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One of the biggest confusions for me as a kid was about trying to figure out whether I was loved or not. On Christmas when all the gifts came out I thought, “Oh, so they do love us,” since in a kid’s mind gifts equal love. But then the other 365 1/2 days of the year it wasn’t so clear. My parents said and did confusing things like speak harshly to us, deny our feelings, and push us away, so much, that the love they might have felt never made it to me. They failed to engaged with us at a level that mattered. Calling your child names, now, that’s not love. Making fun of him, that’s not love. Even giving gifts, that’s not love.

Love is being there. Love is showing up when the going gets tough. Love is setting your own needs aside to wonder about and minister to the needs of another.

I vowed that when I became a parent I would never allow for the same confusion I felt, and I promised myself that my children would hear me speak my love daily, and see me live my love always.

One of my biggest priorities as a parent has been just this, to insure that my children know I love them and feel my love.

Every day.