“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12 (NIV)
Summer is definitely in full swing by now. Maybe your family likes to schedule activities to keep your kids from getting bored, maybe another family has a list of chores that everyone has to complete and then they get free time. Maybe your family takes a more spontaneous approach or maybe you find keeping structure and schedules even in the summertime keeps everyone from mischief.
Whatever style of parenting you choose, I’m pretty sure you have heard, “Moooooom” quite a bit in the last few weeks. Such as, “Mooom, I’m boooored,” or “Moooom, where’s my bathing suit?” or “Moooom, tell Timmy to stop touching me.”
Thinking about how many times I hear, “Mooooom” in a given day, I stopped and thought about why we, as moms (or grandmas) do what we do. Every day we are called upon to be referee, lifeguard, chauffer, cook, nurse, or teacher to name but a few jobs the title “mom” entails. Yet, at the end of the day, we go to bed, only to rise again the next day and do it all over again.
I had to stop and think why??? Unconditional love. Devotion to our family. Commitment to raising other human beings the best way we know how. Only love motivates a woman to rock or walk for hours so that her colicky baby is comforted. Only love motivates a woman to get up every hour during the night because those teeth that are pushing through HURT. Love doesn’t mind being thrown up on, cleaning up bathroom floors where children have missed the target, scrubbing muddy shoe prints off kitchen floors, trying to save a baby bird because your child insists you can do it, or spending more time in the car than anywhere else because of your kids’ jobs, sports camps, sleepovers, and dates.
My love for my kids reminded me that my Father loves me as much as I love my kids times infinity. His love for us was what motivated Him to die a gruesome death so that we could choose whether or not to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. His love comforts us through heartaches, brings peace when our life has been turned upside down, and will last for all of eternity.
There is a favorite saying in our house: “There is nothing you can do to make me love you more, and there is nothing you can do that will make me love you less.” To imagine that God feels that for me to a greater degree than I could ever feel it for my children.
Maybe the next time you hear “Mooooom” this summer, it will bring a smile to your face. Not only will it remind you of the precious blessings God placed under your care, but maybe, just maybe it will remind you who loved you first! And because of His love for you, maybe that will make cleaning melted crayon off your car seats a little bit easier.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014