Often times I find myself in mothering like approaching making dinner 30 minutes before it's time to eat. Arguments between siblings as I navigate and the next thing I know I'm stuck in the middle arguing as well.
Why am I arguing about senseless stuff with my four & six year old? Maybe because I too hate losing. But really, when tempers flare and I need my own time out to be the gentle, kind mama I promised to strive to be is when I get an image of later on.
I imagine my girls in their teen years with bigger problems. I imagine them as adults with even bigger problems. And then I imagine our table. I think of the times when I've been critical towards messy hands and "eat with your fork" uttered for the umpteenth times, how will they look back? How will they feel they've been welcomed?
Ultimately, I have a blog on this. I write about this. It keeps me accountable as they can go back and read these ramblings and thus...hold me accountable. I want them to look back and know they were always welcomed despite their choices or their failures. I want them to remember that we are different, but different is not to be feared. I want them to see that our table always had room for brokenness, theirs, mine and others.
These days when a harsh word is spoken, or blame is being cast, you might hear my mantra, "Choose Kindness. Choose Love." I say it over and over, because it is a choice. As is being a "principled" person.
This life hands us many things outside of our control, but there is one thing we have control over. We get to choose our response. To say our last year has been tumultuous is quite the understatement as we navigate more with our oldest and how we look as a family on the other end. But, in spite of it all, I choose kindness, I choose love.
I choose these for our family, for our table as they reflect a God who chooses those every.single.second. And so when Tay is treated poorly on the preschool playground, and then she chooses to be kind to that little girl instead of strife...I say, "I'm impressed with the way you chose kindness, because that's Jesus."
Let's choose kindness. Let's choose love.