Tuesday, February 5, 2013


"One guiding truth about life is that what you offer to others, you strengthen within yourself." 
Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D.

We had a few difficult days last month, Sophie and I.  She was testing limits and boundaries and I was tired.  I browsed our bookshelf one night before bed and gathered a few parenting books we have.  I set them beside our bed.  Finally, this morning, when our house was quiet...and Sophie's episode is temporarily over...I picked up a favorite- I Love You Rituals.

I followed the instructions found on page 6:
"Stop reading this book for a moment.  Think about your children and how much you love them.  If they are at school or a room nearby, just wish them well.  From your mind and heart, allow the feelings to overflow and send them a silent blast of love."

I am not sure whether my children and husband felt the "blast of love" I sent their way this morning...but I know that I did.  A warmth seemed to fill the room and peace settled in my heart.  I continued reading-

"You offered your children love and security by wishing them well, and you yourself welled up with love.  The same is true when we offer criticism and blame.  When we see what is lacking in others, what they are not doing, and what is wrong with the world, we simultaneously feel lacking.  You cannot go through your day seeing what is wrong and go to bed happy."

I tend to be task oriented.  I am often found reminding my family members what is yet to be done in a day.  I tend to focus on what needs to change or improve.  How much more motivating and happy would we be if the focus shifted to the people we are...the love we share...and the growth we have made?  I want to greet my family today, when they return home from school and work, with love and attention...eyes fixed on one another...ears open...holding hands.  I want to fill the atmosphere with questions instead of commands.  I want home to a place of refuge and a place of love.  This book set me on that path this morning.

photo: taken on the Brooklyn Bridge Jan. 1, 2011


Tebbs Family said...

You described me exactly!! I need to read that book!!! Thanks AGAIN Carin for your example and direction :D

robin said...

Thanks for this post Carin. I have been feeling frustrated with one of my boys for some time over a certain habit and I appreciate reading this today.

dave, catie, and baby b. said...

awesome. this is so great, carin. i am task oriented too and it gets the better of me ALL the time. i find myself caring more about finishing tasks and keeping everyone on task than making sure my family knows i love them...i will definitely change that. thanks for the book recommendation.

Misty said...

That book likes like a great one. I love the quotes from it. Your girls are darling! I love your insights on here and in person (your comment at the end of church Sunday was amazing!). I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing women and mothers, each unique in their own way. I learn so much from all of you!