Monday, August 15, 2011

Sibling Squabbling

"Yet I will show love...I will save them—
not by bow, sword or battle...
but by the LORD their God.”
Hosea 1:7 
(Camp of The Woods - 2009 Carnival)

Wanting to soak in all the joys of summer, in the spring I prayed for long, slow summer days. Indeed, we have enjoyed the summer's blessings of family, friends, vacation, lazy days and toes splashed in waters of pools, lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. As July's final curtain call took center stage, I covered my eyes to the turning pages of the calendar showing August on the horizon. Surely the arrival of August means September is fast on her heals.  September ushers in the end of summer break. And I don't want summer to end.

But the siblings are starting to pick at each other a bit now.  Literally, a poke here and a poke there. A poke.  A scream. A becoming-frazzled mom. A summer break starting to set like the evening sun while a new school year dares to peak over the horizon.

Truth be told, the cherubs have done very well together all summer.  Jim and I delighted in how they have been lovingly playing together, enjoying each other's friends, serving the Lord in new ways together, building puzzles together, learning new things together, doing morning devotions and cheering one another on during their special summer activities.

But, like an expectant mom rubbing her over-stretched belly during the ninth month of pregnancy, the increased sibling squabbling is signaling to me that it is almost time. Time for summer break to come to a close and the new school year to begin soon.   I don't need the calendar to tell me that.  For the first time the other day, during a sibling squabble, I had the thought:  "It must be the middle of August...the siblings are squabbling...again!!"

They love each other dearly and care for one another deeply.  I'd like to think when they squabble with other it is because they know each other is a "safe place" for their transparency.  That may be true, but I can't sugarcoat it.  They squabble because they are little sinners.  Cute, adorable, precious, saved-by-His-grace sinners.  And when their squabbling heightens to a more frequent pace this time of year, it's a sure sign that summer break is nearing its end. 

So I am writing on the chalkboards of their hearts: "Yet I will show love..." (Hosea 1:7) That is what I want to teach them and model for them as their parent. When they get on each other's nerves, "Yet I will show love".  When both want their own way, "Yet I will show love".  When crankiness oversteps gentleness, "Yet I will show love".  That's what saves us from ourselves - God's love.  Not bow or sword or battle -- not pokes or screams or taunts.  The Lord's Love.

I am praying this momma reflects His love to them as summer closes and the birth pangs of a necessary new school year frequent themselves in our home.  Yet I will show love.  As we savor the sweetness of the last few weeks of summer and feel the warm afterglow of the season's memories, that's the prayer I want to quiet our hearts as a family.  Yet I will show love. "Yet I will show love...I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle...but by the LORD their God.” Hosea 1:7

"Hatred stirs up dissension,
but love covers over all wrongs."
Proverbs 10:12
"Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers over a multitude of sins."
1 Peter 4:8


Kelly Combs said...

we're having the squabbling too!*But* we are leaving for vacation next week, so I am so excited about that!

School starts here Sept 6, so we have a few more weeks of summer left, plus a birthday later this week for my "G" girl.

See you!

Heather said...

Beautifully written! Truly a sweet sweet post. Love the is amazing how much younger the cherubs look in those pictures...sigh.

Enjoy the days of toes in the sand! Don't you wish you could keep them in a bottle?


kidletsgrammy said...

Ahhh, friend, great scripture to apply to dealing with so many relationships! Underscores perfectly where He is instructing my heart this month as well. Life's changes can unsettle and rattle emotions, explode status quo, shatter well-laid plans and expose all the "weeds" in our hearts God wants to free us from. Knowing how faithful and patient He is with US frees us to then show His love...even when we don't always feel loving, or even lovable. Funny, when He supernaturally enables me to show His love, the supernatural joy and peace floods over ALL!