Our little family recently arrived home from an amazing 5-day summer fun-filled vacation with very dear friends. We swam for hours under perfect blue summer skies. We ate ice cream nearly every day; this “mom-on-vacation” could care less when the chocolate faced 3-year-old somehow smeared ice-cream on every surrounding surface. We laughed and told silly stories around a campfire, our hands sticky from s’mores. I cuddled with my very tired daughter under the warm sun, toes dug into the sand, sun-kissed skin warm against me under a bright pink beach towel, with sounds of laughter in the background.
It was just the vacation we needed – simple, stress-free, relaxing fun.
But it ended, and we drove home. I did not want to leave. My kids did not want to leave. (There were tears the first hour of our drive home.)
We made it back to our house and dragged our dirty, sandy belongings from the mini-van into the house. I promptly placed the kids in front of the TV watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood so my husband and I could maintain some sanity as we tried to put our house back in order.
My 3-year-old adores Daniel Tiger. As a child of the 80’s and an immense fan of Mr. Roger’s, it brings this momma great joy to see my kids watch – and sing along with – Daniel Tiger. Fred Rogers was instrumental in teaching me how to be a good human.
(One particular song that seems to stick with our family lately: “If you have to go potty, stop and go right away!” I’ve actually found myself singing this under my breath at work…)
So, the kids are watching Daniel Tiger, and my husband and I begin to tackle the piles strewn around our house. My mind turns to despair – dreading the work to do around the house, dreading the fact that I must return to work the next day, incredibly sad that vacation is done. Motivation wanes. Smiles and laughter in the sun seem so very far away.
I wander into the living room. And immediately I hear from the TV Daniel Tiger singing this:
“When something seems bad – turn it around – and find something good.”
I laughed out loud, and my attitude changed instantly! I think God realized that I needed a very direct reminder that I have no reason to be grumpy. I should be thankful for the vacation we had, thankful for a home to clean, thankful for those two little blessings sitting on the living room floor, captivated by an animated tiger. Above all, I should be content living in the hope that any sufferings of this world, whether they be real or a figment of my own post-vacation blues, are overcome by the hope we have through Jesus.
Jesus came, he taught us how to live, he endured great suffering, and then he died – so that I might have eternal life. Yet God lives, and through the Spirit lives in each of us. With this truth, there is no reason to despair – there is only hope and joy! No matter what “bad” we might encounter, this is the good news!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13