I saw this quote the other day posted on Facebook from the homeschool curriculum that I use, Oak Meadow. It really resonated with me, and I have been thinking about several things revolving around this very thing.
What constitutes raising "strong" children?
I came from a wonderful family. We had our full share of heartache and loss. But my parents endured and raised us all in a loving and fun home. I have an older sister and a younger brother. I feel we were raised all the same. But if you talk to my sister she would not agree with this statement but my brother would. My sister has estranged her entire family because she has no compassion. The lessons in my life and my brother's life were used to make us stronger and love more but they made her close her heart off. I feel so sad to be home and not be able to see or talk to my sister. This is the second year of coming home that it has been this way. This is harder to talk about for me than even talking about the affair. It feels like a betrayal right to the root of your being.
Everyone has a choice to perceive things differently. I have learned that not everyone wants to be good or great or loving and kind. We all have a choice. Some people like my sister cut their heart out of their chest so they don't have to feel.
I hope that my girls are able to learn and grow in love to be strong adults instead of broken. I pray that the heartaches that we caused my older two girls don't scar them. I remember during that awful time of our life after the affair Georgia asked why we didn't love each other anymore. It broke our hearts. I'm not even really sure how much they remember of that insanity. I hope that we didn't screw things up for them. Andy and I decided to do the work and be the couple and the parent's that we knew we could be. We are more in love than ever and I believe that my girls know it too. Sophia who I thought was too young to even remember asked me about a year ago if I remember when I used to be so sad. My heart dropped. I told her that I did remember and that I decided to love more and heal myself so I could be the best for all of them and me. She said that she was so glad that I got better. I want them to see these lessons as a gift to them and not as a reason to close their own hearts.
I am reminded of a story I saw or read somewhere after the affair that just stuck with me. A daughter lost her parents after she was an adult. She was reminiscing about the way they were together when she was younger. She remembered how much her father adored her mother. She remembered how many comments and remarks that her mother made to belittle his love for her. The daughter realized when she got older that he had betrayed her when they were very little but her father had made amends. He loved her mother more and more as they grew older. The kids found a box that her father always kept with his stuff to find countless photos that their father had taken of their mother through the years. They were simple pictures of her doing housework, reading a book, sleeping, etc., just little things of how he loved her. It overwhelmed the daughter with love because she wished and hoped that her mother could have seen through their eyes how much their father adored and loved their mother.
This true story that I retold really hit home for me when I read it years ago when I was struggling with believing and seeing the same thing. I decided to forgive and love more. But every now and then I used to make those comments. Even today it still comes up in conversation. I don't want it to be some secret or forgotten years of my life but I choose not to let it be a weapon in our life. I decided that after reading this story. You
Have to be careful with your words. You have to believe in love. You have to let yourself be loved and love in return.
I pray that we are raising strong girls with open, loving hearts. I pray that they choose to learn and grow and see all sides of the truth. I hope that life's lessons don't harden them but help them to give more and love more. I pray that they are happy and allow themselves to be loved. I also pray for my sister to open up her heart and to feel it all even though she feels it might kill her. I know that it will actually grow bigger and love more if she only would. I lift these words up!