Thursday, April 1, 2010

Great Cathedrals

"Our words, like a chisel, are building our children." The comparison of our children to the great cathedrals in Europe by Nicole Johnson in her sketch at the Hearts at Home conference really created a strong mental image for me.

She talked about the fact that so often, we as moms, feel invisible. Our husband will mention that there is no butter on the table and the butter magically appears as though there is a butter fairy. We tell our children over and over again to pick up their toys but it is as though no one can hear us. As she tied this in with the fact that the builders of the great cathedrals are unknown, I found myself nodding my head. "God sees you and the work that you do," she reminded us. "We are building great cathedrals and if we build them well, God may be able to live in them someday."

My children are great cathedrals that I have the privilege of building. My yelling and criticisms are doing the exact opposite of building - they do nothing but tear down. I went home with a determination to change. I returned home to my sleeping girls and shared some of what I had learned with my husband before going to bed myself.

The next morning, my oldest daughter came downstairs a little later than usual due to the "spring ahead" time change. Feeling rejuvenated from the conference and time away, I welcomed her hug and cherished it a little more than usual. My husband chose that moment to hurry her along because they were going to be late.

My initial response was, "Good grief! She just wants to give her mom a hug. She hasn't seen me the last couple of days and you are rushing her away. It won't kill you to leave 5 minutes late. All you need to do is actually drive the speed limit and you'll be there on time!" (I had just told him in a fight - although one-sided - that he drove like a grandpa the week prior.)

"That wasn't nice," he responded calmly.

"YOU'RE RIGHT!" I geared up for another barrage of poorly chosen words to throw at my husband but found God stopping me. "...that wasn't nice." I decided to utilize a little self-control. (I believe self-control is really an oxymoron because I have no control over it. Self-control only works when I allow the Holy Spirit to control me.)

Nikelle chose this moment to comment. "Mommy, are you trying to control your temper?" I believe that this was God's way of affirming that this is the path I should be on. I wanted to celebrate and yell, "Thanks for noticing, baby!"

The kids are watching me all the time. When I hear them talk disrespectfully to their dad, it is only because they are imitating my disrespect. I need to remember that it's not when I yell the loudest that I am heard the most clearly. It's in the day-to-day moments that they hear me most.

"Invisibility is Love's greatest costume given only to its choicest of servants." Nicole Johnson finished. "Wear it well."

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