My P is a kind, sensitive child, but he is very easily distracted. As a result, I frequently find myself redirecting him. Sunday was a particularly challenging afternoon. Each chore took him much longer than it should and manners were not even remotely on his radar screen during dinner. I felt like a real nag. I could sense that he was feeling a little down.
As I was tucking him in at bedtime, I looked right in his little face and said something that I honestly thought could go without saying.
"Hey, do you know that I love you as much as my heart can love?"
"Yes," he grinned sweetly.
"Did you know that whether you forget everything or remember everything doesn't make a difference to my heart? I love you just the same."
A big wide smile spread across his face as he replied, "I didn't know that part... but now I do."
My first reaction was bittersweet.
Uggghh. My fragile Mama heart hurt a little. How did he not know that? I tell him all the time how much I love him--had my actions sent a different message? Even as I know I need to teach him life skills like using a fork and not dining like a cave man, I was disappointed in myself.
As I walked out of his room a little voice whispered to my heart.
"...but you told him and now he knows. Don't forget to keep telling them how you love them. Nag them with that the way you nag about other less important things."
It was a reminder to me that we can tell our kids (or other people in our lives) how we feel--that they are loved, valued and accepted-- but sometimes our actions and life in general require that we tell them again and again.
We learn as we go and I find myself feeling a bit like P. I am easily distracted. I need reminding. And when God sweetly reiterates His unconditional love (regardless of my performance) it brings me great joy.
We all need reminding.