Love Never Gives Up

It was late in the evening as I trudged downstairs for the third time after heading up for the night. The kids were finally in bed and though I had been working on laundry for the majority of the day, all of my pajamas were still damp and tumbling around in the dryer. It was a difficult day and seemed to be ending as soggy as it started. I opened the door to find something marginally dry and was immediately transported back to my childhood by the whiff of propane that grazed my face. It was a sweet reminder of where I came from. My childhood is a place that I'd journey back to a million times over if I could. It's where my fondest memories live and where worries seem to lie beyond the blue. The mini time-traveling session I experienced was a reminder that all my sacrifices won't be for naught. My children will remember back to their childhood one day, and though they won't remember me going to sleep in soggy pajamas, they will remember that even on bad days, they received my all, even if my all wasn't very much. 
Childhood is the single most important time period in our lives. As children, we learn how to communicate and that communication is the key to every door. Every child, no matter their life status, will learn about communication. Unfortunately, however, not every child will receive the proper knowledge and training needed to master proper communication. Any parent reading this will recollect a time when your child behaved badly in order to get what they wanted. As a matter of fact, I write this post and am recalling a conversation I had with my daughter just this evening. She had finished dinner and dessert and was complaining that she was still hungry and said she wanted candy. After telling her no, she proceeded to whine. I informed her that acting in that manner will only make me upset and she would end up in trouble. From there, she went on about her evening until an hour later, when she once again complained that her tummy was hungry for candy. This time, I told her she could have carrots or green beans, because if her tummy was still hungry after all the food she just ate, then it needed some healthy veggies.  She didn't like this response and immediately tried to talk me into giving her candy. It's a bit of a power struggle with her and I'll be the first to admit that mastering communication with this tiny tornado is more than a little difficult. She's the child who will badger you until you give in, she's the one who will ask ten different ways until she gets the response she wants, and she's the one who will find loopholes in all the rules. Although I have the deciding vote, I've had to learn that If I want a good relationship with my daughter as she grows older, I have to engage her in two-way communication. I have to hear her, I have to actually listen to her and acknowledge her reasoning (and trust me, she has a reason for EV.ER.Y. thing). Only after I've listened, can I properly assess the situation and respond with wisdom. Listening is validation for her, it validates her feelings, it validates her intelligence, and it tells her that I think she's important. I don't always agree with her, but by hearing her out it tells her that I do value her opinion. My daughter has taught me a lot of things in these few short years, but learning to be a patient listener has probably been the biggest lesson yet. (To be honest, though, I'm still working on this one.) 
Our nation is reeling from the actions taken by grown adults that still haven't learned to take the time and listen to those around them.  The ground is level at the cross, and that means that no matter what my sins are, no matter what your sins are, God died to cover them. So when you see people rioting and looting, instead of calling them names or judging their actions, try and show compassion. These individuals are hurting in ways that some of us will never understand.  Compassion does not condone the sin, it simply shows the sinner that you know their lapse in judgment doesn't define them.
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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