each other in the same way that He loves –
unconditionally. In fact, God wants us to love in such a way that the
people around us will know we are fully devoted followers of Christ. I
wonder what our relationships would look like if we did. Who knows? That
sandpaper person may very well turn into a velvet person."
I've been blessed with 4 kids --- a set of twin daughters who are 20, a son that's14, and an 11 year old daughter. My husband is crazy enough to want to add more kids to the bunch... bless his heart. He has a pretty big one (I am lucky!!). So, as I continue to accept the reality of adding more to the clan, with a teen and pre-teen already in tow, I will just keep remembering that I am able. Parenting is not for the faint hearted... well, effective parenting anyway.
The picture reminds me just how precious we all really are --- everyone just wants to be loved and accepted. So, I am committed to doing my part, as a parent and able-minded human on this Earth, until I am called Home.