I Love You More

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31638_397287752701_2118307_nLast summer, our family was going through a difficult time.  My oldest daughter (then 16) just had a very extensive knee surgery, far more difficult than we expected. Our son (2) was going through a lot of behavior changes and having difficulty sleeping, obeying, responding when called, and the like. My other children were just fine, but the weeks were very long and hard. My frustration with my son was growing with each passing day. I would wake up more exhausted when I went to bed because he kept getting up at night. He woke several times each night screaming, crying, fussing, wandering the house, or whatever a two year old mind can think of to do when all the lights are out and everyone else is trying trying to sleep.  I am very consistent with the discipline of my children and I was searching and praying or answers, solutions and quick fixes. The Lord had something else in mind for me.

One night at 1:30 AM when he was up crying, rather than just sending him back to his bed, I went to his room and just rocked him and held him. As I looked in his sweet little face, I realized that I was putting my desire for a full night of sleep ahead of my precious son. I looked him in the face and told that little baby, “I will stay here and rock you all night if it helps you feel better. I love you more than I love a full night of sleep.” I rocked him for over an hour. As I sat and prayed about this child and my own selfish behavior, I was reminded of another home school family who just lost their own precious son (18) to cancer. I know his mother would gladly give up her nights of sleep for every night if she had the chance to hold her son again. I had to repent to my son and to the Lord.

The next day, when I called his name he ran the other way. Instead of being frustrated, I did the right thing. I got up and went to him and reminded him that when I call his name, he was to come to mommy right away. As I did it, I said in my mind, “I love you more than I love sitting in my chair,” and I prayed for the Lord to make it so. He did.

That week I was visiting at another mom’s house, he ran from me in the opposite direction, and headed around the house. I had to stop my conversation to go fetch and correct him, but the whole way, I could hear the Lord saying: “You love him more than what these other mom’s think, more than you love standing here and chatting, and more than having your dream of a perfectly well behaved child. ”

Throughout my days I have been examining my own heart and all the little annoyances have faded as I look at each one and remind myself that I love these four children more than I love the dream of perfectly behaved children who never interrupt adults, make messes, argue with siblings, or embarrass me from time to time. Praise God, I really do love them more.

I also realized I love the LORD more than I love a perfect house, a perfect car, all the laundry folded, the perfect hot meal on glass dishes on a table set with starched white linens. I can put those things aside temporarily to pursue my Savior in prayer and Bible reading. While all the normal tasks of homemaking must be done, and done to the best of my ability, I was sometimes forgetting that my loving Savior was there to walk me through it all, if only I took the time to seek Him.

I know some of you struggle with some of the daily tasks of motherhood and home schooling. I know children can be frustrating and tiring, but I pray that my struggle will help you look at your precious children and husband, and instead of comparing them to your ideal vision, the Lord will give you a heart to say….”I love you more than this.”

12 Comments

  1. I am visiting your website for the first time after hearing about it today via Trivium Pursuit. Of course, I’ve been going through your wonderful stuff for hours now (on and off!) and now I’ve come to this article and I just had to stop and leave a comment. I thank you and the Lord for this so perfectly stated article. It is just what I needed to hear precisely now. I was having similar feelings about all that you mention and reading it now solidifies just how simple it really is. We have five beautiful blessings ranging in ages 9, 7, 4, almost 2 and also a precious newborn 2 months. Between a challenging pregnancy and trying to get back on track after the birth your website has been just the encouragement I needed. Many blessings to you and your family!

  2. Thank you so much for your kind note. I am so glad that our site has encouraged you. I was so thankful for the Lord revealing his message to me so clearly that night. It has been about six months since I wrote that post to our homeschool group here in Louisville and I was urged to share it here. I still hear that voice daily reminding me of what I love more. It really has helped during those tough times. My children have read this post, and I often hear THEM now saying: I love (sibling name)more than I love ______ (whatever toy). That has really blessed this mother’s heart! If I had carried on my selfish thoughts, I know that is what I would be hearing instead. Come back and visit us soon!

  3. I loved your article about loving your child. It makes me feel bad for rushing my kids off to bed so I could spend time with my computer!

  4. Oh, Deborah! I hear what you are saying. We do get caught up in just selfishly wanting to get some downtime, don’t we? I know the temptation is strong to put them off to bed, or park them in front of the television, but their time with us is so short and precious. Do not beat yourself up over it. Take the time to tape a note on your computer that says something like, ” I love them more”, so that you will be reminded of that throughout the day. Praise God you really do love them more than the computer, but these little habits of ours grow until we accept them as normal, forgetting that one day we will be tugging them away from the computer, IPOD, TV, etc and asking them why it is all they want to do. Love those babies! Thank you so much for writng.

  5. Hi Malia,
    Thank you for submitting and being a part of the Creative Homeschool Blog Carnival. Your article is fantastic. My daughter has switched her sleeping habits and I know that pushing against it has not worked in the past, so I have given the situation some latitude. I realize from your article that I love her more than the perfect bedtime according to others, or what others would think. Thank you very much for your sharing.
    Peace and Blessings,
    Tracey

  6. Wow! What a beautiful and insightful post.

  7. I needed the encouragement I received from this article today. Thank you for this reminder. Bless you much!

  8. Hello Malia,

    Your blog post just showed up for me and though its from earlier this year I wanted to say hello. I love how intentional you are when you say”I Love you more…”, “I love the Lord more…” “And the Lord loves me more…”. I have written a book called “I Love You More” that you might like to check out. It was an answer to a prayer and is a story of love shared between a mother and son. Though, one day while driving and listening to a tape of a Sunday service I heard a message from Spirit tell me that it our books message truly is an expression of love between Creator and Child and that if we truly understood/experienced just how loved we truly are anything would be possible!

    Have a bright and blessed lifetime!
    Keep Shining!
    Laura Duksta
    author, New York Times Bestseller, I Love You More

  9. This is a great post! Very uplifting and encouraging!

    Linda B.

  10. Thanks for joining us! Your article is wonderful. I love reading all the Mondays on Mothering posts!

    Amy B

  11. Malia, I came over from Mondays on Mothering, though I “know” you from Cindy Rushton’s site. Your post is just what I’ve been dealing with, too. That is, what God’s been dealing with me on! This is a good time learning and growing; I can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Blessings, Danielle Hull

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 115th Carnival of Homeschooling: Oh, The Things That You'll Do! | Janice Campbell - [...] when we homeschool! Malia Russell shares a critically important insight on loving our children in I Love You More…
  2. Carnival of Pregnancy and Family - 1st Edition - [...] Russell presents I Love You More from Homemaking 911 posted at Homemaking [...]
  3. Weekend Kindness » Godly Family - April 30, 2008 - [...] Russell presents I Love You More from Homemaking 911 posted at Homemaking [...]

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