I am having so much fun visiting my sweet Joy in Scotland this week. We have talked about so many memories, fun times and this memory came to mind. Even tonight, we are sitting on our bed at our bed and breakfast, eating chocolate, nibling English biscuits and watching the end of a fun movie on her computer. Still love being bf's together, making new memories being friends. Invest in your future friendship with your own sweet ones today and tell me what you are doing.
"Weary to the bone" describes how I felt. Six weeks of battling asthma with Joy in the middle of the night had left me exhausted. Sarah, too, had been diagnosed with a possibly serious disease and faced more doctor's appointments. Clay had had to work out of town four days each week for two months. Our home was showing signs of stress, and piles of miscellaneous stuff accumulated all over the house.
"Quickly take the unfolded laundry and extra stuff to my bedroom," I pleaded with the kids. "My women's Bible study starts in a half-hour, and I need to make the living room presentable. I'll deal with the bedroom later." Everyone hurried around to tame this tornado of messes—or at least to transfer it. Then they all disappeared into my bedroom to watch a movie. "I can't think about this or deal with it now or I'll get depressed," I told myself as I closed the door to my now-cluttered bedroom.
Three hours later I said good-bye to the last woman. Sighing, I walked down the hallway to my bedroom to cope with the mess. I opened the door with dread, then gasped at what I saw. The room was sparkling clean, my sheets were turned down, and a vanilla candle flickered on my bedside table. Even my closet was immaculate. I sank down on the couch in my bedroom. Until that moment I hadn't realized just how discouraged I had been or how much I needed to feel loved and cared for.
A beautiful note sat atop my pillow.
You have served us so generously in so many ways. I wanted to serve you and help you with your room. I love you so much. Sweet dreams!
Often our children, like me, don't even know that they need us to serve them, and often they don't seem to notice what we do for them. Yet if we faithfully plant seeds of love and care in their hearts, in due time we will indeed reap a harvest in kind.
During times when our family life seems too busy or too stressful, I sometimes plan an "joy adventure" experience for my family to show them my love and appreciation. Many years ago, for instance, I climbed out of bed early one morning. The stars were still in the sky when I slipped out the door and drove to the grocery store to buy some fresh cream-cheese croissants and chocolate-covered doughnuts. Since I have made my own bread out of freshly ground grains at home for years and we are a natural food family most of the time, I knew donuts would be an "out of this world" treat.
I sneaked back into the house before anyone had stirred (except Clay, who had already gone to work). I placed the pastries on a pretty china platter, poured cold milk into a pitcher, made a pot of tea, lit some candles and a fire in the fireplace, and turned on a melodic CD. I quickly placed a card of encouragement on the coffee table for each person. Then I gently awakened the kids and invited them to a little ordinary morning celebration. One child who had been particularly trying for several weeks, smiled with sprinkles all over his face and said, "I think the Clarksons are the best family in the world." Seems shaking up our day even helped him to have a better attitude for a few days--attention and love invested often solve a lot of tensions in life.
We all had a fun time of talking, eating, and praying together before the day began. "Let's do this again!" was everyone's request!
Try planning your own adventure, unexpected fun time with your kids. Choose a favorite or special treat. (Make sure that all conversation is positive. This should be a time of encouragement, not a time of lecture!)