I will be kind

Mornings are not my best times, but they’re hard to avoid with two small children. Children who are A.W.A.K.E. before 7am. Children who jump and scream and turn on all the water faucets as soon as their eyes open. Children who want to eat immediately. Mornings – in the best of circumstances – make me grumpy.

Today’s confession is probably a repeat, but I find it necessary in some cases. Mornings being one of them.

I will be kind.

Lots of people know the part of scripture that says, “Love is patient and kind, love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude” (1 Corinthians 13:4). And a lot of people correctly substitute Jesus’ name in place of the word ‘love.’ Jesus is patient and kind. Jesus is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. But how often do we associate these words with our own actions?

Today, when my littles spray water on the dog and on each other, when they refuse to eat what I’ve prepared for them (what they’ve ASKED for), and when they run from me with something I desperately need, I will say today’s confession in my head. Then I will say it out loud. I will be kind because love is kind, because Jesus is kind, and because it’s good for my spirit. And after I say it out loud, I will chase my littles down and…

I will hug them.

What will you do today?

God’s thoughts toward me are kind

When I was younger, my mind seemed much more organized. I could multi-task fairly well and hold a thought for longer than thirty seconds. That all changed when I had children.

After each of my littles was born, it felt like my mind was caught in the dangerous edges of a cyclone. Whipping, spinning, wild and unruly. I couldn’t grasp the simplest thing. If someone asked me what I was thinking, I was just as likely to tell them I couldn’t remember as to offer some pitiful thread of consciousness. I’m so thankful God brought me out of that. And I’m thankful for today’s confession because it illustrates the greatness of this God who loves us and calls us to Himself.

God’s thoughts toward me are kind.

Psalm 40:5 tells us that His works are wonderful. In the next sentence, we learn that His thoughts toward us are too many to be numbered. Doesn’t it follow, then, that His many thoughts toward us are wonderful? Doesn’t it also make sense that He would send His Son to die for us only if His thoughts toward us are kind?

I’ve been thinking the last few days about Valentine’s day and what it means to me, a very silly, romantic-type girl who is married to a very logical, un-romantic-type man. In a nutshell, it means I can plan my own gift if I want one and he doesn’t even realize February 14th is marked in red and pink. But God is the ultimate love. He is patient, forgiving, and just. His gifts and His call can never be removed. His love is everlasting. And His thoughts toward me are kind.

Will you include God, the ultimate love, in your Valentine’s day plans?

I will speak kind words

Occasionally, I get a glimpse of myself that closely resembles Godzilla. Screaming, gnashing of teeth, breathing fire. I’m sure this is what my littles see when I’ve asked them twelve times to get their socks and shoes on, and that thirteenth time, that most unlucky time, I lose all self-control.

Screaming. Gnashing. Fire. Not pretty.

A friend told me recently about memories of her now deceased mother. They included a few kind moments, but overall she remembered being told how she was trouble, too much work, in the way, and on and on. It affected her for many years. As she told the story, I saw myself and my littles. And I cringe as I write this.

There’s no getting around it. As much as we love them, kids are hard work. And as I admitted yesterday, I am incredibly selfish. The two character traits don’t mix well. Downhearted and quite convicted, I turn to my Bible for some strength and truth. I find this:

It is better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. Proverbs 25:24

Well, that made me feel much better. My family would be better off living in a very small, dusty, dark space than to live with my meanness. I agree, but I don’t want to be this way. I keep looking.

The tongue can bring death or life. Proverbs 18:21a

I’m on a roll. Seems God it telling me something. Words are a powerful thing, and perhaps I haven’t been using mine the way He desires. One more piece of Scripture seals it:

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24

Now that’s something I can work with. What kid doesn’t like honey? So, today’s confession is revealed:

I will speak kind words.

This is a beautiful confession for every day, and it’s supported by the other verses in Proverbs 18 and 25. When my biggest little resists instruction, or my littlest little won’t sit still for anything, I will speak kind words. I feel better already.

Can you see yourself in today’s confession?

God showers me in kindness

The birth of a Savior is an incredible thing, isn’t it? Freedom, grace, mercy, and the chance at eternal life in Paradise is the kindest gift we can ever imagine. With Jesus, “He has showered his kindness on us” (Ephesians 1:8). But as usual, He didn’t stop there. Even with the pressures of life beating us down, we can speak today’s confession with certainty.

God showers me in kindness.

Sometimes God’s kindness is so intense that we’re forced in our humanness to ask Him to ease up. I think of the incredible generosity shown in the TV series Extreme Makeover Home Edition and I know those gifts ultimately come from God. Sure, Ty Pennington seems to be in charge of everything, but every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17). Ty and his crew are simply the go-betweens.

I’m also reminded of the story of a man imprisoned and severely beaten. I don’t remember his crime, but as he lay in his cell, broken, bleeding, and praying, God showered His love and kindness on the man. It was so intense that the man had to beg God to stop. In his finite body, God’s infinite love became too much to bear.

It’s rare to experience this intensity. And what I’ve seen is that to know this level of love is to also know the opposite. Overwhelming pain, loneliness, and brokenness make us believe God is not there, His love is not ours, and He is far away and uncaring. Then, just when life is darkest, God’s light shines brightest. We are raised from the dead, healed of our afflictions, opened to supernatural things, and we become the go-betweens. He uses us to shower His love and kindness on others, which is still another kindness!

Have you had a real-life experience of God’s kindness? I’d love to hear it!