I just read these words in my daily reading time and they struck quite a chord. Perhaps because I'd been pondering that exact thing just yesterday in regards to my kids.
Don't you just love those things in life that have no clear "this way" or "that way"? That have, in fact, so many varying opinions on which way you should do a thing that you usually just shake your head and go with your gut? Raising kids is definitely one of those things. And in this society where all adult problems are blamed on whether mommy did this when you were little or dad did that...yeah, it can be stressful.
And I confess it. I yell more than I should. I get frustrated. My kids usually have to repeat something four times before I actually get up from my computer to help them with it (hence why they now just stand at my elbow going, "Mommy, I need a drink. Mommy. Mommy. Hey, Mommy, will you get me a drink please?" The magic word always gets my attention, LOL). There are things I wish I did differently, things I no doubt get wrong.
But you know what? At the end of the day, my kids are happy. They're secure. They understand the values I'm trying to instill, and they know they can stretch their wings and grow in our house. At the end of the day, they know they're loved. And that, I think, is the most important thing I can give them--because love covers a multitude of sins.
Which is true of any other relationship too, isn't it? Which may be more profound--because it's easy to love our kids. It's easy to love our spouses, our siblings, our parents (sometimes, LOL--easy for me to, because I have awesome ones). But what about the acquaintances? The strangers? The people we don't like? Our outright enemies?
Loving them isn't always so easy. Not just when we really don't like them, but even when we just barely know someone. It's hard to be moved by a story you've never heard. Hard to pray for people you've never met. But sometimes that's exactly what the Lord calls us to do. In this section of I Peter, he says we must be serious and watchful in our prayer. We must love one another, being generous and hospitable with out homes, but most of all with our gifts. We must, always, minister.
A reminder I need. Though I know there are so many out there suffering, I might forget that. I might ignore it. I might whisper a prayer now and then but otherwise go on with my life. The Lord, though, calls me to something more here. He calls me to pray, He calls me to give, He calls me to stretch myself out and share what gifts He has given me with others.
He calls me to love.
And if I do that, the rest will follow. If I do that, then the things I fail at will be covered.
I will never be the perfect daughter, sister, wife, or mother, the best teacher or writer or friend. I will never react as I should all the time. I will never always have the perfect response to life's trials. But I will love. And that will be my covering.
Good luck to everyone participating in NaNoWriMo! I just wrote 65K in October, finishing up my manuscript as I was, so will not be joining y'all this year. ;-)