A candlelight dinner.

I love my children more than words. This might seem like a never-ending story to those without children, but have your own and then you will know what I mean. It’s a love that consumes every part of you.

 They are 5 and 2 and they wear me out.

Today, I have done very little. I’ve suffered from a migraine, and my house looks like a bomb of toys and necklaces and blankets exploded. But my girls were kind and loving and, believe it or not, the mess was actually the result of several expressions of love as they tried to make mommy feel better.

This isn’t the first time this happened. Several days ago I was feeling unwell. It had been a very long day. I had a headache. My feet hurt. My back hurt. And my patience was running on fumes alone. 7 pm hit and I declared with relief that it was bedtime. I didn’t think I could make it through the routine of jammies, brushing teeth, songs, stories, and prayers, but the end of my day was in sight.

Until my 5 year old asked me to sit on the floor cause she had a present. Now let me add a few more details.  I had just cleaned the living room, put the toys and blankets away, and washed a few dishes (a clean house helps me to relax at night). I was ready to sit and watch tv with my man; it’s something akin to a date for us.

But because my sweet angel asked (not because I wanted to) I sat down. Right on my clean floor. She proceeded to carry in all of the blankets and pillows I had just picked up. I bit my tongue and watched as she spread them about. More things appeared. Necklaces, a small kiddie table, some battery operated candles, and some other strange items.

I was so tired I wanted to cry. I wanted to reprimand her for making a mess. But Daddy was home, and I was taking my cues from him. I knew my lack of patience and headache was not a good guage for reality. And he was calm.

Then she whispered in Daddy’s ear. He came and sat behind me and started to rub my shoulders. As he did, she turned off the lights and said, “Tada!”

I started to relax and looked around. Suddenly the mess took form. It wasn’t just blankets and pillows and necklaces and random toys. Not at all.

It was a candlelight dinner.

There was no food, mind you, but there I sat on a bed she had made, getting a backrub she had requested, with a table and candles and beautiful decorations before me.

It wasn’t a mess at all.

I’ll let you take from this story what you will, but it seems fitting for the way we all go on about the messes in our lives.

Of course sometimes situations are well worth complaining about, I think. Or talking about. Or asking for help. Sometimes things are as real as they seem. But sometimes, we just need to take a deep breath, close our eyes, and reopen them again to a new perspective.

No one would have blamed me for stopping her before she started, for demanding that she clean up the mess I had just cleaned. But the entire family would have missed out, me most of all, from a wonderful blessing from a little girl who saw things as they were the entire time.

Relax. Breathe. Ask God for a new perspective on that mess right in front of you.

Perhaps it’s not a mess at all. Perhaps He’s prepared a candlelight dinner.

The Lord prepares a table for me.... (Psalm 23)


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