Everybody just be quiet, shut off that tv and clean up this living room...now!
Do you ever have one of those days or weeks when it seems impossible to find the patience to stand your own children? Before I was a mother I thought mothers loved their children unconditionally, all the time. I still know that to be mostly true, but not in the sentimental way I had imagined. It never crossed my mind that loving my children meant I had to frequently grit my teeth and tamp down irritation.
To love my children I must do more than read them stories and bake them cookies. It's not enough to play board games with them (like I ever do that) or push them on the swings. To love my children I must continually sacrifice. I must let go of my own desires and figure out how to barrel through a day without crushing a child's spirit. And believe me, I am not always successful.
St. Paul writes, "...God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Even while I was and am a sinner, Christ died for me and he did it willingly. He didn't resent me for it, throw a fit, or curse me under his breath for making him die on the cross. He slowly and silently walked to his death and instead of bitterness he says: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."
And I, as a follower of Christ, am asked to do the same for my children. Impossible to do without the heart of Christ and in order to have the heart of Christ, I must be united with him through prayer. Lots and lots of prayer! I also must expect to fail. Jesus did not make it to Calvary without falling a few times but he got up and kept going out of love for me (and everybody else including my children).