It was a good day and I went to bed fulfilled and satisfied. Their little love tanks must be full. Things are going to be good. Being a mom was so much fun today.
And then Tuesday happened.
The first words out of my oldest's mouth were, "Hannah hit me." It just went downhill from there. Shuffling feet, angry words, rejected breakfasts. What has happened to my children? How can I put them to bed one way and have them wake up completely different people?
I was mad. I was grumpy. I grumbled while I ate breakfast. I grumbled while I did my quiet time. I grumbled while reading SDG blogs (I hope that didn't spill over into the comments, ladies). I grumbled until I was 8.5 miles into my 10 mile run.
And what did you cultivate this morning?
A particularly painful question because this happened on January 3rd. Yes, only 3 day into my new word and, um, clearly I was failing. But instead of arguing, I just listened. Paraphrased, this is about what He said to me:
You reacted to their mood. You were so focused on getting them to be respectful in that moment, so focused on getting them ready for school, so focused on what it felt like to wake up to completely different kids, that you missed the opportunity to cultivate a different environment for them. You contributed to the grumpiness. You did not cultivate an environment in which they might want to change. Grumpiness begets grumpiness. You cultivated more grumpiness.
Yes, He does have to repeat Himself with me sometimes to get His point across. But I did get it. The environment that I want to cultivate for my family has to have time to grow, to really take root. At the same time, some of the old behaviors need to be uprooted (hence the conversation I had with God this morning). If God didn't point out the weeds, I wouldn't have the space for the fruit.
I'm learning that cultivation is not just bringing in newness to spaces, but it's also about de-cluttering. And with any job I want to do well, it takes time. It takes not rushing. It takes being intentional. It takes being willing to bend and extend grace and realize my part in it.
The kids came home from school and I started using my word in conversation with them. So far, I've just been asking them if their actions cultivate love. Right now, I'll admit -- it's a bit more for me than it is for them. I have to say my word out loud a lot in order to keep the goal in front. But, I'm really hoping that one day, they'll start using the word, too, calling me on my actions and words.
"Mommy, are you cultivating love?"
In so, they will be a part of the uprooting and the sowing, the weeding and the nurturing.
Hopefully, when that day comes, I won't be so grumpy.
What about you? How do you cultivate an environment of love in your house? How do you climb out of your own funks so that you don't react, but instead, rebuild?
Linking with Jennifer at Getting Down with Jesus.