The Sweetest Harvest, day 12 – Love Who You Live With

I grew up 5o something miles west of this little house with imperfect parents who didn’t stay together.  I’ve never doubted their love for me nor the Savior who keeps on giving new life when we think it can’t get any darker.  I gained stepparents who loved me as their own and continue to lavish it on the precious ones that fill this house with light.

I’ve been so blessed.

I’ve put off this post until day 12 because I know the reality that many of you reading may not share a queen bed with anyone.  Separated, divorced?  So many of you, my friends, have honorable husbands who are hundreds of miles away serving proudly for this blessed nation and you’re doing it all.  And with amazing grace.  I’m amazed by you.  

But this is a journey born out of the wells of my heart that I might work harder.  Be stronger.  Love greater.  Because, just like my parents, I am imperfect.  That a God who holds my days would be pleased when I stand in account for that which has been given me.


Raising children is labor intensive.  It can beat up on a marriage in a heartbeat.  And that mate to whom we gave our vow x number of years ago can become the punching bag for everything.  The one who gets our complaints, criticisms, sarcasm.  If we aren’t purposeful, we model a less than God-honoring role of what marriage is designed to be.

So, we are teaching our children how to treat their one day mate!   

Everyone knows a child is a walking sponge.  We try to teach them words and colors and songs and spanish and sign language and scripture before they are old enough to get a library card because it is proven that they learn at an amazing pace at this age.  Their brains are rapidly growing and this is the time of foundational learning.

What if we were more passionate about teaching respect and unconditional love and honor while we have the gift of their constant gaze so young?  If we maximized every opportunity to instill the proper ways of communicating.

Like when the mommy in Big Lots hollered at her 7 year old who had just made friends with my 6 year old in the line.  She fussed and fussed until my baby says in the parking lot with sad eyes, “I don’t think her mommy loves her very much.”  And it was one of the saddest days.

Our minds fill with thoughts that sometimes, should never leave that place.  But we let them roll off our tongue so hastily, don’t we?  And if we just challenge ourselves to be more cautious about flippant words.  That we pick them carefully.  That we quiet ourselves until we can speak love.  I pray this for me.

And for them, that my sons will be turned off by the mean girls.  And the girls who talk them down and show off their sarcasm.  That our daughter will turn the other way at the sound of disrespect from that young boy. And that they wait for someone who shares their First Love.


In our home, my husband and I have committed to these nevers:

Never yell at one another.

Never argue in front of our children.

Never use sarcasm at the expense of the other person.

And these:

Let them see us embrace.  And dance.  And kiss.  And smile at one another for absolutely no reason.  When we’re tired at the table.  In the car during their quiet time when we really know they are watching.  


May we be ever mindful of what we want for our growing children.  They’ll one day fly from here.  These are the days for preparation.  We are growing a HARVEST!!

Your story might read differently, but not without the thread of a Father’s love.  No matter your situation, you are loved.  You are held.  and you have hope.

Modeling a love for the father of your children may be beyond the bounds of possibility right now.  Even still, if you’ve been given a gift of children, you are writing a story.  And may you allow His hand to guide the path it takes.

from the bottom of my heart,



  1. Tracy Smith says:

    I so agree! My husband and I do the same things around our children. If your children see loving, demonstrative parents, then that is what they will be drawn too in a mate. I pray for my childrens future mates all the time! For God to prepare their hearts for thier future spouses! All we want for our children is for them to have a servants heart, and for them to find a mate that is God delivered. Wanting your children to be happy will fall right in line with this if your children grown in the Lord. I have really enjoyed reading this blog…it has brought back to my attention all that I have prayed for over the years. God Bless! By the way, I met your husband many years ago through his cousin Bart Tyler, who is a good friend of mine! Small world!

  2. Wonderful article, thanks ..after many years of a very difficult marriage, with two young sons, I found myself in a spot where I felt I had no other choice than a divorce. I now see things differently and think I should have handled many things otherwise.

    And God has put me in a second marriage with many of the same challenges of the first – the old adage, if you don’t handle things well the first time, you or your children! will have the opportunity again.

    It is a challenge and a struggle and my prayer everyday that I provide a loving, environment for my now four children. Take care, Karen

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