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Negativity Bias

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ~Abraham Lincoln


Today has been a good day.  I was able to sleep a little bit longer and woke up more reseted than usual.  I was greeted by my two older boys who had played nicely on their own for almost an hour (a true rarity). I took a leisurely walk with my son as we headed to school.  I was able to spend time thinking about our church’s future with a new employee.  I connected with a colleague at the presbytery level as we planned to send out resources to other churches.  I was able to get some work done while my little one took a nap… it has been a good day.

What is interesting is that I could just as easily say that today has been a rough day.  I woke up 45 minutes late because my clock wasn’t set right.  I was met by a mess downstairs where the boys has been building a fort.  I got my oldest to school just as the bell rang because we got sidetracked by every bug and mark on the sidewalk we encountered along the way.  I wasn’t able to get anything on my list of to-dos accomplished while I was in the office…

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Strive to Love


Loving my children is easy.  I didn’t say that parenting my children is easy, far from it, but LOVING them is like breathing- it is essential to my life and effortless. The moment I found out I was pregnant with each of them it seemed that my capacity to love multiplied.  When they were born, in that instant I knew that the love I had for them was limitless.  Loving them is easy.

Yet even as I write those words, I can in the same stroke say that loving my children is one of the hardest things to do as well.  My heart is overfull with love, but expressing that love in actions that empower them, encourage them, direct them, and accept them is extraordinarily challenging.  There hasn’t been a moment in any day since I have become a mother that I haven’t excelled at the deep unconditional love element— but there have been countless moments of each of those days that I have missed the mark on the perfect embodiment of that love.  It is easy to get overwhelmed when messes are abundant, shoes are always misplaced, whining is at an all time high, and tantrums seem to be never ending.  In the midst of all of that chaos it is hard to consciously choose actions that convey love instead of frustration. The words for 1 Corinthians 14:1 offer grace and inspiration, “Strive to Love.”  The word choice of “strive” acknowledges the challenge that embodying love can be at times.  

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