It had been a particularly stressful day. Work was busy, I was tired and nothing seemed to go my way. My poor little Lea had stayed home sick with a fever and cough. Her dad stayed home so I could go to work, which was great. So fortunate he has the flexibility to do that! But I didn’t feel well myself, and I would have loved to stay home instead of staring at my computer screen all day.
I rush home – late as usual – and pick up my son from school. He immediately is telling me that the teacher had to ask him to be quiet in school, and that he had called a friend “weird.” Not good choices. (But hey – at least he’s telling me about his day!)
I get to the house. My husband has to rush out right away. I feel a sense of satisfaction to be away from the office, and safe at home where I am loved and happy! But then my sweet little daughter reminds me that she is only 2 years-old. She has a complete meltdown for absolutely no reason! There is nothing I can do to calm her down. If I try to leave her alone, she runs back towards me sobbing. If I try to hug her close and rub her back, she yells and pushes me away. (After she wipes her snotty nose on me, of course!)
Meanwhile, my son is still trying to tell me about his day and getting frustrated that I can’t talk to him because his sister is so dang loud.
I think to myself – I should have just stayed at work!
Then my dear son, who so often exhibits compassion and love far greater than I should expect from a kindergartener, whispers that he has a plan to help make his sister happy….
My son starts blowing bubbles; and slowly Lea joins in. And then all of a sudden we are all together; laughing, smiling, hugging. Just from some simple bubbles! If my day has only 5 minutes of the kind of laughter and joy that we shared in that moment, then I have nothing to complain about!
It is frustrating for me to continue to find myself dwelling in the negative. I wrote only a week ago that we need to live in the moment – and use each passing minute as an opportunity to glorify God. Why am I constantly sucked back into this “feel sorry for myself” attitude??
My son and I were talking about this afterwards. I told him that I was SO thankful he found such a wonderful way to calm his sister down, and make me forget my stressful day at work. I wondered if it was the bubbles that did the trick.
Do bubbles have a magical power to make us happy??
No, we decided. It wasn’t just the bubbles but the fact that we were playing with the bubbles together. The strong love of our family was the “magic” that brought joy that day. We were all caught up in our disappointing days – alone, sad, angry, frustrated. But when we came together in love, we were willing to set aside our worries and only joy remained. Love was the power.
Scripture tells us that God is love.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
I thought about this a long time, trying to find a way to put such a powerful statement into my own words – to close out this story. Then God spoke through a new song that came on my iTunes radio… You are My Salvation by Martin Smith. I’ve never heard of the guy. The song was good. But these words jumped out…
“Love changes everything. It ends the war that lies within.”
That’s power! That is God at work. That is the love I want to know – and live with and live out – all day, every day.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:6
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Proverbs 10:12