when you sit down with him to work through some hard stuff because attitudes flying and hearts exploding is most definitely an indicator of hard stuff being locked up inside. when you ask him about his attitude and he claims he doesn't know, doesn't have a problem, but it's written all over the wall so you persist. when the conversation elevates and there are tears and hugs and truth.

when working through hard stuff with your kids ends with you asking for forgiveness because sometimes all their hard stuff is your mirror and you see in them all your failures and going backward through time and memories to pay attention now to the failures you ignored then, saying out loud that you want to be better at love and saying out loud that you've been selfish for years past is hard but reaps almost immediate benefits. because those words, i'm sorry for..., open. they open floodgates of tears and open hearts to receive and open ears to understanding and open lives to one another. and that is the one thing you keep hearing through all the days...care for one another, care and be available. you don't need to push yourself on people or offer them things they don't want, you just need to care and be available.

because you are still learning that caring and loving and being find their foundation in forgiveness. when you don't have to be always right, do always right, think perfectly. just walk in the way that is right by saying out loud that you have made mistakes, take forgiveness, and forgive everyone else.

when forgiveness is risky and exhausting. because saying out loud how awful i can be has the potential to take everything i have and leave me dead on the ground. and because accepting someone else's awfulness can potentially leave you bruised beyond recognition. but every, every, every time this dying is the beginning of real life.

let love and faithfulness never leave you. bind them around your neck write them on the tablet of your heart