I have been asking the Lord for more love. And that asking may sound more like pleading.
On Sunday I was so overwhelmed by my inability, by the huge gap between the amount of love I need to parent Ezra well and the amount of love I actually have. I have known for years that I'm not a great lover: I love much, but not very well. You can ask my Mr. Muenich sometime when he's feeling particularly honest. Oh, he probably wouldn't say, but it's still true.
I was reading in Romans:
"Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in love.
Honor one another above yourselves."
Oh, the line breaks are mine. I just like how short and to the point these sentences are. And this verse has been running laps in my head for a few weeks. Sometimes it gets used by my mean person to condemn me, but more often I hear the Holy Spirit saying, "this is what I want. This is the love you need."
And I was just so overwhelmed by my lack, I was begging the Lord for the sake of this child He's allowed me to parent (and also for my poor, dear, long-suffering husband), to increase the quality of my love. That it would honor my child and my husband above me. That it would be devoted to them and not devoted to my selfish desires. I know it's possible to not lose your cool even after the twentieth tantrum of the day because God never yells in frustration (though, to be fair, I don't bite God and then laugh when it hurts him). God doesn't get fed up with me, and I am sure I'm frustrating.
So the tears are streaming, I'm journaling, and Mr. S asks what's up (not his exact words). So I show him my journal entry, and he writes back to say I AM growing in love, that he's noticed and been very proud of and encouraged by me.
And it dawns on me: He's in the middle of growing me in love. I'm not "there yet" (because I'm not dead), but that it's happening. What a relief.
It's nice to remember, at the end of the day, that life in the rock tumbler of parenthood may not be pretty or comfortable, but it is an effective agent of sanctification.