Motherhood, Parenting

Respond With Love

After promising myself (and all of you) that I would attempt to “speak life” moving forward, I had to sit down on Monday night and really “see” how I was doing. In my journal, I wrote, “How did I “speak life” today over my oldest daughter? After all, I said I would.”

The truth is, I didn’t. Unfortunately, old habits die hard, and I was hard on my oldest once again. I got after her that day for her “poor me” attitude. She overheard me talking to her younger sister, apologizing to her about having to endure ANOTHER argument between me and her older sister (and wasn’t the weekend peaceful without her?). I even dragged up old arguments from days ago. To top it all off, once she angered me, I put up my “wall” and I wouldn’t let her in. She was put to bed early.

That same night, attempting to savour some special time with my middle daughter, Madilyn, before she went to bed for the night, we simply rolled a ball back and forth on the living room carpet (her current favourite pre-bedtime activity). As she squealed with delight regarding our little game, I became disgusted with myself for putting such negative notions about her big sister into her mind. There was absolutely no reason for me to say, “Wasn’t it nice not having Mackenzie here all weekend? We had no one to fight with.” But, I said it. And I said it to my beautiful and mostly sweet five-year-old who totally and absolutely loves and adores BOTH of her sisters, unfailingly. She NEVER speaks badly about either of them … even when the baby cries her eyes out for an unthinkable length of time or when she knows Mackenzie is being rotten.

How … does … she … do … that?

How does she … just respond … with … LOVE … every … single … time?

How does she forgive so easily?

How does she remain so innocent?

How does she delight so easily?

How is she content with so little?

How does she come up with so many best parts of her day and sometimes I have to work hard to find one?

How is she NEVER jealous? Or frustrated? Or even really grumpy?

How is she soooooo good at “speaking life” when her mother is so clearly bad at it?


I’m ashamed that I would I put such disgusting words about her sister into my daughter’s mind or her mouth. Why would I EVER speak so poorly about her sister to her? Why?

Thankfully, because of who SHE IS, I probably don’t have to worry about Madilyn repeating what I said.

I am so very grateful for the soul that is Madilyn. Her spirit and her nature, even at five-years-old, is worth examining and emulating. Really, she is everything I am not, which just makes her so incredibly easy to love. I have so, so much to learn from her.


On Tuesday morning, I got out some Sharpies and made this little sign to hang on the fridge (Mackenzie helped me with the hearts) …


This is helping me (and Mackenzie) “speak life.”

I AM doing better. She is doing better.

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