"Love her and look out for her," is just a more specific version of the first message. "God's given you two jobs regarding your sister; love her and look out for her." She hears the same thing in regards to her brother. Being a sibling can be rough at times, I remember all too well! Cricket is never hesitant to tell me that he doesn't WANT to love her and look out for her for whatever reason, but he knows that it doesn't matter one bit if he wants to or not. He knows that is the expectation, the responsibility given to him by God.
We talk constantly about what that means, how to do it, and what to do when he has failed.
"Which is more important, your sister or your Legos?"
"My hands are busy right now and I hear Buttercup crying, why don't you go see if you can help her?"
"She is upset because of ___, what can we do to make that easier for her?"
"Are you listening and respecting her words?"
And all the same in opposite genders for her ears.
I love my job, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but when the 19th round of "Which is more important, your sister or your (insert object they are currently battling over)," is occurring before 10am, it's easy to throw in the towel. This job is a lot like a scratched up cd. Right in the middle of your favorite song it skips over and over, repeating the same three words 26 times, and then, just when you are ready to give up and skip to the next track, miraculously and without explanation, it continues on to the rest of the song, and you dance and sing along as though you weren't seconds from pulling out your hair.
3 and a half years of the "kind and loving" schpeal, nearly two years of the "love her and look out for her" stuff, and finally, finally I saw fruit! That sweet, luscious fruit that hangs so heavy on the branch.
They were playing together under our kitchen table. I needed to vacuum, and told them that if they had a problem they needed to physically come to me, because I wouldn't be able to hear their words over the vacuum.
I went about my task, and was nearing completion when I needed to stop to relocate the cord. I could see what they were doing, but I heard him say, "Uh oh, you better go ask Momma for help...wait, maybe I can help you."
And I held my breath and tiptoed around the corner to peek. He reassembled the object she was working with, looked right up at me, and said, "Momma, that's loving and look outing for her, right?"
So simple. One tiny little sentence. And I could've just shouted from the roof tops! "YES!!! You DO get it! You understand! GOD IS IN YOUR HEART!" I could've kissed him and cheered and tossed him in the sky, I was so happy.
"Yeah, Buddy, that's loving her and looking out for her. God's heart is so happy when you do that! You did a great job."
So, instead of bursting at my seams then, I just keep letting it leak out a few tears at a time whenever I reflect on that moment!
God is so good. This work he has set before us as mothers is hard because it matters. It matters so very much. Keep on fighting the good fight, mommas. Keep teaching, and leading, and correcting, and guiding, and praying, and repeating it ten thousand times a day, because when they finally bear the fruit that glorifies their maker, your heart will just sing with joy!