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Choosing love over Criticism

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We’ve all heard this saying “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar” in other words as human beings and even animals we respond better to love. In the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) says And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. Everything we are is based on love, so why shouldn’t our discipline.

This week I read a quote that literally changed my life in regards to how to deal with people and I felt convicted in my relationships and mostly how I choose to raise my children.

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“Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.”

― Dave Willis

I read this quote over and again, I wrote it twice, once in my notebook, and once on a purple sticky note that to this day is still on my car console. Love is just that important, and I felt it was important and something I needed to be reminded of daily.

How many times do I choose love over criticism?

Do I criticize more than I compliment?

Do I acknowledge more of what people do the right way or give more life to what they do incorrectly?

Last week my Grandmother surprised us with a visit on her way back home to Chicago from visiting my Aunt and Cousin in Arizona. We went to Chick-fil-A for restaurant night to support my daughter’s school and as we sat across the table from one another eating chicken sandwiches and kids meals she blurted out…you’re a really good mother, you’re very patient and you don’t do a lot of fussing. It felt really good coming from a woman who raised 7 children, grandchildren and lived in an era that said you do as I say and not as I do and when I spank you I do it because I love you.

While the complement felt great, I still couldn’t help but think about that quote and how in more areas than one I could stand to be more of an encourager and less of a critic. As a parent, there are two areas that get under my skin, and I haven’t even made it to the teenage years yet…disrespect and ungratefulness. When my kid’s behaviors venture over into those two categories, you can forget it…criticism comes first and encouragement last.

What would happen if I chose encouragement over criticism? What would that teach my child about conflict? What would happen if in most situations I chose love over punishment…punishment, not discipline? I can think back to plenty of cases where I gave punishment when I should’ve given love. Does it mean that I won’t punish my children…Absolutely not! It just means I will be more conscious of the times I use punishment and the times I just need to show extra love and attention.

“Parenting is not about being the perfect parent, but finding the perfect method to raise your child.”

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1. Listen. Sometimes children just want to be heard and understood. Whether they are 5 or 45, they just want to know that someone is this enormous and sometimes unfair world hears them.

2. Choose your words. Words have power. I can remember most of the negative words that have been said to me over time more than the positive ones. Alter your language and tone, many times it’s how you say something versus what you actually say.

3. Be open. Could it be that our kids lie to us because they are afraid of the criticism that comes along with telling the truth. Punishment creates fear and closes the door to future conversations.

Love is an open language, criticism closes the door and stops up our ears and clouds are hearts. Encouragement breathes life. What am I teaching my kids about love? How am I teaching them about love outside of what I say, but in my actions?

Choose love.

Choose to uplift.

Choose to see the best.

Choose to accept.

Choose to listen.

Choose to find the good.

Choose happiness.

Choose kindness.

Choose to speak life.

Choose to encourage.

Choose to love.

Love could be the difference maker in a parent-child relationship, it could be the difference maker in a broken marriage. It has the power to mend a friendship. Love could make someone’s day and cause them not to give up. There are enough critics, be an encourager.


What greater gift than love

I love Christmas time; it’s my favorite time of year! We get to spend time with our families, put smiles on faces, and most importantly give love. Yesterday, I watched the news (which I rarely do) and it was negative story one after another. In Pennsylvania, a 94-year-old man was robbed in his home and all of his Christmas gifts were stolen, in Chicago a man hit four cars and fled into an American Girl Store on the Magnificent Mile, and countless murders and robberies filled the news reports.

While many people are fighting, killing, and stealing to give Christmas gifts, Jahi McMath’s mother is hoping for a Christmas miracle so she can show her daughter not what she bought her for Christmas, but to give her the greatest gift she has…Love. Jahi McMath is a 13-year-old girl who went in for a routine tonsil removal surgery and is now brain-dead, and her mother is fighting to keep her on a ventilator, while the doctors want to remove it to end her life.

I didn’t intend to write about this today, but I can guarantee the last thing on this mothers Christmas list is a physical gift, but love for her daughter. Many people become depressed during the holiday season because they can’t afford to buy people gifts, but there is one gift better than anything you can buy in a store…. LOVE. Consider all of the people who receive gifts on Christmas, but don’t experience love all year-long. So if you find yourself on hard times, don’t feel bad Love goes a long way and it lasts forever.

This Christmas as you celebrate and show love to your families, say a quick prayer for a miracle for Jahi McMath and her family.










Merry Christmas from One Haute Mommi and Family!

Love assumes the best

Happy Valentine’s Day! All over the world Valentine’s day is celebrated as a day of love. People go out of their way to show love and appreciation for their families and significant others, kids give their classmates cards and candy, and love is shown in an extra special way. After I read this devotion this morning by Henry Blackaby, I realized the peak of love isn’t at our highest point, but when it is most difficult to love and you do it any way. I had to share this with you and I hope it makes you love harder and assume the best.

Love Assumes the Best
Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby (http://www.blackaby.net/)

Daily Devotional for Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Love…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Love has no limits. Love never says, “You’ve gone too far. I can’t love you now.” “All things” means everything is included. Christlike love leaves no doubt in the mind of another that you will continue to love steadfastly. Do those close to you know that they can fail and do foolish things, yet you will not falter in your love for them? Are others assured that, even when they hurt you, you still love them, holding nothing against them?

Love assumes the best about others. If someone inadvertently offends you, you choose to believe the offense was unintentional. If someone seeks to harm you, you “bear all things,” forgiving unconditionally. If a positive light can be shed on a difficult encounter, you grasp it. If someone continually provokes you, you “endure all things.” You never lose hope in the ones you love. You practice the same unconditional love toward others that Christ gives to you.

Paul said that he was nothing if he had the faith to move mountains, the tongue of an angel, and the gift of prophecy to understand all mysteries, yet did not have God’s love. It is unacceptable to say, “Well, I just can’t love people that way!” When God loves people through you, this is the only kind of love He has! Read 1 Corinthians 13 with gratitude that God has already expressed this complete and selfless love to you. Pray and ask Him to express it through you now, to others.

4 is a really great number

There are many cools things about the number 4.

1. 4 is the number of the great elements: earth, air, fire, and water.

2. 4 are the regions of the earth: north, south, east, and west.

3. 4 are the divisions of the day: morning, noon, evening, and midnight.

4. 4 are the seasons of the year – spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

5. More importantly 4 is a really great number because TODAY makes 4 years that My husband and I have been married!

Four years ago I married my best friend and the love of my life. That was one of the happiest days of my life and so is today. I love you past the end of the earth, past the deepest depth of water, beyond the sky, through the fire, as far north, south, east and west, in the spring, summer, autumn, winter, in the morning, afternoon, evening, and at night……4


A True Picture of Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love can be a complicated thing, but as adults we can learn a lot about love and how to love more and on a deeper level from a child. A child’s love is one of the purest forms of love though man, it isn’t pretentious, misleading, or  boastful. A child’s love is unconditional. My daughter Taylor is 4 and she has the biggest heart. She is constantly thinking about other people and how she can make your day, whether it is saying something sweet or drawing you a picture. Taylor is the typical four-year old and sometimes she doesn’t listen and I will have to fuss at her about things.  One day she did something she shouldn’t have and I corrected her and while she was crying she said “But Mommy, I love you, you’re the best mommy in the whole world!”. That thing broke me down! I was like “Wow” even though she was in trouble and I yelled at her, she still loved  me so much, that in anger she could still say “I love you” and meant it. As adults we can write our spouse off when they make us angry and lose a friend over something petty, but if we could just learn how to love through the eyes of a child, unconditionally, unselfishly, with no motives or tricks, the world would be so much better. To a child love is simple, they don’t have to think about it, they just do it.

I am so blessed with a great husband and baby’s daddy 🙂 He is truly my best friend, he loves me unconditionally and is my support system. Thank you for showing me what real love is….Valentine’s Day is everyday. I love you!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The Message (MSG)

3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.